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December 30, 2010

Free Will and Resolutions

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/free_will_and_resolutions_39101230/

Life is terrible! The economy sucks! And things are only getting worse.

I’ve been thinking about how messed up our world is and wondering just how things could have gotten this way. Or maybe they always were. But why? Why in all of creation are things here on earth so bad? And then it hit me, this is the land of FREE WILL. Here we have the right to choose for ourselves. We have the freedom to make every kind of bad choice. And it all adds up… to one colossal, global mess.

And there doesn’t seem to be a lot we can do about that.

But then I thought, even if we have a tendency to make mistakes, FREE WILL can also be used to focus on the good. And you know what they say, whatever you focus on expands.

So in contemplating my resolutions for the new calendar year, I’ve been tinkering with the idea of focusing on and embracing all the tiny little bits of good that exist, even in the midst of the mess.
Instead of lamenting the terrible economy, the political conflict, the global disasters, maybe I could embrace and enjoy my (thankfully, for now) excellent health, my beautiful kids and the precious little time I have before they go off to college, the unbelievable circle of friends and community that I have, and the truly special people that life has unexpectedly brought me.

We can spend a lifetime fighting with life, and with its unfairness and injustices. But life can also be sweet and filled with joy and beauty, and real pleasure. Those are the things that empower us to get up and deal with the very real challenges that we are duty-bound to address.

In 2011, I resolve to use my FREE WILL to seek out the beauty, the joy, the magic that is there in life and to share that with everyone I know.

Exercise your Free Will in the new year

Make a list of all that is good in your life. If you can’t think of anything, keep at it. You need to find at least 100 things, people, or qualities that are truly good. On January 1st put down the first thing, and each night after that add at least one item to the list. Take time to go over the list. Share it with your family and loved ones. Challenge them to do the same. During the day, choose to make your conversations focus on those good things and not all the challenges that surround you. At the dinner table, talk about what is wonderful in your family - that you have each other, that you get to share this time and this life together. Do the same with your friends when you see them. Remember focusing on the good creates more good. Then you can go do more good in the world.

Misha Henckel guides individuals to live their ideal lives. Follow her on Twitter @mishahenckel. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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