• Sheila James

January 2017

As you begin another year you are mindful of new resolutions and perhaps aware of some of the challenges you may face in order to accomplish them. Our advice to you is to consider goals that you can see are achievable based on some knowledge of yourself. Humans tend to set goals that pertain to the body and the material environment but rarely do they look beyond to consider exactly who is setting these goals. As we have said so often before, a wise person is one who understands that he or she does not actually live a life but that Life lives itself through them.

To see this truth more clearly requires a quiet mind and an awareness of the Presence that is constant, all loving, all intelligent, and everywhere. Until you discover it for yourself, this Presence will just appear to you as a nice idea, a vaguely mysical notion that has no bearing on the reality of your daily life. The more you open your awareness to its reality the more you will discover Its power. Presence itself is life itself. It is not apart from you but it is within you, around you and contains all life. Your sense of separation from It is caused only by your own mind. The term 'mindfulness' means to be aware of your own mind. When you sit in a position of awareness, the mind naturally becomes quiet and it is here that balance is restored. The human mind is an instrument of addiction and the hardest thing you will ever try to do is change it.

A thought is triggered, emotion leaps out of nowhere to join it making it seem real to you and it is at this point that you either act or react. We suggest when you have a trigger thought which simply appears to you, step aside and watch what emotion arises. It is in this state of being the observer that you have the opportunity to release yourself from the prison of a detrimental habit, fully realizing that the thought and feeling are neither necessary nor useful to you. This is where you find freedom. The term 'letting go' may sound nice but it requires some understanding of how to let go in order to succeed.

People wake up each day and are mostly occupied with the same thoughts that existed the preceeding day. These thoughts, uninvestigated, will persist the following day. Were you able to completely change your thoughts at will, you would become a different person because it is your thinking, and all that entails, that stamps you will the unique mark of You.

By observing your thoughts and questioning their validity you will find that you are less a slave to your thinking mind and more free to experience your deep self which you will then discover is as much a part of the Presence as your hands are a part of your body.

You do not know what life holds in store. You are given the Present moment in which to live and breathe and have your Beingness. The more you dwell in this point of stasis, the greater your awareness will grow. With that comes the understanding that you are not the doer of your life but that Life itself lives through you and does a better job of it.

We do not mean that you should sit down and do nothing, that would be impossible. We mean that in quiet moments of pure awareness, when thought and impulse arises, you are able to see whether it is valid or not, whether it requires action or not and when action is the follow on step, it is undertaken calmly and easily.

A healthy mind is like molasses, not easily upset but smooth and even in its return to level position. Many humans have minds like water where the smallest pebble thrown into it or the slightest breeze will create instant disturbance. It doesn't matter what is going on in your life or the life around you, events will always change and what bothered you yesterday or twenty years ago is a distant memory today. The mind is fickle and who you truly are is the constant in your life. Who you are is not the content of your thinking mind. Accepting this as a fact is the first step on the road to freedom.

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