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Posted by Michael Finkelstein | November 21st, 2010

The Moon of Becoming

With the holidays upon us, this time of year is often very rich and full, from our schedules, to our bellies, to the memories we create at family gatherings and community festivities.

Interestingly enough, a lot of people essentially choose not to experience fullness. They tell themselves that they can’t be happy because somebody is frustrating them or they don’t have something that they want or they feel they have been disappointed. Since life does not achieve their notion of “perfection,” they choose to live as if something is missing.

The great Indian philosopher and saint Shankaracharya said, “Whatever a person’s mind dwells on intensely and with firm resolve [that] is exactly what he becomes.” Therefore, whatever is in your mind becomes your reality and, in time, your experience. It follows that if you believe something is true, it is likely because you have repeated it to yourself a number of times like a mantra. While it is useful to put things in our minds so we can ponder or think about and work through them, problems arise when they get stuck. More so, the longer a belief lingers and the more potent the system behind it, the more strongly it becomes embedded into your mind. It literally becomes part of your makeup. Simply put, when one maintains the belief that their life is missing something, they put themselves in the predicament of being unable to experience the fullness of life, even when it surrounds them.

This holiday season, try to embrace a new inner reality. Immerse yourself in the experience of each moment. Replace the tendency to ruminate or dwell on problems with something more skillful such as a positive mindset. However, since you cannot simply turn off your thinking mind, make a conscious decision to focus on something life affirming and beautiful, especially if this is not your tendency, and most importantly, do something that reflects this shift in attention: listen to beautiful music; adorn your bedroom with fragrant flowers; add more light to your home; hike in the woods; and spend time with friends.

A life of fullness doesn’t just happen to you; it is something you make.

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