Finding Meaning in the New Year
By Mark Susnow
As the year comes to an end I think of all of the blessings in my life and all that I am grateful for. It's been a good year and I have a lot to be thankful for. I am not concerned with what didn't work or what I could have done better. There is always going to be something. For many the holidays are a stressful time. It's also a time for giving and receiving.
In our family when we are feeling creative we sometimes make gifts for each other. I do have to admit that the sometimes are fewer. My family now gets excited about shopping and finding presents for each other and usually these gifts are clothes. For me once I find something that I like I wear it forever. But the rest of the family likes to keep up with the latest trends. It's like a sport to them but for me it's almost a chore as I very rarely find anything that fits well.
A few weeks ago my wife, Annie, received a 30% discount coupon for the GAP that had to be used within a few days. As we were driving to the store all I could think about was how many clothes I would have to try on before finding something that looked half way decent. As I was trying on clothes I felt the frustration building. I just wanted to be done with it.
After paying for my purchase I was ready to go home but Annie had other plans. She was going upstairs to the women's section and promised me that she would only be a few minutes. While waiting I became engaged in a conversation with Marianne, a familiar soul, who was also waiting.
Perhaps my inexperience as a shopper was apparent. I wasn't prepared for her first question. She asked me how I did and I replied "I guess all right." It was the next bit of dialogue that was totally surprising. She agreed with me when I told her that men thought shopping for women was like a sport. She then said that "in the morning women huddle with each other and share ideas and set their intention. To have a successful and fulfilling day you need to be task oriented, focused and motivated."
I thought about what Marianne said and realized that those principles could apply to just about anything in our lives. What if we expanded upon her message and made that a focus this new year for finding more meaning and fulfillment in our lives.
When I think of focus I think of my daughter Savanna when she dances. Her grace and her elegance are immersed with her total at oneness. There is nothing else but the dance and yet at the same time there is everything. The rest of the world can wait.
For some period of time we can be totally focused on the task at hand. But at some point a new thought enters our mind and we begin to lose our focus. This gets in the way of our being in the now and of our enjoying the moment. We lose our ability to go deeper and that's where the real magic occurs.
What did Marianne really mean by motivation? I like to think of motivation in the same way I think of inspiration. When I feel I have purpose and meaning in my life and I'm living my life consistent with my highest values and priorities I feel inspired. When I'm inspired I'm excited about getting up in the morning and starting my day.
Perhaps Marianne's concept of the huddle is the key to it all. Doing it alone doesn't work anymore. As she said in the morning the women get together and share ideas and talk story. As we huddle and share with each other what matters, we realize that at our core we have the same longings and desires. We have the same need to be loved and respected. The huddle represents our coming together and working toward a world that works for everyone. It is our recognition that we are all in it together.
As the new year begins the days become longer. With each new day there will be more light in our life. When our kids were younger our family had a ritual bringing in the new year. We went around in a circle and expressed gratitude for all of the blessings in our lives. And then we shared what our deepest desires were for the new year. For me it is peace in the world and this peace begins within each of us. Become an emissary of peace by sharing your deepest longing for peace in your life and in the world with those in your circle. The internet has become a great resource for connecting with others around the world. Last month people from 85 countries visited Inspire Possibility. Thank you for expanding the circle.
About The Author
Mark Susnow has a unique background. Formerly a successful trial attorney for 30 years, as well as musician, he integrates what it takes to be truly prosperous in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation practice. As a personal coach, leadership consultant and inspirational speaker, Mark provides inspiration and motivation to many business leaders and professionals. He knows what it means to have a big vision and has demonstrated the courage and energy it takes to accomplish it. Consider contacting Mark and be sure to visit his website: http://www.inspirepossibility.com.