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  • On New Year's day, several friends and I gather together to write our resolutions for the new year, what we want to give up and what we want to bring in for the coming year. We use the Toltec burning ceremony, and when we want to release a habit or emotion, such as anger, we need something to bring in to fill that hole, such as peacefulness, or it will fill up again with what we are trying to release or with something similar. We then burn our resolutions that we want to release one at a time and then the resolutions that we want to bring in, sending them out into the Uni-Verse with our intentions.

    This year, everyone was busy writing their resolutions and a couple of people wrote a long list of what they wanted to get rid of and what they wanted to bring in and they were free to read them to the group or not. Some of the resolutions that were read to the group were desires or goals, such as I want to be happy and successful, I want to give up my being irritated when someone pushes my buttons, I want to lose weight, etc. I wondered how different these resolutions were from the ones that they wrote last year and whether any changes were made in their lives from making them.
    For me a resolution is not a goal or objective of acquiring something tangible, like a new car or money, a better job or a perfect mate. It's not a fixation with losing weight, getting in better shape, or being more spiritual, nor is it necessarily a giving up of anger or fear, as they are sometimes an essential instinct.

    For clarification, let's take being contented as what we want to bring in, and getting rid of anger as what we want to release. We begin by looking at why we are angry and ask ourselves if it is an anger that is in service to our Essence (Big E) or one that is hooked to ego (little e). When we are in 'Divine Rage', from Big E, we see an overall picture of what we are doing to Mother Earth and know that we are required to take actions that become apparent to us.

    When fracking first began a couple of years ago, I was really ticked off over the ignorance of this act and it's destruction to Mother Earth and sentient beings. When I mentioned this act to others, they were not even aware of what it was or that it was already happening, so I began spreading the word through social media with videos and conversations with others. I signed petitions, encouraged others to spread the word, and gathered more information from my oldest daughter, who is an environmental lawyer and is working on stopping it. I discussed fracking in some of the college art classes that I teach and suggested making posters on issues that were very important to them as one of their art projects.

    If I, Connie ego, get angry because someone is too 'stupid' to understand the truth, my opinion/my point of view, which is always right and better than their opinion and I just want to control my anger and be more tactful, (or more convincing/persuasive) then I have not addressed the core issue of my anger and why I am trying to change someone else and persuade them that I'm right and they are wrong, when I am only free to change myself and no one else, and that change comes from being guided by Big E and in service to higher wisdom than what I, little e, possess.

    Perhaps we are not content with ourselves or where we are in our lives and if that is so, we explore that situation of why it is the way that it is and how it came to be. We do this by going within to the deep recesses of our hearts and minds to see and feel our challenges and obstacles and discover the beliefs that are holding us back that are based on fear and we also look for those beliefs that are based on love that we hide and protect, that are also hidden within us and contain our Essence.
    We look at all those beliefs that we hold, and sort them out into two piles, those that serve us (love based) and those that don't serve us (fear based). We realize that our inner critic (called the judge in Toltec talk) is there to protect us from ourselves and the parasite that feeds on our fears and that's what keeps it alive. We begin the journey of transforming this parasite who uses words against us that it learned from others around it, who were trying to keep us safe or maybe even to control us because of their own hidden beliefs.
  • We begin to transmutate parasite to predator, who is a great hunter and tracker that follows the thread of our thoughts back to their source and we begin to realize that we really are good enough, we are lovable and we are okay, just the way we are. Being not good enough is a lie and the Toltec mantra is 'Liar, liar, pants on fire'. As we act as predator, continuing to tracking our thoughts, beliefs, opinions, and points of view, we realize that parasite was trying to keep us safe through being fearful (it's a dangerous world out there) and that parasite who is now predator, is turning into Ally, and is at our side. We see that Judge is learning to use discernment, of weighing choices based on unconditional love, without judgments based on fear and we become more congruent and in harmony within ourselves.

    We take our beliefs that don't serve us and begin rewriting our story to one full of love instead of fear. We change our mind and the judge/parasite becomes our friend, the ally who has tamed the predator and judge. We continue until we love ourselves just as we are, because we understand at a deep level that we all Essence, with special talents and spiritual beauty and this is a never ending task.

    This allows us to open our hearts and minds so that we receive what the Uni-Verse is offering us for our next Earth mission and basically that is exactly where we are on our path of making wise decisions as we journey. Our resolution/intent might be 'I make wise decisions guided by Essence, and relinquish being manipulated by ego.

    My resolutions have been similar for the last few years, although I fine tune them a bit every year, 'I live in awareness and freedom' and 'I give up thoughts that do not serve Essence. This year, I added 'I give up giving up'. What is there to wish for or to give up if I am living in the moment, going with the flow of the Uni-Verse and Big E, and recognizing the opportunities and challenges that are being presented to me? This is a task of surrendering ego in each moment, when we live in the Freedom of Awareness in the spaces between forgetfulness of who we really are. I do not know what Uni-Verse is unfolding for me in my time and place, I can only be aware and alert to recognize the opportunities that are presented to me. If I am open, I have no expectations and I am free to be…and act with intention instead of reacting from ego. I see duality as a useful mirage that I choose to use when it is in service to the time and place of Now.

    I would suggest reading one of my Toltec teacher's book, 'The Everything Toltec Wisdom Book', by Allan Hardman, who was an apprentice of Don Miguel Ruiz, author of 'The Four Agreements', and whom I have also met and learned from. You will also find other little Toltec, Zen and Yoga Wisdoms with a bit of Jungian philosophy sprinkled on top, tucked away here and there in some of my stories on CowBird.

    No, I'm not enlightened and I no longer seek it. I'm 'busy' bee-ing. Bzzzzzzz. Now that's a wonderful metaphor of duality.
  • Addendum
    When I am in service to Big E, she presents me with exactly what I need to know. Last night I watched the DVD, 'Inner Worlds Outer Worlds' and there was a wonderful quote by Eckhart Tolle that sums up the whole affair with 'little e' and it makes a wonderful ending for this short essay that has been brewing and bubbling since January.

    "If you are resisting what is unfolding, you are not in the flow. Awareness and presence always happen in the now. If you are trying to make something happen, then you are creating resistance to what is. It is the removal of all resistance that allows the evolutionary to unfold".
  • I have dedicated this to Mary Stebbins Taitt (I couldn't figure out how to sprout it from her story), because of the wonderful and thoughtful story that she recently wrote on goals and no goals, and it inspired me to struggle with, surrender to, and finish my resolution story, although it has gone in a different direction from her story. It is perfectly imperfect and the Fourth Agreement is 'Do Your Best'. Some days are 'better' than other days and they are all imperfectly perfect.

    Both pictures are slightly different points of view of an old building in northern Illinois and were taken on Winter Solstice, the first day of the new Earth year.
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