There are three frequent afflictions which people tend to suffer from: pride, ambition, and vanity. It is hard to measure which of these is worse, but it would seem that ambition is the most troublesome. . . It is full of frustration because if one succeeds, one gets sicker; and if one fails, one also gets sicker.

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Existential Validation in Everyday Life

"In what way does a certain idea contribute to the improvement of the quality of our lives? Does it heal us? Does it liberate us? Does it bring harmony into our lives? Does it contribute to a sense of peace, assurance? Does it fill us with a sense of gratitude? Does it inspire us with wisdom and love? Does it make it possible for us to find the answers we need to the problems of daily living? If what we are learning has this effect, then it must be existentially valid.

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What Makes it a "New Year?" And Who Determines that it is "Happy?"

This thought was originally posted on January 10, 2014 and it still seems relevant. While New Year’s Day is an arbitrarily agreed upon point in the calendar of days, the “meaning” of it was brought to mind by the many friendly smiles shared between strangers walking by each other declaring: “Happy New Year!”

The communication seemed to be “it’s a holiday (a holy day) and on this day we can be unburdened by our normal concerns.” And thus, the underlying truth of being slips into view.  Freed from the day-to-day habitual "shoulds," openness, friendliness and goodwill took their place.

What is symbolized in the phrase “Happy New Year” that inspires such openness? Perhaps it is the recognition that all of the heavy burdens of human living can be transformed in a moment.  Our true identity of joyful lightness of being can be realized. It’s hidden in the words:

Happy: Happiness is an inner quality of being that becomes more and more available to us as we value joy. In the words of Dr. Hora, “Gratitude is the door to joy, seriousness is a killjoy.”

New: Each moment is an opportunity to realize that we do not need to be determined by our past experiences, present circumstances or future expectations.

Year: We are endowed with the capacity to manifest divine order and harmony as they unfold in the context of Joy. Everything everywhere is already all right, even when it does not seem that way.

While taking a break in the middle of writing this blog, I was confronted with a tension. Something I expected to happen did not happen. Blaming and being blamed filled the atmosphere.  Then came the awareness that expectations have no place in joy; gratitude was overshadowed by the presence of a “should” thought. With this illumination it became possible to let be, release the expectation and apologize for letting it in. Grateful to be able to see it, to humbly acknowledge it and then turn to the new, free moment.

Happy New Year.

In other words, Be grateful. We are not cement, we are consciousness with the capacity to be free moment-by-moment from our habits of thought.