newyearsA couple of years ago I wrote an article for MindBodyGreen entitled “10 Steps to Living a Positive Existence in 2012”.  I think it was a helpful piece and it was well received on social media like Twitter and especially Facebook.

With 2014 upon us, I thought I would revisit some important facets to betterment and self-improvement that mean a lot to me personally. As we all work toward illumination on our very own paths to self-discovery, our needs, wants and desires change; as does the root of intent that drives such personal growth. We are evolving and with any personal or social evolution births change. Everything I wrote in that MBG article still rings true, but since then I have been able to fine tune certain attributes to push my process of self-discovery forward.

This is a disclaimer of sorts: In the self-help world it is easy to watch some of the so-called self-improvement gurus (and there are many) sitting high and pious on their soap boxes, preaching compassion and conviction. They make this path to self-discovery sometimes look easy. Well it is not… and these New Years tips below are a good example of that. As I write this blog, I am fully aware that I am also working toward self-improvement. The burden is on me to live out my own destiny with the utmost determination and credibility possible. I am not perfect and I also slip and fall as we all do. This list is to be shared by us all – myself included. My goal in 2014 is to live closer and more intimately to my True Nature and this small list of resolutions is that gateway to more positive energy and wellness. I hope you find it helpful:

Credibility: As I continue to mature and evolve, I am realizing that credibility is a huge factor. Granted we should not care what others think about us in most facets – it simply feeds the ego. Still, we need to be sure our doorways to communication and expression are pure. This includes practicing what we preach, watching what we say and how we act in social situations. Every action we make creates a reaction and it is from this chain of events that builds and forms our credibility both inward and outward (how we perceive ourselves and also how our friends and family perceive us). This includes how we judge others verbally and nonverbally and how we act and react during times of challenge and conflict. This is an ongoing process and as a self-help writer and meditation advisor, the burden to be credible falls on my shoulders too.

Meditation: I have come to the personal conclusion that meditation is one of the best vehicles for wellness in my life. Seems obvious right? I have been enjoying a meditative practice for over a decade. Like exercise or anything else that requires effort, my meditation practice ebbs and flows like the tide. Sometimes we are very connected and clear, and sometimes the static of life disconnects us a bit. This is normal and simply requires mindfulness. Still, looking back on my past, it is easy to pinpoint that highs and lows and when I was more engaged and mindful. From this clarity and awareness has manifested better memories, luck and happiness. All of this can be directly rooted to meditation. The more I am rooted to the present moment, the easier it is to connect to success and wellness. The key is to get creative with meditation and incorporate it in all facets of life.

Letting Go: “Letting go” seems like a simple concept but it is a process: We need to let go of our negative past. We need to let go of the anger and conflict we feel for our enemies. We need let go of the sorrow and angst from the loss of love ones. We need to let go of the grip this material world wields over our wants and desires. We need to let go of the ego that controls our destiny; many times unknowingly. We need to let go of our fears. All of this is a purge of what is not real. Everything I listed above is not linked or aligned to our True Nature. Everything we cling to is a projection; societal conditioning; lies and false-self. This is an incredibly difficult concept to grasp and is an ongoing process of mindfulness, space, clarity and responsiveness. Trust me, this something I still struggle with daily myself – and that is okay. None of us are perfect and we never will be. Still, each little step forward out of the haze is a giant leap into the warm light of self-discovery.

New Years is actually my favorite time of year. Winter is upon us, and understanding the Mandala of life we are akin to; from winter comes spring (from death springs life): A renewal of energy, wisdom; even hope and anticipation. Remember, we live in a Responsive Universe: Self-discovery and the hard work to self-evolve might seem like a daunting task. Still, every small step forward; every small shift in perspective creates a growing footprint of energy. We are all connected and every move in the right direction, no matter how small, contributes to this glowing footprint of illumination.

2014 is going to be a good year. We have in our hand the key to happiness and betterment. We are the stewards of our own destiny. Believe this and it will manifest…  Shall we seize the day; seize the year? Let’s do it together!

Happy New Year!

John C. Bader