Tag Archive: New Years Resolutions


Happy New Years!

New Years is by far my favorite holiday of the year… It is the finale of the American holiday “hat trick”. You find Autumn and then the Thanksgiving Holiday: For me Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we have and not what we don’t have… I am always thankful for health, family and my career. Christmas comes and with it comes this watered down message wrought with commercialism. Christians say Christmas has been stolen. I am more pagan in nature and jokingly accuse the Christians of stealing Christmas from its true roots – Winter Solstice Paganism. For me, Christmas is about illumination, love and wisdom and the gift of giving – something we should celebrate every day.

So what about New Years? … the finale of the Holiday Trifecta…. New Years: Out with the old and in with the new! It’s kind of a rebirth of sorts. When you take into consideration the Mandala of Life you find we are not part of a story that begins and ends; but a revolving journey of birth, death and rebirth. Take the seasons for example: From Summer comes the colors of Autumn and then the sleep of Winter followed by the rebirth of Spring and so begins our journey yet again. The hands of a clock rotate, storms rotate, planets rotate, galaxies rotate…. So, New Years is a time of rebirth… Not a beginning or ending but a time to reflect on the journey. Here you are in the present moment with the past behind us and the future ahead of us – and no attachments to any of it!


It allows us to pause… to look at each year in review and learn from our mistakes. After all, life is a  learning experience and our failures and shortcomings should be triggers for mindfulness and not negative setbacks. New Years is a time to start fresh… a metaphorical clean slate wiped free of attachments and dogma… and so the journey continues!

I am not a big fan of resolutions – they tend to set us up to failure. Still, New Years is a time to put into place more mindfulness, space and clarity for life’s newest journeys. The goal is to be happier right? Below are some very easy steps to finding more happiness in the New Year:

Live with an Open Mind: Living with an open mind allows us to question what has been presented to us when we were young and impressionable. It allows us to challenge old ideals and control patterns to better evaluate our belief systems to confirm that they were not founded due to negative outside influences. It opens us up to understanding True Nature as a pure and unwavering source of happiness. We have the sovereign power to embrace our own thoughts and convictions. Living with an open mind, being receptive to change, and having a willingness to work for it are the first steps toward liberation.

Meditation: We make space and open ourselves up to the infinite vision of True Nature through devices like meditation and daily life practice. The devices show us that under all the ego and co-dependency that seems like reality, there is a constant, unwavering force we can all depend on that is as spacious as it is endless. Allowing spaciousness to enter our minds and lives gives us the ability to face all of life’s challenges and make good decisions. The brain may seem small physically, but the mind is vast. If we connect to this space, gone will be stress and anxiety. We will have infinite space for clarity and truth. Incorporate meditation into your daily life and you will see a different world reveal itself to you—a “True Reality” beyond ego and false-self.

Moderation: By living healthy lives, eating well, and exercising, we create immediate positive results. Love for life and love for others reinforces positive physical and mental health. Living in moderation equips us with the ability to be aware of our bad habits and get into routines of healthy living. Moderation means we understand our needs versus just our wants and desires.

Positive Energy: The laws of karma govern positive and negative effects in our environment. Positive reactions are the common denominator of our Universe. Becoming open to the positive energy in nature, beauty, and love is crucial to self-evolution. Focusing on positivity creates waves of joy and healing which will ultimately pulse through our thoughts and actions to build a better life.

Happy New Year!

image credit: bonzabottlerday.net

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

121014Happy New Year to any of you reading this blog now… and a Happy New Year to anyone who stumbles across this post; say in July…. I guess that is the point… Every word written here is valid today, tomorrow and in six to nine months…

Everyday can be a new day… a new start…. Sure, New Years is about “out with the old and in with the new”. Still, I am not fond of New Year’s resolutions.  I like to have the option of failing. Yeah, that’s right, failure is good! How many resolutions are still being religiously followed by Summer? Spring? It is sort of a “set yourself up to fail and then feel guilty about it” scenario…. Nothing new and wholesome about that…. Resolutions seem to set us up for disappointment. They certainly have never worked for me.

Still, there is a silver lining in the concept of failure and blown resolutions. Let us not forget it is the failures and shortcomings that teach us the important lessons in life. Much of our wisdom is forged from learning about what works and what does not work. Life can be one big experiment. Life has taught me that with the right mindfulness, every negative can be turned into a positive and from pain is born space and awareness. So with that said, I am slow to say goodbye to 2014 or any previous year without remembering the high points and yes, the low points. It is the latest chapter of who we are.

Still, it is an unfinished story…

That is where the New Year becomes useful: 365 new chances to do better and get things right. It does not have to be a perfect process – it won’t…  and that is okay… We tend to be hard on ourselves for our actions, thoughts and reactions. This thing called living is not easy. Still, we can have the confidence that our story is not yet finished. We are the authors of the next chapter – why not write a good one!

John C. Bader

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

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



The sun rises after an evening of revelry

Its brilliance ablaze like diamonds on the ocean that surrounds me

Anticipation and change waft in the air

and thus a new calendar year begins

Old memories fade in the vestibules of the mind

and so the saying goes… out with the old and in with the new

Words and resolutions drift off in the boundless periphery of the psyche

New experiences are born which drive the quality of our existence

Our resolution is love, light and karma

A conduit which links our connection to energy and the Cosmos

All that exists interwoven in this tapestry of knowing

A gift of intuition and clarity

Sensitivity and responsiveness

A birth of renaissance

On this first day in January

On an island in the blue

My love for life rekindled

As I move on renewed

 Happy New Year!

John C. Bader




So here we are… on the event horizon of a new year. So, I have to be honest; there was much to dread and loathe January 1st 2011. There were financial woes, concerns about wellness and a host of other uncertainties that made the outlook for 2011 not so exciting. I had just turned 40 and still had unanswered questions. There were mistakes made and regrets actualized.


So what recourse was there? What kind of resolutions would bring happiness? It was all so confusing and overwhelming. My ego and false self wanted to simply chug along like business as usual. Yet, deep down there was another voice. It was feeble and meek at first but once I took notice and connected to this quality of True Nature within, I discovered a new energy and empowerment: Not from Jesus or church. Not from self-help books or antidepressants; but from a powerful and healing dynamism inside: A place somewhere between heart and mind where space and clarity resides. Through energy and self-discovery I began connecting to this vast and amazing Responsive Universe.


I did away with credit cards and began severing my attachments to money and material devices. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with making money and being successful. But when we attach our well-being and confidence to something so fleeting as currency, we are bound to suffer. With plummeting stocks, soaring credit card debt and foreclosures becoming a daily occurrence, walking away from material and financial attachments was the best decisions ever.


I began bike riding on average 20 miles a week. Bike riding in our local natural preserves was meditative and therapeutic. I have never been in better shape. I also changed my diet: I have cut my meat intake by 50% and dairy by 75%. I have been juicing daily since last summer – kale, spinach, beets; all vegetables I would never eat – yuck! ….Guess what, now I crave veggies!


I have been meditating religiously: Daily sessions of mindfulness from deep meditation to daily affirmations. My meditation regiment has been an amazing facet to my evolution. By letting go of ego and false perceptions, I have allowed the Responsive Universe to take over – to nudge me in directions and areas never imagined. For example, I did not find Reiki and self-healing – Reiki and self-healing found me. By taking heed to the synchronicities and signs that surround me – by finding clarity and awareness for the moment, my entire life over the course of 2011 has transformed into something sublime.


Now, when challenges arise, I no longer get stressed out. There is space and energy for everything that drifts my way. I have fresh perspectives and blossoming creativity that flows from the well of self-evolution. So, as 2012 nears, I have incredible anticipation and excitement for the new year. I see a world of possibilities in 2012 and beyond.


This quality of self-evolution is something we all have within. There is no need to journey to Mecca or worship deities in the form of man. Everything we need is found within. It requires us to open up and settle into the spacious vision of life and love. To be aware of our surroundings with our minds rooted in the present. Believe and love yourself and soon new doors will open. Listen to your heart wish and inner voice. Take power away from ego and false perceptions and take control of your own destiny. Once you understand that the Universe is responsive and what we give will eventually return to the source, there is an unmistakable empowerment actualized. Enlightenment will slowly filter its white light upon you. Just give it a chance…


Be kind to yourself…


Hug your love ones…


Have compassion for your enemies…


Be open to new possibilities…


… and have a Happy New Year!


John C. Bader


About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter


My office in Kauai

New Years is just around the corner and it is never too late to begin planning for a more positive

existence in 2012. Please check out my latest article at MindBodyGreen.com titled

10 steps to living a Positive Existence in 2012


John C. Bader

Website: responsiveuniverse.com

Twitter: @JohnCBader

Facebook: The ResponsiveUniverse

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