2008 IS DRAWING TO A CLOSE. What a joyful time of the year andwhat a wonderful time to reflect on all that has transpired over the last twelve months. I hope when you look back you can see all the things you have accomplished and all that you have to be grateful for. I know that I'm doing that. One of my accomplishments was the launching of my web site and Power Bytes. I thank you for the many beautiful notes you sent. I am so grateful to be able to be partners with you in this exciting and most challenging of adventures - the adventure of being a human being. You are what inspires me.
AND NOW 2009. Changes are needed, that's clear. For many there is excitement and great hope because of our incoming President, President elect Obama. He stands for change and so do I.
While some are talking about the changes that we need to make to ensure more financial success - and while many have made offers assuring us that all we have to do is take this course or buy that product and we will be sure to generate more money, I have begun to think that by doing as they suggest the only ones getting rich are them.
I think finding ways to make more, accumulate more, have more money is an idea whose time is over. I believe that all that you need to know you already know. If you just knew how extraordinary you were, you would have the confidence and the courage to do what deep in your heart, what you know is there to be done. I don't think you need to find out the secret behind the secret, and after receiving and reading the Quantum Cookbook, you don't really need that either.
Deepak Chopra suggests that your first resolution should be "I will make relationships the first priority and consumption the last".
Anna Quindlen, who writes in Newsweek commented that we "have been on an acquisition binge for decades", and suggests that having less may mean that your family will appreciate their possessions more.
And George Lorimer (1867-1937) who was Editor of the Saturday Evening Post said, "It is good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good too, to check up once in a while and make sure you haven't lost the things money can't buy."
I have a sense that 2009 will be a wonderful year that affords us the growth of the things money can't buy. Please be sure I'm not advising you to live in poverty. And I'm surely not telling you not to make money and enjoy the things that money can buy. I am just suggesting that we are being called upon to change our attitude, change our focus, and alter what we consider to be success.
I believe that the breakdown in our economy has come from what up until this very moment has been the importance of "stuff". When the focus is on stuff, there is never enough of it. The accumulation of "things", which has been held up as the golden calf is an idea whose time is done, over, kaput! It is time to replace the obsession with materialism with a commitment to relationship, love, and the service to others. For many it's a time to bring spirituality back into our lives. It's a shift from selfishness to selflessness. We can do it. YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!
Ask anyone who was involved in the service of others after 9/11 or Katrina and they will tell you that it was an awakening for them. They became clear about what was really important. We don't have to have a disaster to be caring and loving to each other, do we?
What I remember most about my childhood is not the gifts I received on my birthdays. Maybe I got some great gifts, but I can't remember any of them (except my Sparkle Plenty Doll). I do remember my Dad washing my hands before dinner every night. I remember the feeling of his soft and comforting hands around my little hands and the sensation of the soap bubbles. I remember sitting on his lap while he read me a story. I remember my mother teaching me how to knit. I remember having dinner at my grandmother's house each Friday night. Those are the things I remember. It doesn't take money to create loving and joyful memories for your children and grandchildren. It doesn't take money to impact the lives of the people around you.
Yes, change is being called for. Many have heartfelt dreams. We are being called upon to pursue our dreams at the same time remembering what's really most important - each other, each and every, together.
I wish you a year filled with health, happiness, full self-expression and prosperity. I wish for you all that you wish for yourself and then some. But I beg you to think about what really matters most, and to remember that who you are (not what you have) is what really makes the difference. Make your New Year's Resolution be to serve others. Think of how joyful you will be on December 31, 2009 when you look back on your year and know that, perhaps for the first time, you kept your New Year's Resolution.