Happy New Year, Dear Friends! I have loved the Christmas break and all of the holidays this year in spite of the fact that I am feeling a huge relief that they are over. Before Thanksgiving I had lost 17 pounds. I managed by the undeniable Grace of God to stay the same, during a 5 day vacation, several parties and eating out more than I did all year prior to Thanksgiving in 2014. Oh and goodies brought to our door nearly everyday during December were a challenge. After handling that poorly, I have decided on a new approach for next year. Simply put, divide these gifts into reasonable portions and freeze. Snack bags are "in" at our house.
So I'm doing the One Word Challenge this year again instead of New Year's Resolutions for the third time. I really like it. It is uplifting and consciousness-raising to have one uplifting and hopeful thing to focus on every day of the new year. The first year I used the word "Believe" to motivate me. This past year my word was "Remember." Oh, that was a good one. I add the word to my blog side bar and the New Year's thoughts about it via a link to remind myself when I need extra motivation. It works. My word for 2015 is "Seek."
This word kept coming to my mind when I was thinking about what I want to do differently this year. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has 13 Articles of Faith. Google that to see what all of them are if you are curious. The one I will be focusing on this year is #13 which reads.
"13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."I love and believe all of this but this year I want to focus particularly on the last sentence. "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."
I love that and I want my life to be filled with things that are virtuous and lovely. I am a white hat kind of a person. I don't like or enjoy the dark side of life. It brings me down and makes me feel unmotivated and defeated. Seeking the good in life is important to my health. Mental, Spiritual and Physical, Emotional and Social. If I am seeking the light of goodness I am far less likely to be sad, critical or unkind. Goodness is a reason to feel motivated to move forward.
I don't want to stagnate or backslide or to be lazy. So I have to seek the light to progress. There is no joy for me in seeking the sinister, the dark, the things that promote unhappiness and dissonance in my life. So I need to be seeking the opposite. All the time. Of course it takes intentional living and choices.
I want to seek to understand other people and their actions that sometimes confuse and upset me. "Seek first to understand then be understood," as Stephen Covey said. If a person is motivated by good intentions but makes mistakes..I want to seek to be more tolerant and forgiving of that. Seeking to understand another helps bring peace and a focus outward, not inward.
When we lose ourselves we find ourselves through loving what sometimes seems impossible. With Christ it is doable. On our own, not always so much. So Seeking the blessings of the atonement to be forgiven for our own weakness is important and we should always seek it. But this year I want to seek healing from the atonement more. Belief in His Gifts allows us to change. I am seeking change in my areas of weakness. I will be seeking the things that come through studying, pondering and praying for the things we need and the things that others need in their struggles. As I have sought that in the past I have become more aware all the time of the constant need of our prayers for others. More love and concern for others just naturally bring goodness and light into our lives.
I am seeking to be more adventuresome in certain areas, like getting out of my comfort zone and seeking to learn new ways of doing things that produce better results. Especially with regard to health and reducing, if not eliminating chronic pain, etc.
I am seeking to find more ancestors though continual learning of the things I need to know. Then I can share them and be a more effective teacher also. I want to pursue many other areas of interest as well, by seeking new learning in all of them. Learning is so importnat to me, it always has been but now more than ever before in my life. I am seeking better time management skills and better sleeping patterns to eliminate fatigue during peak hours. I have been working on this more and it is helping. I'll seek to be like a fine tuned machine that functions at its best by very purposeful and intentional living. This is a skill that can be learned. It takes balance and discipline and desire and I am seeking all of those.
I truly do want to live that last line of the 13th Article of Faith everyday this year. To do it I am also seeking grace. Grace for my failures and weaknesses, with a focus on progress (which is uplifting) not perfection as the world views it (which can be oppressive.) I'm seeking to press forward in faith, believing the I can do it and remembering all of my blessings. The kindness of wonderful people all around me and the love I receive daily for God, good family and fabulous friends is very motivating. And I am seeking to remember the words of the prophet, Spencer W. Kimball who said that the only real limits a person has are the limits he places upon himself. With God all things are possible.
So I will be doing a lot of Seeking and Searching in 2015! Are you going to choose a word to guide you this year? I hope you try it, it's fun I am seeking fun too! Seeking the best with my better half!
Muir Woods for Seeking Peace!
Seeking the best for this tall, dark and handsome Italiano!
If you want to know more about this idea read this incourage.com article.
May this year bring you all that your heart desires. For me that means being a SEEKER. You?