What does harmony mean to you?
How is harmony defined?
Last year unfolded in ways I did not plan nor how I could have imagined. I do not make resolutions but rather live by a set of words in which I add 3 more words each year to that list. Words that help me to stretch to live authentically. As 2022 came to close I wondered if these words actually help me to achieve harmony in mind, body, and spirit. In my moments of mindfulness in the waning weeks of 2022, free from the pressure of work, of keeping busy, and the need for stimulation, I asked myself these questions.
I had a view of harmony the summer of 2020 before my leukemia diagnosis. The summer of 2020 was spent holed up at our lake house due to the Covid pandemic. It was the happiest summers in recent memory. I wondered if my view of harmony had changed these past two years.
In 2011 before he died, Steve Jobs said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of others. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Quiet thriving in the New Year
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Happiness is where what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
If I am to consider Gandhi’s definition of happiness and follow Steve Job’s advice, I must have the courage to live life fully and in harmony. My heart and intuition already provide the motivation. Words to live by or resolutions, it does not matter. It is the “doing” that sets each of us up to be surprised when the year does not go as we had planned or hoped.
This year I am making 8 promises to myself when my courage wanes and my motivation feels stifled. I will rest within myself and within the present moment to dip my mind and body into these 8 spiritual wells:
Goodness: moral strength
Kindness: exercise compassion
Self-Control: resist reaction
Patience: allowing reason to rule
Faithfulness: being true in words and actions
Gentleness: gracious in hardship and prosperity
Peace: free from anxiety and worry
Love: being rooted in gratitude and acceptance
Whatever I resolve to do whether they are words to live by or resolutions to eat healthier, exercise daily, spend quality time with others or in special activities, I promise myself to live out these 8 spiritual natures.
Harmony, a new view
If my view of harmony has changed since the summer of 2020, it is that each of us would do well to heed the words of Steve Jobs. It does not mean that we are snowflakes, quietly quitting because we expect more from our circumstances than we did in past years, but that we are quietly thriving with greater expectations to live courageously.
Quiet thriving means to keep these 8 spiritual (yes, spiritual) promises. This is what harmony looks like to me. If I keep these promises to myself then I keep these same promises to others.
How do we replenish these spiritual wells?
The answer is possibly different for each of us. I will be commenting on quiet thriving throughout 2023. I hope you will follow the commentary to help you quietly thrive in the new year.
Happy New Year!
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