I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

candcbigThere’s alot of talk this time of year about New Year’s Resolutions. Set goals, make changes, plan for the future. Honestly, just thinking about it is exhausting!

If you read my post No More New Year’s Resolutions at this time last year  you know I realized resolutions, such as getting more organized, losing weight, or paying off debt, were just something I used to beat myself up; to not accept myself as I am. Though they appeared well intended at first, striving for them always kept the life I wanted just out of reach.

Like the ever-elusive dangling carrot, I believed making good on my resolutions would finally make me happy. I was living the “I’ll be happy when” lie. “I’ll be happy when I get to my goal weight, I’ll be happy when my house is organized, I’ll be happy when I pay off my debt.” “I’ll be happy when” is a trap. Because that belief asserts I need to do or be or accomplish something to be happy. And it seemed I could never quite get there. Or, if I did, I couldn’t manage to stay there very long. So a couple years ago I decided to stop making resolutions and just get on with the business of living my life.

Now, instead of resolutions, I set intentions for myself. Ways of being I’d like to be more focused on. Something to come home to when I get off track (and I do) from time to time. My theme for 2013 is Courage and Clarity.

Courage: To be who I am, to follow my dreams, to live by and break my own rules, to stand up for what I believe in and to lay down and rest when I need to.

Clarity: Of heart, body, mind and soul. Tuning inward to hear my intuition and do what’s in my own best interest. Even, or especially, if that means doing nothing at all.

This doesn’t mean I give up the idea of changing things that aren’t working for me or striving for something that’s important to me. It just means I’m not waiting until I do, be, or have something in order to fully inhabit each day as it comes. I can stand in Courage and Clarity at any moment…no matter what’s going on in my life. It’s not easy and I sometimes find myself back on the hamster wheel of DOing instead of BEing. It’s then that I remind myself there’s nothing to do and I have everything I need.

As 2012 comes to a close, my life doesn’t look the way I thought it would when we ushered in this year 365 days ago. I’m struggling with a health issue, I was recently laid off from my job and I really don’t know what’s going to happen next. But surprisingly I feel more at peace than I ever did while I was busy chasing those things I thought would make my life complete.

I do love the magic of a new year. It feels like a turning point where we can leave the past behind and start anew. But the truth is we can don’t have to wait for January 1st. We can start over any day we choose. Every day, every hour, every minute is another opportunity to choose to be present and live the life that’s right in front of us. Those extra pounds and clutter and debt ARE our life. Don’t be so busy trying to change things that you miss how truly perfect it already is.

As we welcome a new year, I’m wishing you peace and presence on this day and every day you are blessed to experience.

……………

I’d love to hear your comments below. If you liked this post, then please ‘Like’ it and share with your friends. And don’t forget to click ‘Follow’ to get email notifications whenever I post something new. But most of all…thank you for reading and being a part of my journey.

Advertisements

Go On…Have A Bad Day

Source: shinyfortheshow

Source: shinyfortheshow

I’m feeling down today. I don’t want to do anything. I don’t have any energy or motivation. I don’t want to sit in front of my computer. And I’m having a hard time being okay with that.

I’ve been reading other people’s Facebook posts and emails about planning and goal setting and making big changes in 2013 and I’m comparing myself. The ‘shoulds’ are out in full force:

  • I should work on my coaching business
  • I should get to my To Do’s
  • I should be encouraging others
  • I should feel fine
  • I should make plans before the week gets away from me
  • I should get dressed (at the very least)

Yesterday I gave myself a day to do nothing. I was tired from all the holiday hubbub and needed to rest. My system is so run down, I have to be extra careful how I expend my energy. So I laid on the couch all day watching TV. It was lovely! And I thought if I gave myself permission to do that, I would be raring to go today.

But I’m not.

Last night as it got dark out, I plugged in the lights on the Christmas tree. I love how they twinkle and sparkle. It feels so magical. But for whatever reason, the lights didn’t work. I’m not sure what happened since they had worked every day up to this point. And it sort of feels like a metaphor for how I’m feeling. For some reason, my internal lights won’t turn on right now either.

This morning as I sat drinking my coffee and looking out the window, I felt a deep sadness. Tears welled up in my eyes and I let them fall. I didn’t realize until that moment I needed to cry. And even as I write this the tears start to come again.

As I think about what message I want to share with you today, it’s the message I most need to hear myself. That it’s okay to feel bad…even when things are going well. You can have a good life and still miss the pieces and parts that didn’t work out the way you’d hoped. You can have a wonderful holiday with friends and family and still miss the one who left a hole in your heart.

I know the more I resist this, the more of a hold it will have on me. And judging myself is just another way of resisting. So I’m letting myself have a ‘bad’ day, knowing it won’t last forever. I’m learning to accept whatever this moment brings me.

For me and for you…sometimes there’s a reason we feel down and sometimes there isn’t one. You don’t need to figure it out. You just need to feel what you feel.

……………

I’d love to hear your comments below. If you liked this post, then please ‘Like’ it and share with your friends. And don’t forget to click ‘Follow’ to get email notifications whenever I post something new. But most of all…thank you for reading and being a part of my journey.

Breaking the Hurry Habit

white-rabbitDo you find yourself rushing through your life? Hurrying through dinner so you can get the dishes done so you can fold the laundry so you can go to bed? Always in a rush to get from one thing to the next? You are not alone.

I recently got laid off from my job. If you’re thinking, “Didn’t you give notice at that job a long time ago?”, you’re right. I gave notice in June and my last day was supposed to be August 31st. But I hadn’t found a new position and my company still needed the help so I stayed on.  And on. And on.

My real last day was November 30th.  So I haven’t worked for over a week and I’ve noticed something interesting.

I’m still rushing.

I thought I would be able to relax now that I don’t have the pressure and the timelines and the deadlines to meet. How relaxing it would be for the first time in two years not to have to be on a conference call at 6am ready to talk about my goals for the day. How nice not to have to report in at the end of the day on where I was with each project. I thought the job was the problem.

I was wrong.

It seems I have this habit of rushing. I first noticed it in the shower the other day when I was vigorously washing my hair. As if I didn’t have the time to enjoy a leisurely shower. I had nowhere to be. I could’ve slowed down and taken my time.

Even right now I’m tightening my stomach and holding my breath.

For the longest time I’ve wanted to do a yoga video I have that’s supposed to help with back pain. I’ve been in alot of pain as a result of forcing myself to sit at my desk for long periods of time without a break. The video takes a whopping 20 minutes. But I couldn’t get myself to do it until yesterday because in my mind ‘I don’t have enough time.’ Seriously? I don’t have 20 minutes a day to take care of myself?

This is actually not new for me. Rushing seems to be my MO. I remember being shown this very clearly when I got together with Cyrus, my former boyfriend. His whole being is definitely in stark contrast to my own. He tends to move more slowly, more deliberately. He has a very calming presence, which is one of the things that attracted me to him in the first place. But calm can be annoying when you move through life as if everything is an emergency…or a race.

I remember the year Cyrus came to visit for Thanksgiving. He wanted to go to the store to pick up a few things. Having worked at a grocery store during the holidays in my past life, I was not thrilled with this idea. So when we got there, I asked him, hurriedly of course, what he needed so I could point him in the right direction and we could get in and out as quickly as possible. The funny thing was we weren’t on a time crunch. I was just in my normal mode of rushing. He wouldn’t tell me what he needed and proceeded to wander somewhat aimlessly up and down the aisles. Looking at this, picking up that. It was infuriating at the time. But it forced me to slow down. To wander. To see there is another way of moving through life.

When I look at my family I can see I have come by this naturally. My dad in particular seems to always be in a hurry. I remember my mom describing his driving. He speeds until he catches up with other cars. Then passes those cars so he can speed to catch up with the next group so he can pass them…and so on. He doesn’t drive to enjoy the drive. He drives to get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible.

And I learned that.

As frustrating as this has been, awareness is the upside. I can shift this habit. I can pay attention. I have a choice. I can take a deep breath whenever I feel myself tightening. I can slow down when I realize I’m in a hurry. I can relax my shoulders when I notice them making their way to my ears. And my guess is, this will exponentially increase my enjoyment of my life (or at least my ability to breathe).

I love this quote by Thich Nhat Hanh…

“When we walk like [we are] rushing, we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth.
We have to walk in a way that we only print Peace and Serenity on the earth…
Be aware of the contact between your feet and the Earth. 
Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
 

Kissing the earth with your feet…I like that. It feels like a completely different energy, doesn’t it? One of softness and love. I know it will take some practice to shift this old habit, but I know it can be done. I plan to take it slowly…one soft step at a time.

……………

I’d love to hear your comments below. If you liked this post, then please ‘Like’ it and share with your friends. And don’t forget to click ‘Follow’ to get email notifications whenever I post something new. But most of all…thank you for reading and being a part of my journey.