Since Liberty & I decided to focus on resolutions and intentions to kick off 2017 for our True You community, I’ve been reflecting on what has and hasn’t worked for me in creating lasting change in my life.
Two lightbulb moments:
- Essentially, what we’re talking about… Lasting, Sustainable, Change. Check in for yourself, but my guess is that when you start making a resolution, or set an intention, what you’re really wanting is something to be different in your life.
- I’m not very good at this. At least not if you measure how my life is now, compared to my dreams. And not if you’re looking for a quick fix answer.
I remember going to a time management class and the illustration of a jack-hammer vs a JCB was used to check in about how we approach getting things done. Classic tortoise vs the hare (or should I say hare vs tortoise).
I fail miserably at both. I start out jack-hammering away, taking quick immediate action, but then run out of steam before there is much traction. And I lose patience with slow and steady, and sometimes give up.
Which is why I’m stating up front, that in general I’m not really good at sticking to resolutions, or even intentions.
I will say this though, when there has been lasting change in my life, it’s when I’m super connected to a deeper desire that is stronger than any surface goal or resolution.
I’ll use my experience with bulimia as an example. My initial resolution with that was to stop binging and purging. And willpower kept me going for 18 months until life caught up with me, and oops, I did it again.
It was at that point that I realized, something else has gotta give, and willpower, just like holding that beach ball under the water, isn’t going to cut it. There was a subtle but important shift from focusing on changing my surface behaviour, to looking within myself and changing my heart. I started asking for Healing.
Fast forward to now looking at areas of my life that I wish were different. I wish our fish farm was fully operational with projected sales that look really good on paper rolling in. I wish The True You Project was further along with all of our exciting ideas in place, working like clock-work. I wish I lived somewhere where there is no sound of traffic constantly whizzing by, and I could open my back door and wander through forests, fields, and hills, without having to get in my car. I wish I was in flow with writing the books I want to write.
Thing is, those are once again surface wishes. And guess what, I had the same wishes last year. Yes there has been progress, but would I call it lasting, sustainable, change? Not really.
So now I have to ask myself, what has to change within my heart?
Two words keep coming to me: Forgiveness. Gratitude.
I’m realizing I harbour a lot of anger and resentment. Towards what? Half the time I don’t know. But it is in me. And it’s time for me to let it go because it’s stopping me from experiencing joy, regardless of my circumstance.
I’m also hyper critical of myself and others, which stops me from taking action that could be so simple.
Forgiveness and Gratitude. First towards myself; then towards others.
That’s my Divine Desire for this year. The desire that is deeply rooted in something that is beyond me, and is also FOR me. It is on my side.
It’s not like I looked at all the options out there and thought, yep, these sound good for 2017.
It’s more like they chose me. My anger keeps rising. My discontentment grows. And the only way past that is through.
I’m not expecting that this ride will be quick or easy. It’s highly likely it will take more than one revolution around the sun to fully embrace them both.
But I’m willing. Because not being able to sustain either the jackhammer or the JCB isn’t really working for me anymore.
And here’s something that just dawned on me…. It’s highly likely that Forgiveness and Gratitude will help me sustain both.
If I can forgive myself for mistakes along the way, including my stopping before I really get started, and my lack of patience to see something through… and if I can learn to be grateful for the results that come, whether or not they meet my expectations… then I’m likely to keep going. Create Consistency.
Consistency is another word that keeps presenting itself. It’s something I’ve fought for a long time, since the last time I set out with an intention to be consistent, I got addicted. And so I have a lot of fear about being consistent, less my drive for achievement start running my life again (reality check, it probably already is…), and what if my consistent action doesn’t actually get me what I want and I face failure again? (not that right now feels anything like success… hmmm…)
I have to forgive my 14, 15, 16 through 20 year-old self, that thought commitment and consistent action… running 7 days a week, gym 3 times a week, situps and pushups daily… would get her what she wanted. I have to forgive myself for letting it define me; replacing #mytrueyou as it got in the way of relationship with myself, others, and something greater than me (I’ll call that God).
Which is ironic. Because my Divine Desire at the time? Relationship. It’s what I craved. I just didn’t know it at the time.
So as you look towards the rest of this year, whether you’re flying high, or life isn’t going the way you wanted it to only 3 weeks in, perhaps try something different and slow down enough to tap into your own Divine Desire. What deeper longing for your life is buried underneath the surface of attractive successes to cross off the list?
Could you make room for your Divine Desire instead?
With love, from Kendra