The New Year is here, 2020, and January has always been the month of setting goals and making a list of ‘New Year’s Resolutions!
Start this new project that I have been procrastinating
Go on a diet
Meditate more and be more disciplined
Spend less money, save more
Try harder or try less
And the list goes on!
Depending on how we are wired, our New Year’s resolutions can be about finances, mental health, behaviours which we dont like or dont serve us or they could be about our spirituality and our place in the world.
And…have you noticed that they tend to last about a week? Two weeks? A month maximum! January.
Then we tend to ‘fall back’ into the old habits, old patterns that get sticky and we tend to feel disappointed or even angry with ourselves.
You know why this tends to happen, at least most of the time??!
Its because Resolutions typically are a ‘fix’, an ‘improvement’ to something that we reject or deny, a ‘betterment’ to something that we consider to be worse/bad/less. In other words, two aspects of ourselves are in battle, at war: the one who is ‘better’ in the future and the other who is ‘worse’ in the present. And we typically get lost in the battle, we get consumed and overwhelmed by the intensity of the resulting suffering we experience – anxiety, low self-esteem, sadness, self/other/world-criticism, feeling ‘not enough’ etc etc.
New Year’s ‘good intentions’ are mostly – or can be – mental strategies of repression and oppression that breed and fuel unconscious destructive self and other projections that stifle our aliveness, compassion and soulful orientation in life.
Don’t get me wrong here though…
there is an innate yearning inside all of us to embody our Potential, to tune in to the ever Present Wholeness inside and to express that Wholeness in the world.
There is a yearning to FEEL and BE that POTENTIAL! The expression of that unwavering and ever present potential is the expression of the Soul.
When Resolutions are Fixes or Improvements, our ever present Potentiality is NOT seen or acknowledged. What is only seen is what the conditioned mind sees: LACK and how to FILL IT.
And we keep on trying to FILL IT…and we suffer.
There is a different approach however. A different approach to ‘change’, to ‘transformation’, to ‘resolution’ that gradually shifts the way we see ourselves and the world.
Its STOP FILLING THE LACK…
So, whatever your New Year intentions, resolutions and circumstances are…
Stop Now… Pause…Reflect and…
1) Write down on a piece of paper three New Year’s resolutions that will include the what, how, how much, why, when.
2) Identify what beliefs and views you have about yourself and/or others related to the ‘old you’ and the ‘new you’.
3) When you hold each belief, how does it make you feel? Identify the emotions. Take time here. For example, notice how it makes you feel to believe that you are fat, or broke, or unhealthy etc. Feel it fully in your body and be aware. Let it be there. Breathe. Soften. Ground your attention to the sensations of the emotion in your body. Be patient and allow the energy to flow. Let it integrate back to wholeness. There is nothing you are doing. It just happens when we let it, in other words, when we dont judge it.
4) Ask ‘what does this ‘old/bad’ behaviour try to FILL?’ For example, comfort eating or chain smoking or procrastinating or not being able to meditate regularly etc etc what do they fill,what do they try to ‘fix’, ‘resolve’, ‘distract from’? What is the need they try to satisfy? These behaviours are there as SIGNPOSTS NOT AS SINS OR BAD HABITS. They are there to alert you to a deeper wound, a space inside (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual) that needs YOUR FULL, SOFT, ALLOWING and compassionate attention and time. Offer it. Your attention, your awareness, your presence with what you feel mobilises your already-there POTENTIAL! This is transformative. Authentic Healing.
5) Express the emotions creatively and with presence, either through movement, art, singing, walk in nature, breath and so on. Take time. Notice how it all moves and how you are AWARE. There is always awareness, notice that.
6) Notice what is present inside you now. What qualities: emotional, mental, physical are there? Are any of these qualities representing what you believed to be the ‘new you’? If so, give them attention and expression. For example, you may feel a sense of inner calmness or strength, or determination, or courage, or clarity – even if they are subtle or even co-existing with more dense feelings – thats OK! Act in a way that amplifies these…and Breath. Amplifying could be as simple as shouting out ‘Strength!’, for example, BUT it has to be real, a felt sense already present not a fake affirmation.
7) Offer a ‘thank you’ to yourself, to the room or space you are in that held you during this exploration. Give a thanks to life itself, the mystery of Life itself – she is not in your Control and she asks YOU to TRUST with all your heart…
8) Take steps in applying these embodied felt qualities – little by little – into your every day life cultivating a gradual emergence of a desired behavior. Be open and aware to engaging with the above process over and over again. This is not about the end goal but about your Emergence in your Full Potential which always embraces, and therefore integrates, whats is viewed as undesired!
TRUST in yours and Life’s ever present POTENTIAL!
If you are interested in exploring this pathway, there are Free Mindfulness courses that Im teaching with Devon Recovery Learning Community and with Somerset Well-Being and Learning Community. The timetables will be out soon. Drop me an email.
And for a deeper immersion to the Soul Work, join the non-residential retreat in Glastonbury on the 22nd-23rd of February called
REST IN BEING, MOVE TO THE SOUL
From my heart to yours in your Full Potential this year and every year <3