Resolutions get a bad rap because they are usually associated with things you don't want instead of focused clearly on what you do want. When you think about what you don't want, it doesn't feel good. And when you don't feel good, your actions that come from not feeling good tend not to make you feel good. When you focus on what you want, truly seeing and feeling it in your imagination, being aware that you're not focusing on the absence of it, the action you take is going to carry you in the direction you want to go, even if may be in the tiniest of steps. You don't need to get rid of old habits if you form enough new ones that the old ones just lose their space, fall back and start to disappear.
So instead of resolutions - which I have to say - I just looked up the word, and it's not the most dreamy, romantic one...It's based on determination. Which in my interpretation, implies a struggle. If you need to use determination, it means you have to work hard in a way a that is pushing against something - this creates resistance more than progesss in the direction of your dreams and goals. Which is why most resolutions aren't easy - otherwise we wouldn't even need to make them. We'd just do it. So how do we make changes without struggle? How do we motivate ourselve in the direction of our desires without fighting and clawing our way there and giving up in the process?
It is so easy to do things that feel good and amazing. Especially once you get good at ignoring the voice in your head that tells you these aren't the most important things to be doing. They always are. For me, the easiest example is taking a shower. I often drag my feet and use the excuse that I'm too busy and the children will eat each other if I leave them alone, but omg, after a shower I feel so good. The way my day unfolds after having a shower always feels better.
What if instead of using determination, we could find small ways to let inspiration lead us to our goals? Here's why this is a win win - because it takes the focus off some perceived change in the future and makes you focus on the actual moment you have in front of you. Which is the only moment that holds real power to make change. And because worse case scenario - if you don't reach your goal, you'll have enjoyed so many small moments along the way that you are going to feel damned good. And isn't that the whole point of your goals? You think in the achieving of them, you're going to feel good.
I want to say that I do respect passion driven hard work, where you just can't stop, you end up staying up half the night just to finish. But by the time you've figured out how to ride that excitement, you could argue that it's no longer hard, and it's no longer work. So do we quit if it feels hard? Do we avoid anything that feels difficult, like we need to muscle through it? Not necessarily. But I think at those moments where it becomes a struggle instead of feeling drawn, there is another option between pushing and stopping.
A pause implies that you are not stopping your momentum, you're just holding still for a second before you release and continue moving forward. You don't pause a movie that you don't plan to come back to after a bathroom break...A pause means hold on, I'll be right back. Just a moment. And the big magic solution here is going to be what happens during that pause. The bad news is I can't tell you exactly what that's going to be for you...The good news, is I plan to spend 2017 exploring and sharing what I do in that pause. And I have a feeling that stillness that is an important part of a pause.
Taking moments of stillness when I need them, and stepping out of frustration and into inspiration. And practicing this art until it becomes a habit. Whether it is dealing with three year olds full of their own ideas or living a healthier lifestyle or getting started on projects that have lain in fallow fields and are now ready to be seeded...So I won't be running away from frustration and abandoning challenges, but I also won't be blindly pushing through...I'm looking for transformation. A new way to see the situation, something I discover about myself, tools to help me ease myself in the direction I want to move...All of this I so very much look forward to discovering.
I want to learn how to motivate myself with inspiration. I want to be gentle and kind to myself while accomplishing things that have often seemed elusive for me. I want to discover what makes me want to do the work and what transforms it from being work. If I don't make this my mission, I'm going to continue doing the same-old, just under different guises. I want more moments where I feel good, not just an accomplishment at the end. I want to feel good while I accomplish. Whoever said you can't have your cake and eat it too - I want to prove them wrong.
I'm starting by making a list of all the things my heart desires, as putting it into words and writing it down makes it tangible. This isn't a to do list, this is a reminder of what matters to me. Where to look in the pauses. When I need to pivot from frustration to inspiration, this list is the first place I'll look, because even if these things don't look like they'll get me to where I want to go, they all make me feel good. And feeling good is the first step to making good things happen.
Things I want to do with my life, my moments:
-Feel music in my body.
-Hug my babies and see them more clearly.
-Stay present with their challenges and see how things are working out for them and me at the same time.
-I want to enjoy my sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.
-Feel the surge of excitement for the possibility the day can hold.
-Fill my moments with clarity.
-Hold onto the present moment and ride it like a bucking bronco through the ups and downs, the wildness of my thoughts and ideas, my collisions with other's ideas, hang onto it like the tail of a comet.
-I want to cook beautiful food that feels good in my body.
-I want to play and make art and use my hands.
-I want to explore with my babies, discover new places, get lost in the woods (not literally), feel nature in my bones.
-I want to lay under trees.
-I want to sit still in the sun.
-Look up at the stars more often.
-Sing out-loud more often.
-Sit and laugh with friends. Like laugh so hard it hurts.
-I want to be silly and use my body in more silly ways.
-I want to make my children laugh.
-I want to travel, and even if it isn't far, see the world through the newness of an adventurer's eyes.
-Take more moments to see my husband, to just look at him, not in terms of what needs to be done to survive the day, but to see who he really is.
-Hug my mom longer, harder, and more often.
-Enjoy my physicality, the incredible way my body moves to do even the simplest tasks, like getting out of bed in the morning.
-Ask beautiful questions.
-Hold my babies hands and feet as much as I possibly can.
-Put on lip gloss just because it feels good.
-Relish the shit of out small moments and tasks.
-Develop a clearer vision of all that I already have.
-Remember that where-ever I am is the perfect place to start.
-Share my inspirations with those seeking.
-See the magic in the people in my life. Make new friends who are radiant.
-Become that radiant friend.
-Spend more time in the belly of my heart.
My list goes on a bit longer, and I'm always adding to it, but I'll stop it there. I'd recommend making your own list and putting it on your phone or somewhere you can see it when you need it. Two important tips: make sure you word everything in terms of what you want, not what you don't want. It only works if the focus is on your desires. These aren't resolutions, they are your desires. Second, make sure everything on that list feels good when you imagine doing it. If not, take it off for now.
Here's to the best feeling year yet!