It's almost 4 weeks into the new year and time to check in on my New Year's Resolutions. If you are now smacking yourself in the forehead and saying, "Oh, yeah, New Years resolutions," maybe it's time for a resolution reboot for yourself!
This year I made a new set of 6-word Resolutions, and 4 weeks later, I still think they fit:
Quiet: Take time every day to listen
Exercise: 2 hours, 6 days, every week
Nourish: Food that feeds me body and soul
Play: Time each day with each one
Love: Notice resistance, be myself, embrace vulnerability
Serve: Offer what I have freely, frequently
I am rocking my "quiet time." I have some specifics to my plan which include a minimum of 10 minutes each for meditation, life-giving reading, and journal writing, as well as structured processing and daily Mass 5 days a week. If this sounds like a lot to you, just imagine how noisy my world is and you can imagine that I may need a bit more structured quiet time than some do.
I am doing stellar with "Serve" right now - and all it implies - and am pleased at my sudden willingness to be very discerning about the ways in which I serve; I am focusing on what is most in line with my purpose in life. I am hitting about 80% on "play" too and have a good eye on my stumbling blocks so I am on track for improvement.
Exercise and nourishing food are my current sticking points. It's not that it's too much for my body, it's my mind that is struggling. My (false) mind talk is, "You shouldn't have to work this hard. It's not fair." And the very dangerous and alluring, "You deserve a break. You've been working so hard." Yes, this is where I get into trouble. It's a vortex and once it has sucked me in, I have to struggle against the inertia to get back out. You are familiar with Newton's First Law of Motion, right? Each day I am recommitting and looking at what happened this time. I keep reminding myself, "It's one more time, it's not too many times."
I am closing in on the false beliefs that are tripping me up, but I'm still a bit in the dark about it. As a child, I visited Mammoth Caves, a National Park in Kentucky. Our guide led us deeper and deeper into the dark and cold cavern and then at one point, all the lights were extinguished. At first, I could not see my hand (literally) in front of my face. Eventually, though, my eyes adjusted and I began to see the light. I could not make out what I was seeing, at first -- it was just a series of grayish blobs --but soon I recognized that it was the far end of the "gallery" in which we were standing. As I relaxed and put some breath in my body, I was able, slowly, to know I was seeing some formations on that far wall, illuminated by some source of daylight beyond the corner.
That's about where I am in untangling those deeply rooted falsehoods that are keeping me down. It ties to my fifth resolution, especially, "embrace vulnerability." In my work, I can see how as a very young child I made a determination to be self reliant. While self-reliance can be an admirable trait, in can also be what deludes me into thinking that "I am in charge" and that I can control things which, frankly, are beyond my control. I'm getting closer to that source of light and can sense a breakthrough right around the corner.
In the meantime, I am very grateful for my resolutions. For me, it's not about being 100% all the time; I'd probably be thinking they were too easy were that the case! Some years, I find they are too ambitious and need to course correct; for now, that is not the case. Instead, these resolutions -- conscious choices, if you will -- are the way in which I am discovering my opportunities for growth. Trying and succeeding, as well as trying and failing, are the proof that I am alive, still learning, still growing, on an onward course of discovery.
No matter what happens today, that knowledge will be enough tomorrow to "pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again." Ah.