Each year so many of us start out super enthusiastic about change. Yet, by day 3 or 4 or week 3 or 4 of the new year we fail. Why?
The biggest reason is because we live in Multiplicity, or many parts of self. We have multiple 'I's - I want this, I feel this, I need this, I believe this, I think this, I don't want that.
Overtime, because of unprocessed pain and trauma, we mentally and emotionally split off parts of ourself from our sense of original wholeness and these parts eventually take on a life of their own. They are not real, but are mental constructs we create to protect ourself and help us make sense of the world. We keep these parts alive by continually feeding them (listening and giving into their demands). So there is a part that loves wine, a part that wants sobriety, a part that rationalizes, a part that feels, one that loves shopping, another that is a minimalist, a part that is cluttered, the good girl, rebel, mediator, meditator, jokester, and so on.
There is a part that wants to do better, to self-improve, and it thinks the New Year is a great time for change. Unfortunately, this part often gets taken over by another part (ego/false self) which sets up grandiose, unrealistic and overly ambitious resolutions. A pure part started the process wanting change, but the ego/false self comes in wanting BIG CHANGE and RESULTS NOW. It doesn't take into account time, energy and the reality of our schedules. It also does not take into account our habitual patterns and default emotional comfort zones that have been conditioned over time. In other words, it forgets about the other parts which will eventually surface for their piece of the pie.
So this part sets these lofty goals - I am going to walk 12000 steps, go to the gym for an hour workout 4 times a week, eat zero sugar, sleep 8 hours a night, and drink 3 gallons of water everyday. Fantastic! We are pumped and ALL IN on day 1, 2, 3.... maybe even the first whole month. And then, one of the parts finds a reason to sabotage our efforts, often because the original intentions were too many, too much.
Not to worry on this though... Multiplicity has you covered because as soon as you fail at completing your commitment... as a protection, another part of you will come in with convincing excuses and justifications - I got sick, a friend needed my help, work got too stressful, the kids needed me, I will get back to it tomorrow, I can't be perfect, etc. Yes life happens, and we need to make space for this... but often when life happens, we don't actually get back on track. This is again because of multiplicity and ego. The ego (various parts) wants all the rewards with little-to-no effort.
Another way we can fail is by setting unmeasurable (aka unaccountable) goals - I am going to be more loving, less judgmental, I am going to drink less, eat more raw foods, etc. This sounds good but is simply another way of spinning on the hamster wheel.
Here are a few tips to succeed with your ReSOULutions:
1) Set Measurable Baby-Step Actions you can do daily - I do 32 day processes and started my first one on January 1st with 5 self-care goals daily - minimum of 6,000 Steps, 32 ounces of Water, Meditate 10 minutes, Conversation with my Higher Self for 25 minutes, and Study A Course in Miracles lesson.
2) When possible, get as many of your self-care practices done early in the day.
3) Track your progress on some sort of checklist daily - in a.m. and p.m.
4) Get the support of a friend (I started a 32 Day Facebook group).
5) If you miss a day, begin again the very next day.
6) Be gentle with yourself, but not a pushover. There are parts of us that do not want to do anything hard, boring, ordinary or uncomfortable. Those parts (hint: ego/false self) should not be leading.
A couple years before I quit my teaching job I saw a psychic who said I was going to quit my job and become a free agent spreading hope, love and inspiration in unconventional ways. I was upset (and doubted her intuitive abilities) because I couldn’t wrap my head around how I would survive financially. She offered little in terms of comfort except to say that I was a free spirit. This actually brought up more anxiety because I was rigid, orderly, rule-oriented and controlling and although I admired 'free spirits,' I also cringed at the idea of being that wild, carefree and potentially irresponsible.
She went on to say that I did things backwards which would be a great advantage for me. She said many free spirited types who come into the world and live unstructured, unplanned, free-flowing lives often end up in midlife broke, battered and bitter because they lacked the necessary discipline and drive to get their earthly shit together. It gets harder as you get older to build structure and support systems, and change is much more difficult.
She said, 'You did it differently. You were born free but became weighted down by pain and experiences. These weights in some ways anchored you and helped you develop great strength and survival skills. You built the inner foundation and structure first. You wanted to get your feet planted firmly on the ground before letting yourself even dream of flying – a sort of full on embrace the caterpillar experience before earning your butterfly wings.'
That made sense to me, though I still had no idea how anything was going to work out – Thank God. Had I known the tests and struggles, I may not have had the courage (or insanity) to take the leap of faith and follow my less-structured blossoming heart.
It’s been one heck of a long, often broke and sometimes bitter road since I taught my last kindergarten class in 2008. I have wanted to give up and run back to the sanctuary and security of classrooms and regular paychecks often - especially this past year. One day, I dream of being able to afford new clothes, real vacations, maybe even a house, and time to socialize and be 'normal' again. But for now I’m living moment to moment following the passions of my heart and the wisdom of my soul. The earthly knowledge and skills my mind has learned along the way are also incredibly supportive. I call the heart-mind-spirit connection the holy Trinity. They are housed within our bodies. Our greatest potential comes through cooperation, communication and collaboration - uniting as a team inside. Spirit (soul) leads the way with purpose and vision, my heart (emotions) brings the connection and passion, and my mind has the knowledge and experience to get things done in physical form.
In consciousness and the evolution of mankind we need both sides – the disciplined, structured, hard working, sensible, logical, responsible, have-a-plan, make-your-mark ego (as in healthy ego) or human-ness. AND the free flowing, trusting, intuitive, creative, rejuvenating, spacious, gracious soul. The form and the flow. The way and no way. Efforts and Grace. Science and Spirit. Masculine and Feminine. Shadow and Light… and all the in-betweens. Through it all I have come to understand deeply one of my favorite quotes...
"It takes tremendous discipline to be a free spirit." ~Gabrielle Roth
Love & Light,
It's crazy out there! Mass shootings, terrorism, insane politicians, religious bashing, racism, hate crimes, broken homes, intense fighting and more. While some say this is one of the least violent times in history, the agenda-driven media and our ability to catch news worldwide can lead us to believe that the world is coming to an end.