You know I don’t believe in obligation. I believe in choice.
However, while most people think they are making new choices around the New Year, what they are actually doing is often moving from a habit of not wanting to feel something.
Most New Year’s resolutions or intentions, or whatever new fangled name you have for the same old thing, are made out of a desire to NOT feel something.
Imagine setting intentions from a place of true desire, rather than aversion; creating goals out of an authentic drive to dive deeper, rather than an unconscious habit to pull away.
Now, it’s all fine and good to recognize cause and effect and to work towards feeling more of how we want and less of ways we don’t want to.
I consistently go to bed later than I like, and I consistently wake up more tired and grouchy than I’d like.
Simple solution: Make a resolution to be in bed by 10 pm.
However, what this misses is taking a deeper look at why I consistently go to bed later than I’d like to. What am I avoiding that’s creating me going to bed late every night?
If I don’t set a very clear intention around being willing to feel whatever that is (not just getting into bed at 10 pm), I will fail.
My resolution actually has to be to feel the fear, or anxiety, or loneliness (or whatever), that is driving my choice to watch Netflix until the wee hours on a regular basis.
If I’m not committed to feeling that, no amount of willpower, or support, or time management systems, will help me with my getting to bed on time issue.
And, in fact, setting my goal around sleep and bedtime is one of the ways I will continue to avoid the deeper feeling(s) – because now I have something external to put my attention on, as a new way to avoid the feeling(s).
Funny thing is: If I truly feel that feeling – all the way down – I may not even need as much sleep as I thought I did. The staying up late, the grouchiness the next day, the Netflix until midnight – these are all just symptoms.
Same with most other kinds of goals and intentions and resolutions people set.
Make some arbitrary amount of money.
This is usually to avoid feeling limited in some way.
We’ll couch it in all kinds of fancy language about ‘creating freedom’ etc, but at its core, it’s some version of fear of limitation.
Be willing to feel that fear,* and find the place where you are free, not only with none of your life circumstances changing but even in the midst of that fear!
This is usually an avoidance of feeling shame or discomfort or guilt or rejection (which usually translates to grief and/or loneliness).
Yeah, yeah, we know you just want to ‘feel good in your body,’ and by all means, do that!
But don’t jump so quickly over the part of you that doesn’t. Sit with that part first. Feel it fully, without shame or blame. Just feel. Feel it while you sit on the couch not exercising and feel it as you get yourself out for your first run of the year. You are not a better person for running. You are not a lesser person for sitting on the couch.
So, before you go crazy with your goals and intentions and lists of new behaviors – take some time to sit and feel what’s behind each goal.
And be willing to feel what you don’t want to feel.
Now, I’m not saying this is easy. Most of us have been avoiding these feelings for years, sometimes decades, or even our whole lives. There have been good reasons to not feel. We have created our lives by not feeling these feelings.
But I promise you: If you make a commitment to going deeper into your true embodied experience this year, miracles will occur.
*This is very different than believing the story that you are limited!
Watch the full video and feel free to leave your questions and comments below.