The Un-Resolution

Here it is, New Year’s Eve, eve. We’re standing on the threshold of yet another new year faced with the question many of us entertain each time this milestone bears down on us – what do I want to change in the coming year? But really the question that begs answering is how do I want to change in this New Year?

I gave up the practice of making New Year’s resolutions sometime ago. In the past they typically included eating less sugar, drinking more water, getting regular exercise, re-establishing a yoga practice and meditating every day, writing everyday and getting more sleep. The usual. Every year. I was never able to follow through with any of them for more than a few weeks, much less all of them. This inability inevitably felt like failure so I gave it all up. Publicly I gave it up. As in, “Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions?” “No,” I’d answer. “I gave up that practice years ago.”

But privately, of course, I still think about it. After all, edging up to a fresh year gives me the opportunity to make a fresh start. It seems a shame to look it in the eye and take a pass. Then I saw this on my Facebook page (Thank you Sundari):

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And it poses an even better question. How can I change the state of the Union? Heck, let’s go for broke. How can I, lil ol’ me, change the world? By changing my perspective. By changing my focus. By changing my intent. If I change my perspective from judgment of others to one of love and acceptance, the need for defensive posturing will abate. If I change my focus from one of fear of another to trust in the love and support of God, (you can substitute the word you use to name the Mystery here,) I will inform the Universal Consciousness with love rather than fear, which will in turn inform the perspective of each individual on earth. If I change my intent to one of compassion in each encounter I will take one step closer to a compassionate world in each of those encounters.

And just as importantly, if I listen to that voice, the one that says, Come play! (That little voice we discussed last time, remember?) – really listen – I will be entertaining angels! The angels are always with us, always guiding us, constantly providing us whispers that will set us on our path, or keep us there. That voice, I swear, is the one that says, “Drink more water.” “Go for a walk.” “Quiet your mind so you can hear us more clearly.” It doesn’t take resolutions. We just have to learn to listen, and then of course to follow through. That’s where ego gets in the way and trips us, on the follow through. But hey, we’re here to practice. And we have a whole new year available to us to do just that.

How do you deal with the practice of making New Year’s Resolutions?

 

More information on ego interference, Self-Sabotage, changing your perspective, hearing your angels, and so much more can be found in my book, Journey From Ego, The Path to Healing available at Amazon.com, Balboa Press.com and your favorite book dealer.

Come Play!

I follow a number of blogs. Most of them are related to writing in some way or other, how-to’s and what-not-to-do’s when writing short fiction, novels, blogs. Jeff Goins at Goin’s Writer focuses on grabbing the ring as a writer, that is, acknowledging to others our avocation as  writers, and on blog writing and how to create a tribe for yourself and how to gain subscribers to your blog. And he’s good at it and he’s making a living by writing these days. Joe Bunting over at The Write Practice remains more focused on writing fiction, and he also is living on his writing. Christi Krug’s blog, Kindling encourages us to just sit down and write something – anything because if we’re compelled to write, to be writers, then what’s stopping us?

Steven Pressfield Online answers that question. Resistance. In his book, The War of Art he explains how resistance keeps us from our work, writing, that one activity that writers are compelled to do, but tend to avoid. It’s a dilemma we all seem to face. We want our words to be read, but we’re afraid to share them. So we let that voice in our heads, the one Mr. Pressfield names resistance, the one I call ego, talk us out of sitting down.

There are always tasks that are more important than writing for the person who is not making a living with his words, and there is an infinite number of reasons for placing what we love most at the bottom of our to-do list. It makes absolutely no sense. I learned, in one of Ms. Krug’s classes a couple of years ago that I was a “perfectionistic procrastinator” – not her words, but those of a guest speaker. I laughed out loud. Actually, I think I guffawed. People looked at me. I clapped my hand over my mouth. I was that person. I had to have the perfect spot to sit in order to write, the perfect journal, the perfect pen – no, pencil because what if I messed up and needed to erase? All of those needs effectively kept me from writing much of anything. When I finally did start writing, thanks to Christi, I then had to acknowledge my fear of being heard.

Fear. That word again. Resistance. Ego. That pit-in-the-stomach, dry-mouthed, clammy-handed thief. It steals our POWER! It usurps our CONTROL! Ego keeps us living small because we allow it to. We believe it when it tells us that our writing isn’t good enough, or original enough, or smart enough, or funny enough. That voice keeps us from engaging in the activity we love the most.

Until we stop listening.

What is ego/resistance keeping you from? What is it that sits on your shoulder and whispers, How about now? Come play! How will your life be enriched when you start listening to that voice instead of the ego-voice?

 

 

 

Ego: The Voice of Fear

I recently began following the a blog called Zen Habits, written by Leo Babauta at www.zenhabits.net. His most recent post, the one I received in my email this morning is titled, “Finding the Motivation to Change Your Entire Life”. In it he included the following list of issues that get in the way of making the changes we wish to make in our lives, whether they be great or small:

  • Fear of change
  • Not wanting to be uncomfortable
  • Fear of uncertainty
  • Being tired
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of not being good enough
  • Not having time
  • Being busy with all kinds of things
  • Waiting for something to happen
  • Perfectionism
  • Being overwhelmed with all that you have to do
  • Not knowing how

Leo acknowledges that habits can be challenging to break and provides strategies for dealing with the fears that keep us from changing. (You’ll have to look him up to see the rest of the post; I can’t give it all away here.)  He encourages us to face our fears and not be overwhelmed by them.

I encourage you to examine that voice of fear, the one that talks incessantly in your head, the one that tells you that you are tired, afraid of failure, not good enough. The voice is real. It is the voice of your ego. It messes with you. It keeps you living small and responding to life in habitual patterns that lock you in and keep you from making the changes you desire.

The voice of ego is not you. Ego usurps control over you and keeps you enslaved to it. I ask you, just for today, to listen, really listen to the voice that you hear talking in your head all day. Pay attention. What does it say to you? How does it influence you? How do you feel when you hear its words?

Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you!