By cwhyte, Jan 5 2018 02:19PM
How many of us take this time of year to make resolutons about, getting healthier, breaking addictions, being more sociable, getting organized, taking up new hobbies?
I want to talk about why resolutions fail.
I set myself the resolution to take 20 minutes cardio exercise every day, walking, last year. It started well. I walked a bit but by June it was never regular. Through the rest of the year, and every time I had a brisk walk I reminded myself how I was 'meant' to be doing this every day. I beat myself up, in my head. Every time I managed to get a walk in, I turned that walk into a reminder of how I failed. Every Time.
My work is based on the law that thought influences matter: our thoughts govern our reality. We surround ourselves with stories.
When I think ' I want to get fit', I'm actually thinking. 'I'm unfit and get puffed going up that little hill, I don't like that bit of belly that sort of droops over my knicker line and when did I get so wide?
There is a story, or in this case several stories, that I use to illustrate and 'flesh out' (pun intended) my self image.
Let's look deeper. When I walk 'that little hill (it's actually mercifully short and really very steep)' I'm reminded that my body finds it exhausting. I have a choice. Do I puff and wheeze up the hill wishing I'd gone for more walks and that I'd got myself fit OR do I puff and wheeze up the hill and congratulate myself on getting some cardio time in?
Do I remind myself what a failure I've been OR do I allow myself to do the thing I want to do?
Do I fail or excersise?
That was the easy straight forward one.
When I look at the droopy belly it's not even about excercise. It goes deeper to my stories that explain the expectation of how many children I thought I would have, to what it means, to me, to be a woman, to stories that explain why in some situations I feel so vulnerable and raw.
So as I look up the steep, muddy gradient and brace myself for the climb, my choices are more like: Do I allow those stories to beat me up and define me OR do I allow myself kindness and tenderness in the cardio climb.
In excercising that core am I twisted up in failure; fully focused on my emotional pain and feeling it through excersise (or lack of it) or, am I acting from a place of safety with love and approval of myself and having fun?
Let's suppose I choose kindness and tenderness and allowing myself to do the things I want to do. My New Years Resolution this year then is to be compassionate with myself, to allow myself to choose and to be gentle and understanding about the choices I make, especially when it feels like I have no choice.
Happy New Year, may all your choices be tender.