Cheers, it's New Year’s Eve!
I don’t know about you, but I've been getting lots of emails about resolutions, intentions, goals. I even got one a couple days ago about New Year’s “declarations” instead of resolutions. Hmmmmm... sure sounds like the same thing.
There’s something about all of it that rubs me the wrong way. Here’s what it is: we live in a culture that’s all about the doing, striving, hustling, reaching. And we're all up in the doing + striving + hustling + reaching ALL. YEAR. LONG. 365 days a year, right? And if we’re not, we feel guilty about it. So here's a big fat "No thanks, I'll pass" to all of this social, external pressure on us to lose 20 pounds or journal every morning or do the juice cleanse or whatever other goals we’re being steered towards... I'm not buyin' the idea that I'll be "more worthy" or "better" or "more valuable" if I lose weight or journal more or drink more juice.
I love this quote from Sonya Renee Taylor when she was a guest on Brene Brown's Unlocking Us podcast (you can listen right here): “As long as my value is dependent on someone’s greater or lesser value, then it demands a world where there are people that are less valuable than me.”
So many of my clients are trying to unwind the doing, the constant external pressure, the comparison, the hustle, the earning, the proving of their worthiness in that daily grind. I don't think we need to turn the dial up on all the doing - we’re already doing that.
Where many of us need practice is on the being side - who am I being right now? And who do I want to be? That feels more important to me than setting another goal or intention or resolution (or "declaration"!).
I’d like to invite you to feel into this being thing if it speaks to you. Because we can set a bunch of big goals (or intentions / resolutions / declarations), and some of them we may even reach, but we’re not robots. Who I’m being... when I set a goal, or while I'm moving towards my goal, or after I've achieved my goal matters. If I’m beating myself up about not having a morning routine in 2020 and I’m coming from a place of shame and self-flagellation as I set my resolution to "do better next year", how is that going to feel when I miss a day or when I completely stop doing it all together before February 1?
And again, just like with the doing that we’re all so conditioned for, we’re also extremely conditioned to judge ourselves. We don’t need more practice in self-judgment or in setting a super ambitious goal and then feeling like shit when we don’t reach it.
I’d like to offer you an alternative approach. What if you spent some time feeling into (this could be in your head, in your journal, or with a friend) who YOU want to be in this next year.
Do you want to be more kind?
Those are a few of mine. I want to hold myself with more kindness and compassion when I am not “productive“ or when I make a mistake. I want to bring more play and outrageousness to my daily life. I want to be more loving with myself and others. Even when I'm insensitive or I don't exercise for months (not exaggerating!) or I don't accomplish something that I really wanted to.
For so many years, I used doing against myself. I also hid out in the doing so I didn't have to feel what I was really feeling. I set ambitious goals, and in many cases, I reached them. But they cost me a lot. And I lost sight of who I was being while I was reaching them. The year that I made the most income was also the year I took the worst care of myself. Like empty fridge and "forgot" to make important doctor's appointments level of self-care abandonment. No destination is worth a self-abandoning journey.
So who do you want to be? Where do you need more practice? Is it in the hustle and grind, or is it in the surrendering, the letting go, the allowing? I'd love to hear more about who you want to be if you feel like sharing in the comments below.
I'm sending you my deep gratitude for choosing to be in community with me and for bravely sharing your true hopes and challenges with me. My wish for you is that you receive moments of peace and joyful self-appreciation as we welcome a new year (and far beyond!).