Have you ever made a new year’s resolution? Were you going to lose fifteen pounds? Be a “better” person? Work out every day? Fight less with your husband or children? Get up earlier?
Most of us were taught that this was a time we could change things. We could judge what was wrong in our lives and join everyone else in a commitment to “improve”. How well did your resolutions turn out? If you’re like most of us, not so well! Were you bewildered? Did you use this “failure” to go to more of the wrongness of you? What no one told you is that new year’s resolutions are pretty much doomed from the start! When we judge that there is something wrong with us, we have to end up separating and fighting with what we have judged, which only strengthens the “wrongness”.
By giving judgments energy, we actually make them real and lock them into place, then end up in an ongoing war with ourselves! This in not to say that you cannot make changes. This trick is to come from an awareness, not a judgment, and ask questions. You can be aware that your body is larger without deciding that this is a horrible, terrible, bad thing. Then you can ask questions like: “OK, I’ve gained twenty pounds, now what’s it going to take to change this?” Or: Body, what can we be or do different here to create a different body size? This may seem similar to a resolution, but it’s actually very different. We can notice that we have gained weight without making it wrong; in other words, without a judgment.
We don’t have to judge to change things. We can have preferences without having a charge to them. Suppose you are the one sleeping late. If you are coming from a judgment, then you might say something like: “What a lazy slob I am! Why can’t I get it together?” (Which is not actually a question – it’s a judgment with a question mark attached!) Coming from an awareness could look something like this: “Sleeping so late is not a contribution to my life and my business. What can I be or do different here to create a different reality with my sleep patterns? Can you get a sense of the difference in the energy here? By not judging ourselves and not insisting on a particular result, there is space for change to happen.
Another reason new year’s resolutions fail is that they are based on someone else’s time table rather than on an awareness of what would work for us at a particular time. Have you noticed that there are times when changes seem to come easy and other times when you have to force and struggle? Forcing and struggle are generally signs that you are trying to make something come into existence at a time or place where it’s not a good fit. There was a woman who was anxious to move. After telling Gary that she “got” that the move was to take place the next summer, she asked him how she could change that as she wanted to move sooner. He told her that she could force things and move sooner than her awareness told her, but she would not get what she truly desired in her new residence if she did. Why was that? While we might not get a specific “answer”, consider these possible scenarios: the house she desires won’t be vacated until next summer, she will have more money by then and be able to qualify for the house she truly desires, her mother will become very ill and she will be nursing her all spring, etc. We often can’t tell ahead of time specifically why it’s expansive to follow an awareness and not force things, just that it is. New Years resolutions require an abandonment of following our awarenesses in favor of conclusions and decisions, often of someone else’s making! What if you were willing to go with what you know rather than creating a solid, stuck in concrete decision?
If you are aware of something you would like to change, what if you asked questions instead of coming to a conclusions about what the change should look like and how and when it should take place? Might that create more of what you desire in your life?
Happy New Years & Beyond!