Dr. Laurie explains how to overcome the guilt of failed resolutions.
What are your intentions?
Here we are -- into the new year and new decade.
What do you want to be different in your life?
It can be such a hard question. We either see so much that needs to change, or we aren't sure what could happen.
But the exercise is worth thinking about, especially when you live with a chronic illness. Your body and its unpredictable demands may paralyze your sense of hope and your expectation of a future that you can plan. Thinking up goals is daunting and can bring up the feeling that this isn't possible.
So instead of planning with your head, sense what you intend in your heart. Bring your attention down into your heart space and listen to where you want to focus your imagination and your energy.
It's not a set of goals and strategies, but more an internal centering.
Let yourself take some time. This is a process and it requires your attention and some room in your schedule and in your mind to listen to what you already know.
What are you intending for your life this year?
Some of my clients are doing this exercise and discovering some surprising things.
Your body and its unpredictable demands may paralyze your sense of hope and your expectation of a future that you can plan. Thinking up goals is daunting and can bring up the feeling that this isn't possible.
One person thought her goal for the new year should be to exercise more.
She has made this resolution and goal several times, and it created a lot of guilt and frustration for her that she never "kept her resolution."
This year I suggested she listen to what she already knows in her heart and see what she might intend for her year.
She realized that her intention is to be more active -- not to just sit around feeling stuck. But being more "active" is not the same as exercising. She can be more active by planning to go out with friends, and that can include walks but it can also include museum visits and trips to the local public gardens. As she listened to her heart, she realized she wants to move and do things -- and that will get her body in motion, but the physical moving is only part of what she wants.
My client chose to create an intention for more activity. She took out her datebook and penciled in some times, and then she made contact with some friends. What a difference from not "keeping a resolution"! By listening to what she wanted -- and letting go of a requirement for exercise -- she was able to move forward easily.
It may take some reminders that this is her intention as the months pass, but the good news is that she is no longer stuck in a rut of doing nothing and feeling bad.
This can happen for you, too. Let go of some of your expectations of yourself -- and the rules that go with them. Shift into your heart and pay attention to what you really want. That will help you create an intention or two. See if it isn't easier for your energy to flow in that direction and let me know how it goes.
Best to you as we embark on this decade!
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