Why I'm Giving New Year's Resolutions The Middle Finger

I’m not, actually.

I love them. I love the fresh start. The clear division. 

That was that. This is this. 

I was horrible last year. I can be clean and good this year.

I like it.

But sometimes my goals strangle me. The promise of new life becomes the grim reaper. Either the goals drag me along like a bully after lunch money or I fail and spiral into self-loathing. Or both.

So after a few rounds in the ring of goal setting. I’m opting to ditch static goals.

I can already hear the push back. Those voices are in my head, too. 

 

“You’ll never get anything done.” 

“What a wuss. Just commit.”

“How do you know you’ve arrived?”

“Your mom.”

 

Et cetera.

And to all these arguments and I have this to say: whatever.

So, I picked the word ‘movement’ instead of goal. In other words, these are the ways I want to move. There’s no end, no arrival. Just move in this way. I need not beat myself up for getting "off track", which is an illusion anyway. Each movement is a clarion call which reminds me to dance the dance I like. Why wouldn't I dance the dance I like? Something becomes cosmically aligned when I get in my zone this way. It’s best for me and the rest of the multiverse.

I thank Danielle LaPorte for these ideas. I worked through her book The Desire Map in 2016 and I can’t tell you the ways it opened my soul, gave me new perspective.

So, here they are. My movements:

 

Feel alive and scared as I make and share music.

Feel alive and scared as I make and share words.

Feel abundant no matter how much money I have.

 

Just those three. 

I give Essentialism the credit for how few there are. That book inspired me to simplify, do more by doing less.

Now, I’ll explain them a little. 

 

“Feel alive and scared...”

 

The feeling is most important. It tells me I’m on track. If I’m not alive while doing it, then what’s the point? Worst case, I don’t sling a million books or land a gold record, but I feel alive in the process. But I believe deep down that refocusing like this will lead to the right observable achievements. Or lack there of. God knows we don’t value rest enough and that doesn’t earn you nothin’.

To add the perfect amount of tension, the savory to the sweet, I toss in the scared feeling.

Fear is tricky. Of course I should be scared to play in traffic. But to stretch creatively? That type of fear tells me where I need to lean in. It highlights vulnerability, and there are countless treasures in that space (Rising Strong).

So that’s why “scared”. It’s a compass.

Because, of course, there is resistance to finding joy, to making your best work. Enter paradox stage left! It's romance; it's war. It's a boxing match; it's sweaty love-making. Don't tell me it's one or the other. It's both.

Must you do shit you don't want to? Of course! Should you do it if you don't want to? No way!

So, because this blog has turned into my book list for some reason, I recommend The War of Art and Big Magic to explore the gorgeous tension of makin’ shit.

 

“…make and share” 

 

This rhythm is crucial. There’s a time to shut the door and summon the muse with everything you got. Do a rain dance, say a prayer, log ten thousand hours.

Then there’s a time to hit publish, find a publisher, hang your painting on a wall for all to see.

How do you know when to do what?

Well, I’d look to your Inner Knower (and maybe see if you’re feeling alive and scared).

How about this?

 

What is calling to you that you know you must do, but are scared to do?

What’s the next step?

 

Everyone knows deep down. Cool right? That’s Inner Teacher, Inner Voice, Inner Knower. It’s Knowing beyond knowing. If you can’t hear, you may need to slow down a bit.

 

For me it’s all about music and words.

 

“Feel abundant no matter how much money I have.”

 

As far as money and abundance… this has been a long journey for me, one filled with deep-digging and pain and shame. I’m still in it. I thought I’d have conclusions by now. I don’t. But I’m determined to make changes to my relationship with money, and for me this is the right next step.

Now, is it denial to try and feel something when you don’t really feel it? Yeah, duh! 

So, when I say “feel abundant no matter what” I can still be totally honest when I feel the pinch of not making ends meet (I still feel that; I feel it now). But this reminds me to accept that feeling, breathe into it, add my presence, and get back to the other frequency. That abundant one.

 

*PS I found out by mistake that the best abundance is love and I have always felt that. I am rich already. Knowing Love is what everyone really, really wants (and of course, we already know it, already have it deep down, we just have to remember, need others to remind us sometimes). Money and the idea of money will run its course, peak and die and love will continue.

 

Make a budget? Yep. Earn some more money? Sure! Get passive income, make wise investments, move up in your line of work? Yes, yes, yes.

But if all of those are just reactions to a feeling of lack, the lack feeling will continue. At some point I have to change from the inside out.

Also, if I’m counting on the future to make me happy, I will not find it. I breathe into now. I accept everything I cannot accept about this moment. Rinse, repeat.

Anyway, my favorite book for repairing one’s relationship with money is Earn What You Deserve. Once I got over how much I hate the title, I found a beautiful, practical, psychological/spiritual guide to interacting with and healing money stuff.

Now, if “hit gym four times a week” is your goal, God bless you. I don’t give a crap what your method is. Are you connecting to deeper levels of joy, becoming a better you (or, rather, shedding false versions)? Then go for it! I just wanted to share a little of my story.

 

Jesus, thanks that you care about our little human lives. Thanks for mentioning that it would be loss to gain the world and lose your soul. Help us value that soul space a bit more. We are obsessed with the outward appearance of things and you are not. Amen.

 

The Desire Map

Essentialism

Rising Strong

The War of Art & Big Magic

Earn What You Deserve