It’s that time of year again; time to reset, redefine, recharge, reboot.
This is the time that we all talk about what doing things differently, more passionately, more effectively.
We start writing lists about what we want to do, accomplish, achieve.
Year after year we resolve to lose weight, go to the gym, eat healthier, listen more, organize our drawers, drink less.
Obviously, who we have been is not enough.
We have to change, be better, exceed expectations.
And it’s counter-productive.
When we start with the belief that we are not ok, that we are in need of fixing, we set ourselves up for failure. When we eat our first donut, cancel our appointment with our trainer, pour a third glass of wine, we berate ourselves for not being disciplined. And then we abandon our goal, having proven to ourselves that we can’t improve, get better or stick to our plan. We were right about ourselves all along. We are not enough.
And the cycle continues.
What if we began to consider the possibility that we really are pretty damn good, just the way we are? What if we believed that we are truly ok?
What if instead of focusing on learning new things, we began to un-do and un-learn?
We’ve been conditioned to believe things about ourselves, others and the world, since the moment of our birth and as Marianne Williamson teaches, “enlightenment is not a learning process; it’s an unlearning process. We are unlearning our fear, separation, guilt, conflict, and so forth, in order to learn in their stead, to think consistent thoughts of love, giving, blessing, positivity and compassion.”
I’ve always loved the prayer that the author Elizabeth Lesser offers:
“Remove the veils so that I may see what is really happening here and not be intoxicated by my stories and my fears.”
As you begin this new year, contemplate what in you can be unveiled rather than creating new habits and adding to your commitments.
What if you could know that you are complete, exactly how you are and that everything you need is already within you.
I am practicing this art of un-learning and un-doing and it is not easy. I am much more comfortable adding things to my list of what I need to do, to change, to accomplish. I am silently repeating the phrase “you have everything you need inside of you” and resisting the urge to buy or try anything new.
I heard it said that if you are lost in the woods, the best thing to do is stop, not forge ahead. I am doing my best to slow down or even stop and savor the moment, with exactly what I have. It really is enough.
As Bruce Lee once said, empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.” I am emptying my cup, un-doing, un-learning.
I left my corporate job and am self-employed for the first time in 42 years, writing my newsletters, hosting Gatherings, building my coaching practice and offering my corporate workshops.
I am emptying my cup so that it may be filled.
Why don’t you join me in doing so?
Who knows what will become possible?
The most meaningful work you can do, especially at the beginning of a new year, is to connect with your inner wisdom, that unencumbered place within all of us, free of ambition, regret, expectation or worry, the place many of us call the soul. To know this place of grace, is to know who we really are, having nothing to do with where we work, what we wear, how much we make or what we’ve accomplished (or not).
We’ve become disconnected from our souls and it’s the uncovering of that place that is the work that matters most.
In the words of Helen Luke:
“The coming to consciousness is not a discovery of some new thing: it is a long and painful return to that which has always been.”
My wish for all of us is that we slow down, unburden ourselves, even empty our cups and resist adding new promises, new expectations, new things into our lives, at least for a bit.
Connect inwardly; get to know yourself; create a relationship with your soul.
See what it needs; what it longs for; what lights it up.
Be an empty cup and very consciously fill it with love, compassion, openness and acceptance.
There’s nothing to do. Swim in the emptiness. And as Rumi assures us, “there is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.”
With love and light,