A Fresh Start Towards Real Change
Whether it is 12:00am January 1st or first thing in the morning any day of the year, it is always good to feel the potential of a fresh start. When the subject of New Year’s resolutions comes up, we all want to do something to improve ourselves; be a better partner, teacher or parent; maybe be a better boss or to simply learn to make better food choices. But, behind every resolution or goal is a desire for real and permanent change.
The beginning of anything is small, tender and, as yet, unmanifested. But, a new seed may thrive or die, and you may be feeling frustrated that real change has evaded you in the past. You want to feel different, find more joy, appreciate the goodness of life, but life itself may have derailed your best efforts in previous years. Change is not always easy.
So what’s the best way to transform a desire for change into a reality? A common issue is that we don’t start at square one and fully listen to where our motivation is coming from. We want to make changes and our mind quickly jumps ahead to where we “think” we ought to be. Acute awareness of where you are starting from can be the spark that starts the fire of transformation. In Chi Running® or Chi Walking® , for example, people are often motivated to change their form because of pain or injury. If we pay attention to the early warning signs, we can use that awareness to make adjustments before there is a real problem.
Here are some simple, but highly effective steps offered to me by my life coach and dear friend George Fleming.
Start with presence
• My "go to" automatic process for goal setting (New Years or otherwise), used to be grabbing a pad of paper or a laptop and start listing and numbering my many goals. While I'll likely do some of that today, this morning I chose to instead sit and be quiet for quite a long time - simply going into the silence, pushing away the thinking mind, and allowing the deeper, wiser, and more true desires and passions of my heart and soul to emerge. Presence and silence can often be our most direct connection to our truest goals.
Get to the goal underneath the goal
• For whatever goals you list, ask yourself "And what's important about that goal?" Whatever you answer, repeat the same question "And why is that important?" Keep asking yourself this until you get to the real answer/goal.
Focus on being it now
• Every goal is a desire to be or feel something. For example, our goal of having a significant other might be to feel lovable, or we might hope that in meeting our sales goals we'll feel confident. Yet the key is to feel and be those things now - as they are the precursors to the relationship or the sales. If our goal is simplicity and to have it manifest in a clean, simple and organized home and work environment, we must first be clean, clear and focused within ourselves. Our outer always reflects our inner.
Our desires are really more akin to pointing ourselves in the general direction of where we’d like to go, and hoping for the best. Getting to the root of our desires by starting with stillness, followed by inquiry can lead to the resolution that becomes the “tipping point” for taking that first step, and the motivator for every step after that.
- beginning run,