As last year drew to a close I found myself thinking about the goals I have for myself in this new year. I was considering all the ways I wanted my life to be different. I was doing the usual: coming up with a good theme for the year, planning my vision board, and my training schedule. All these items are part of the clean slate approach that January 1st always brings.
Then during one of the last few days of December I had a small epiphany while standing in my closet. It doesn’t so much matter that I was in the closet as much as it matters that you don’t question where or when wisdom comes… just that it does.
Wisdom wafts in and tells me that if what I surround myself with this year isn’t different, my life and I won’t be either. You can’t make all these resolutions, goals etc. and think that masks the fact that you hate your job, are not thriving in your environment, allow toxicity in your relationships, or are scared to do anything that matters (to you).
Find a New Job
If you hate your work, work environment or strongly dislike your boss then it’s time to part ways. Now I don’t say this lightly and I certainly don’t suggest leaving employment before you have a replacement. This may take time and effort but isn’t it worth it? You spend the majority of your time at work so why not be as happy there as you can be, right?
Your environment doesn’t support you
This can mean lots of things. You need to de-clutter your home, a fresh coat of paint is needed to brighten things up, or possibly it’s more serious. You are a warm-weather fan and you live in Alaska. You may want to consider a move. Again a life-changer but this life is theoretically a one-shot deal. Why not be happy? Moving may be a multi-month or multi-year project but if it will improve your quality of life…no brainer.
Toxic relationships and people
We can’t find all the things we didn’t in 2014 if we still allow toxic people, whether in person or virtually, to malign our spirit or our integrity. Some of our relationships aren’t toxic necessarily because you or the other person is but your collective energies mixed together are not a good match. That can make a toxic relationship. It’s good to know when you’re not good for each other. Make the break. It can be tough but if you are thinking of a certain person right now I am not alerting you to anything you didn’t already know or suspect.
Now toxic people, that’s a whole other animal. They can be tough and often show some rabid symptoms when we try to break free of them. But break free we must. We can’t be someone else’s punching bag because they haven’t yet started to face their demons. We can have love and compassion for them it’s just that at times we need to love them from afar. If one of these toxic souls happens to also share DNA with you it’s a bit tougher but still doable. Boundaries, baby! Just cause you share a family tree doesn’t mean you have to regularly share family dinner. Keep it to a minimum especially when you are feeling fragile.
Stop letting fear run the show
Fear can be valuable and useful at times but it can also keep us with the “devil we know” because the alternative is far too scary. The inconvenient truth is that all the good stuff: transformation, evolution, or resolution all happen outside of what’s comfortable. Any Venn diagram will tell you that. Every amazing thing that you’ve done, had happen to you, or experienced likely required you to spend some time in total fear: Getting married, getting divorced, having a baby, leaving home, graduating from college, cutting your hair off, breaking up, dating again, leaving your job or keeping it.
If you are still trafficking in full-on insanity, this year before you do anything else you’re going to have to step off the merry-go-round. Insanity, by definition, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. We all tend to do this when it comes to resolutions. We think that if we set big goals that it will make up for the fact that we don’t believe in ourselves. We fool ourselves into thinking that a vision board will do the work if we just make it.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am a believer in goals, happy jars, intentions, resolutions, vision boards, mantras, affirmations and the like. But those are just exercises in futility if you aren’t willing to do all the big things that allow those practices to culminate into a CHANGE. I can pray and meditate all day long but if I am not willing to follow the wisdom that comes then I am just sitting on a cushion in hell, worse yet, by choice.
I hope it’s clear that I haven’t figured it all out yet or mastered becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable when it’s necessary. But the thought of starting 2016 with the same underlying issues lights a fire under me. I know embracing this concept won’t be easy and putting into action even less so. But right now I am willing to hold the idea at my finger tips and see if soon we can at least hold hands.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G