Who makes the new years resolutions?

Who makes the new years resolutions?

Like many others, I have been reflecting on last year and giving time to thinking about the year ahead… and wondering shall I make some kind of resolution?

In the past I have made many resolutions and to be honest, they have not come to much. They have usually been far to vague to be actualised. Things like “I’d like to be more fearless next year”. The intention is good I know, but it soon gets forgotten or lost. Also, as I look back I see that this resolution was being made from only one side of myself (my Focusing teachers call this a partial self). The trouble is, that no matter how wonderful and well intentioned our resolution is, if it comes from only a part of us (even a very positive one), we will probably be in trouble: What happens for me, is that all the other parts of me that did not sign up for the resolution kick in and rebel! and the resolution fails. We all have these partial selves, even famous people it turns out - I was listening to the radio 6 last week and heard an exact from Russell Brand’s new book “Revolution” He very clearly and humorously spoke about having some part of him that was scared…and went onto mention that there was “more than one of him in here”… insightful.

So it maybe worth reflection - who in you made the resolution? Was it the idealistic part of you? or something in you that has a deep longing for change? or the part of you that pushes or even judges and criticises you? did you check inside if all of you agreed (or to put it another way, did you check if your body agreed) Was there a resounding “yes… that feels right” or maybe there were voices of dissent and resistance quietly mumbling in the back row! And remember all of these parts of us are welcome and hold something of deep value.

This year I wanted to try and do something different. I wanted to use Focusing to both sense for changes I could make in the year ahead, and to find some small or even tiny next steps I could make. I am sharing a summary of what i did so you might give it a try.

Firstly I sensed for what I longed for… what new qualities and ways of being I would like to see in my life (in 2015 hopefully!). The whole subject of wanting and longing is one i hope to explore further in my blog.

I wrote these longings down and could see that there were too many to follow through so I took some more time to sense which were the most important ones. I remember Marshall Rosenberg, founder of Non Violent Communication, saying in a talk once “You cannot meet all of your needs at the same time” Knowing his helps with this kind or reflecting or sensing!

Then I chose one to explore further….and reflected what small step could I make to live this more? As I explored this I took time to feel into any practical strategy I came up with. Did it fit? Is it practical in this situation? What parts of me are concerned or worried about it? To share an example: I have at least a dozen books sitting on my office shelf on subjects I want to study (to do with my work) Rather than making a vague commitment to read more… I came up with some very tiny step to just read one book for one hour week. It is not much I know and the critical part of dismisses it! but this small step felt right inside. And who knows, I may add more time, but this tiny step creates a space where the wanted activity actually gets some space to be really lived.. not just thought about. By the end of the year I may well have read them all!… and who knows what other steps may come.

As i write this, I am so grateful here to Eugene Gendlin for his emphasis on making small steps… what an important message in a world where we feel such longing for change.



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