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Inner Decisions

. . . journey to wholeness

Scintilating Thoughts:

Reviving Your Resolution

January 15, 2015

It’s halfway through January. How can that be? It’s two weeks after most of Americans made at least one New Year’s resolution that you made with great. Though, if you’re like most Americans, your momentum has waned. You might even go so far as to chalk this up as another personal failure, and drop the whole thing. While personal failure is not supposed to be the goal of a New Year’s resolution, it often turns out that way.

The idea behind making a New Year’s resolution isn’t to make an unrealistic grand and glorious all-or-nothing life change on January 1st.So if you’ve found you’re faltering today is the perfect day to assess your progress, reevaluate your goal, reestablish reachable outcomes, and take action. After all, you want to be able to look back on this year with self-congratulations at the consistent patterns you have established for personal growth.  Right?

Making lasting change is difficult. If change is needed it is because there are two opposing forces working within our brains creating a civil war of sorts. Our logical brain knows exactly what needs to take place and how to make it happen. The other part of our brain engages in self-sabotaging all opportunities toward growth and change.

Generating lasting change requires a plan and one that includes corrective actions for when you begin to waiver. As quoted from the website, Center for Theory of Change, “Like any good planning and evaluation method for [social] change, it requires participants to be clear on long-term goals, identify measurable indicators of success, and formulate actions to achieve goals.” (http://www.theoryofchange.org/what-is-theory-of-change). The problem with most New Year’s resolutions is that they only define ultimate success.

If you have decided that it’s not time to drop your resolution, perhaps it is time to reassess your goal’s true value in your life. As a spiritual life coach I begin by asking my clients: is this resolution achievable? What is at the root of your resolution? Why did you decide on that for your goal? When you decided on this resolution, was it something you wanted to accomplish, something you thought you should do, or something someone else wanted from you? What is it that you really want to change?

Once you have defined a truly achievable goal, break the goal down into smaller, more easily measurable parts. Next, create a primary plan and a back-up plan for each of the goals. Be specific with your plan and include a specific and realistic timeframe for reaching each goals. Implement your plan. Does it meet your needs? Is the plan helping you inch your way to successfully achieving your goal? Evaluate your plan at close regular intervals. If you aren’t achieving success, adjust your plan. If your plan is too aggressive, back off. If it’s too boring, spice it up.

If your New Year’s resolution is something you truly want to change, the change will come about during the implementation of your plan. Action: that’s where new habits are born.

What changes are you trying to make this year?

Please comment below.

At a Place in Life

January 13, 2015

I AM AT A PLACE IN LIFE where many people I once knew have transitioned to the other side of life. They have died. My grandparents, my parents, my sister, my brother- and sister-in-law, my husband’s parents, several friends, the list goes on.

As the list grew, and as I grew older, I started asking the question, “If I could say one more thing to him or her, what would it be?” My immediate answer was always, “I love you.” Sometimes I’d say it with tears, sometimes with longing, sometimes with shame for not having said it before, but always with sincerity. I began to realize, even though I felt very free to say “I love you” in my everyday life, I should probably have said it even more, because I felt it. I feel love with the people I know, and I often feel love for complete strangers. I disguise my feelings of love sometimes by saying, “I love that about you,” or “you are so sweet,” though at the heart is my feeling of love for that being.

Then I began wondering what I would say next? Would I tell her or him something I particularly liked about her or him? Would I share a story about how this person impacted my life in some way? Would I apologize? And if I would say those things the real question became why don’t I say it more now? While we are both alive and struggling through life? What do I need to change about myself to make this happen?

I AM IN A PLACE IN LIFE where I feel love more keenly because so many I have loved have transitioned to the other side of life. I do not want to wait until I’m failing, or they are, before I express how much people mean to me and why. I am taking steps to make the necessary changes in my life. I want to add more to the lives of others than they add to mine.

I am at a place in life where I have time to handwrite notes, and mail them, through the United States Postal Service. Really. I am at a place in life where I can dial a telephone number and talk to people in real time thanking them and telling them I love them. I am at a place in life where I can apologize, meaningfully, knowing the world won’t come to an end. I am at a place in life where everything good matters, and where lapses of judgment can be readily forgiven. I am at a place in life where my favorite sport is watching people commit acts of kindness. I love that I'm at this place in life. And so it is.

Secrets: big and small

January 12, 2015

Keeping a secret can be deadly.

Dis-ease (stress) can cause disease. Horrible diseases like cardiac problems, breathing problems, cancer.

                       

While there are a few things I haven’t heard, people have found I’m  a good person with whom to disclose their darkest secrets. Most secrets are ordinary sorts of things and I’ve heard them over and over. “I’m having an affair.” “I’m gay.” “I hate my husband.” “I screwed up at work and blamed it on somebody else.” “I said something really awful to someone now I feel very guilty.” “I spent our savings on something I shouldn’t have now I don’t know what to do.”

 

A few secrets have been more unique, and believe it or not, I’ve heard variations of each of these more than twice.

“I’ve been trying to poison my mother.”

“I’m a prostitute to make extra money.”

“When my mother was sick I became her angel of mercy. Then I killed two more people.”

“My husband is forcing me to have sex with other men so he can watch.”

“My son is not my husband’s child, or my boyfriend’s. They both think he is theirs. He looks exactly like his father.”

 “I stole $2,000 from my company.”

“I had sex with my brother on the night of my father’s funeral; we were 18 and 20. It was 20 years ago, but I still feel guilty.”

“I think I may have killed someone with my car. It was a long time ago. I was driving across the country and I never checked to see.”

The list goes on. I feel certain that people tell me things not to keep their secrets but because we find a way together to free them from how the secret is holding them in the self-made prison. After someone discloses a serious secret I ask, “What do you want to do about this?” The answers are, as you would expect, “I don’t know.” or “What can I do about it?” Rarely, does anyone ever say, “Nothing.”

We all have secrets. Some are complicated. Most fill us with shame. Shame that holds us hostage. There are ways to free people from shame. There are ways to heal the shame. Make an appointment with her spiritual life coaching InnerDecisions.com.

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