This year don’t set hollow goals or inflated ones, ones that will make up for every choice you didn’t make before. That’s like getting out a whip-- and calling it a rose.
This year I want you to cultivate a power and presence within you that allows you to choose your good all the time, that takes every circumstance of your life and makes it a crucible that uses all of you. You are worth so much more than one year can offer. You are worth so much more than a few paltry achievements, even if they sound like the moon to you.
That said, a worthy goal or two, can help you realize how powerful you are. Sometimes we have to want something, in order to spread our great silver wings--- or even to discover that we have them.
As a coach, I love to use any goal as an excuse to part the veils, and step between the worlds. Whenever we commit to a dream or desire, it means we are willing to walk past resistance, distraction, old stories, cob webs and demons. I want you to have the experience of being invincible-- and realizing your strength and abundance in this life.
I know you will have days that throw you off. But I want you to learn the skills of getting on course, even more than I want you to reach just one particular goal. I want you to adopt attitudes that release magic and velocity.
The secret of being invincible is learning practices in which nothing can defeat you. It’s not about the goals you set, but the attitudes you employ.
Real success is natural. It’s an outcome of beautiful choices.
So I want to look at 3 mental postures that will help you get “there,” wherever there is for you, and help you with every other area of your life as well.
- Choose Kindness Over Self-Cruelty:
It’s time to fire the Marine drill sergeant screaming orders, setting stop watches, and shoving your face in the mud. Maybe it works for a war. But I don’t want you living in a war. I want you planting an orchard that flourishes for generations. I’d say hire someone who beams, say that giggling Dalai Lama, Mr. “Kindness is my religion.” Kindness gets the job done. You will accomplish more through love than you ever will through fear. Self-brutality may induce temporary changes, but they are not sustainable results. The ulcer gets in the way, the nervous breakdown, or the divorce. Abuse always brings more pain, not less. You may achieve a result, only to spiral out of control in a bigger way. I blazed through Harvard Law School on autopilot and the high pitched drive of anxiety. But I could not sustain that success. It wasn’t coming from a renewable place within me. I had to crash. Only love gives you endless energy. Only love will go the distance.
As you dare to stretch, be kinder to yourself than you have ever been. Kindness encourages risks and gains. It reminds you of your unquestionable worth, no matter what you’ve done, and then it encourages you to do what you came here to do. Kindness isn’t a doormat, but a launch pad. Kindness gives you permission to try over and over without any fear of failure. And real kindness doesn’t let you off the hook. Self-love doesn’t let you give up on yourself or choose less than your best.
In these years, I’ve discovered that I am slower to achieve “big” success. There are the times I have to sit by the side of the road and feel my feelings, instead of barrel through them. But I am in this game forever now. I am resilient and excited. I’m also going for a broader success too: I don’t just want to end up on the mountain top. I want to end up as my own best friend along the way.
And I don’t want to wait to reach my goals-- in order to celebrate my life. I want to reach the mountain top with a thousand pink tulips already in my arms.
- Choose Again and Again:
Rigidity will break your spirit. If you have to do something perfectly, there’s no breathing room for expansion. I’d rather you know going in, that you are going to stumble. You are going to miss a workout or a parent teachers meeting. You are going to scarf down a brownie or bury your face in a carton of ice cream. You are going to be out of control and preciously human. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be invincible.
For me, invincibility comes down to flexibility. It’s the willingness to begin again and again and again. If you blew your goal yesterday, don’t waste a second of time berating yourself or fearing consequences. Time is eternal. The present moment can heal most anything. Get back on the boat. Choose again. Choose now. Drop the ball in Times Square all over again, ten times a day if you need to, 10-9-8…and give yourself a clean slate, a new beginning, another chance. It’s not weak to give yourself chances. It’s dedicated. It means you want your goal, more than you want to be right or perfect.
Here’s something else to consider.
I believe I found more peace of mind in losing my way and finding it again than if I’d never lost it at all.
It helped me build self-trust, knowing that even if I tripped up, I could count on myself to come back. Also, I’ve found that not doing what I desire, teaches me how much I desire it. Sometimes the contrast of how I feel when I’m not living up to my potential versus how I feel when I am living up to it, teaches me that I really do want to climb this mountain whatever it takes. Then, and, sometimes only then, it becomes less about discipline; I am simply hungry for the goal. I thirst for my own integrity.
- Choose Dedication Instead of Dissipation:
If you do not dedicate yourself to something-- you will dissipate your potential. It’s too easy to drift without a focus. It’s tempting to stay in the swamp of numbness or soul-sabotaging casualness. Commitment activates awareness. When you dedicate yourself to an intention you become alive and present. Your goal helps you show up or evaluate why you are not showing up. There is no room for unconsciousness.
Dedication also helps you to realize you don’t have to be in the mood-- to be great. I’ve shown up to write a book, when I’ve felt nervous, tired, and hostile. I wandered around the blank page like a homeless person looking for grub. I showed up believing nothing good could come out of the bog of my sad mind. And like many writers before me, I was wrong. Talk about poetic justice.
Dedication helped me to ignore my ego, the guardian that strives to keep me powerless. On days when I felt absolute dread, I still found myself slipping past the metallic vice, and discovering another self, one who was weightless, giddy and skipping towards the horizon.
I’ve been stunned to discover these capacities beyond my ordinary self-knowledge. We all house secret genies. We all have embedded powers we have yet to set free. And we all let familiarity talk us out of evolution. Sometimes it takes a tiny bit of discomfort to discover the greater comfort of becoming our true selves.
I wish each and every one of you an invincible new year. May you know courage, strength and the ability to walk yourself through anything--with love.
Is 2017 the year you dedicate to turning your dreams into real life?
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