Tuesday, December 30, 2008

OuterBliss: Dissolving the Old

It seemed to be time for a little Zoe!

Listening to: Some amazing new Japanese.

Bliss: A good night's sleep. Waking feeling...awake. A bookstore gift card that I will use today -- good weather for a bus ride and short walk. Yum. Books.

Yesterday I wrote about not setting New Year's Resolutions, the kind where you try to force yourself to do and be things that aren't necessarily of the deeper, more important work that needs to be done. I thought it would be interesting to forgo the typical lists of more things we think we "should" be fitting into our days and weeks.

Instead, I thought it would be more beneficial to get rid of things, to make room for new and exciting adventures to spontaneously and naturally spring up in our lives.

It's like the whole idea behind decluttering -- making room for the new by getting rid of the old.

I've had to think about this for myself, and I've finally concluded that it is time -- past time! -- to get rid of, dissolve some of the ways that I perceive myself.

Dissolve is a good metaphor here because work like this can take time, and it also takes an agent. You can't, for example, just sit out a lump of rock and expect it to go away. You have to put it in a container of something corrosive.

First, we have to identify those rocks and then decide what corrosive is necessary.

So, here are my rocks:

1. Codependent behavior. I've been having a wonderful email conversation with this woman, who has gently and rightfully pointed out to me that much of my behaviors are of the codependent sort. I try to fix people. I see this as my duty (even if subconsciously). Underlying this behavior is the belief that I only get my value through others.

2. Coming out of this first idea is the second big one that stops me from doing what I really am called to do: the belief that my creative life comes last. "Helping people" becomes such a big part of my day, takes up so much of my energy, that I then have to "recover." This is a great tool of self-sabotage, leaving me no brain power for writing any one of the five thousand books I have in my head -- or even just finishing the editing of the one I have completed.

3. But here's the biggest rock in my pile: Fear. From a very young age, I had plenty of reason to feel fearful. But there is nothing in my life to fear now, and I am only denying my own power by living in this state.

Considering my rocks, here are some of the corrosive agents I am going to stockpile:

1. Prayer. I have never been a person who easily asks for help. I have somehow learned that asking for help is a sign of weakness. I believe that I should be able to do everything, take care of everything on my own. And yet, I would never tell another person these things. So for 2009, I am going to walk my talk on this.

2. Yoga. Of course. But I need to develop a real commitment to yoga, not an occasional one. I believe that yoga is simply prayer in a physical, active form, so it ties in with number one.

3. Retreat. This is important for a couple of reasons. Much of my fear centers around trying new things. Going away to a retreat by myself would challenge a lot of stifling ideas I have about myself. I already have a couple of places on a list. My partner will hold me to this.

4. Shining the light of consciousness on my codependent behaviors. Just being aware of this has already helped (thanks, Lisa!). For 2009, I will, as that wise woman said in one email, let others experience their own suffering. Who am I to try to manipulate their experience of their path?

Over the next couple of days, I'll be thinking about this even more, trying to fine tune my approach, my "chemistry."

How about you? What sort of experiment are you willing to try?


Pink Heels said...

Too funny! I was writing the Pink Heels newsletter this past weekend and decided to focus on the case against setting resolutions. Great minds think alike!

Nerdy Renegade said...

Wow! How cool to read this and see myself mentioned :-) So neat to be "that woman"!!!

Hooray for you and your insights! Thank you for sharing your lists with us. I, for one, can see myself in much of what you've written - and will share in the forward energy and clarity you are claiming for yourself.

*LOVE* the bunny photo, too!

I look forward to seeing what 2009 brings to both of us!

Tess said...

I love this and your post yesterday - great truth and insight (as always). And thanks for the intro to Nerdy Renegade as well - how can you not love someone with that blog name?
I'm interested in this idea of dissolving rocks with corrosive agents, although the latter sounds a little violent. But I like the idea.
My overriding corrosive agent has to be one of the things you mention: "walking my talk". Much more than I do now.
Meanwhile a comment (since I'm here) on yesterday's post - I agree with you on the childishness of making lists of resolutions that only lead to breaking. However there are some resolutions of the "get fit, stop eating cakes" type that I need to make for my well-being.
I'm going to adopt an idea from the great blog Zen Habits of picking one new habit each month, doing it for a month, then adding a new one. Then by the end of the year you have established 12 healthy new habits (at least that's the theory). This seems to me a grown-up version of the 'resolutions' list.
The happiest of new years to you!