02 Jan 2011 5 Comments
res·o·lu·tion: [rez-uh-loo-shuhn] – noun
1.) a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something. 2.) the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc. 3.) the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.
I have learned over the past few years that the more I am pressured by outside forces to do something, the less likely I am to do it. This can affect my art, my writing, my health, my work, etc. Rather than resolve to go to the gym, one day I just decided to go.
I know from personal experience that the stress and depression I have been struggling with over the last couple of years has had a physical effect on me. Nearly every day I felt fatigued and something ached. I used more sick days than I ever recall using due to nausea, headaches, all over aches, joint problems.
I know quite a few people dealing with similar situations. After a bit it all piles up and even the smallest troubles seem overwhelming.
SO. This is what I say to all of you. Don’t resolve to exercise more, eat well, go to the gym, cut out caffeine, etc… Get to the core of what causes you NOT to do those things. What makes you happy? What is making you unhappy? Is it a work situation? A relationship? Let go of what puts you in this place. Step outside of your comfort zone. Isn’t it funny that we hang on to stressful, painful spaces in our lives because we are afraid of change? We’re afraid to move on and see what’s out there when it may be that very thing that makes you happy. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
This doesn’t mean quit your job tomorrow, even if maybe in the long run that is what is necessary. Start with baby steps. Does reading a good book make you happy, but you’ve filled your schedule so full that you don’t feel like you have time to read? Takes yourself on a little date to do something you like. Go to a museum, go to a movie, go shopping. Make a list of the things you would do if you had no limits.
Finally, maybe its time to look at the bigger picture. Most of us are adults. We once had this ideal of how our lives would be, but now we think we are too old, that it is too late for us. Why? I have have seen for myself that people can make a successful career and life change, late in life, and live to tell the tale. It is never too late to go to school! Take heed of the stories of 80 year olds graduating from college! Ask yourself, what do I want to be when I grow up? If you could do ANYTHING, what would it be? Then, think backwards a little bit.
Here is my own example. If I could do anything I wanted, I would want to travel. Obviously you need some sort of income to accomplish that. I also want to have my own gallery and write professionally. Well now, look at this! Both of those things present the opportunity for travel. Travel to find art, travel to write. So then, what would I do before reaching that ultimate goal? Hey look at me! I’m already starting to write professionally. There’s an excellent step! The next few things I need to consider are my location and where I’d want to have my gallery. These are things I am already considering.
And now comes the resolution part. I love writing. I resolve to write more, become published in more magazines and papers. I want writing to become my full time profession. Then, I can mix in my art, build up my credit and financial position and presto! I can travel and own a gallery!
Perhaps it is oversimplified. But, when you think about it, shouldn’t happiness be simple? I think we all know by now that happiness doesn’t come in a bottle, in a bank account, or in a job that pays a ton of money but makes you miserable. I have done that job and I am happier today making a third of what I did at that job.
Happiness comes from family and friends you love and who love you. People who respect you for who you are and who you CAN BE. Happiness comes from respecting yourself, respecting that you are where you are and that you have the potential, the power, to put yourself where you want to be.
My suggestion for you this new year, start a journal. Write down the things you used to dream of doing. Do they still appeal to you? Are there new things that inspire you? Write down what love, what makes you happy and think on that list every day. Stop dwelling on what makes you unhappy, worried and anxious. Take the leap, and the net will apear.
My wish for you this new year is that you will find happiness, and then the things that you ‘expect’ – physical, financial and relationship well-being – will follow.