Happy 2010 Pinkies! I just love the New Year – it’s such a wonderful excuse to let go of old crap and start fresh. Of course, we can all do this anytime we want, and the change of the year is as arbitrary a time as any other, but something about the collective power of everyone starting over together really intensifies the momentum for me. This year I’m not making the traditional resolutions I usually do, because I have become so comfortable with using intentions to make “resolutions” any time I want. I am continually amazed by how effectively this works and how little effort it requires. I guess after hearing over and over that hard work is the only route to success, it has been a challenge for me to trust that something so simple as re-directing my energy could actually be even more efficient.
I am a person with an exceptional amount of energy and passion. I have so many thoughts and desires that it sometimes feels like idea-generating is a full-time job that leaves me no time or wherewithal to actually see anything through. I’m talking everything from “clean out my sock drawer” (repeat for every drawer and shelf in the house) and “read fascinating-sounding book/movie/etc.” to “write a novel” and “open a bakery.” I seem to have near-equal enthusiasm for every intention, no matter how large or small, that flits through my mind. I have always found this overwhelming to a paralyzing degree, this seeming inability to focus or channel this massive yet amorphous drive. I have struggled to find or create some kind of system to help me keep track of all that I want to manifest. The closest I have come to something that works is a page in my journal where I can jot stuff quickly, and go through every so often and cross off what’s done and circle what’s important, and then when the page gets either too full or too messy, I copy the remaining “pressing” items on a new page, and – if I have the inclination – the larger, more back-burner ideas to a ridiculous multi-tabbed Excel spreadsheet that I rarely refer to. Sounds exhausting, I know. It really is. But it gives me some kind of illusion of control, I guess is why I bother.
The Easiest is the Hardest
In doing this, one thing I have started to notice is that really little simple things get stuck on this list for a long time – for example “wash shower curtain liner.” Really. I wonder if this is something others understand or if it sounds crazy? But yes, probably every shower I have taken in the last two months or so I have looked at the grimy liner as I suds up my hair and thought “Ugh. I really need to wash that thing.” And why – you may be wondering – after each of these 60-something showers did I not turn off the water and head immediately to the armoire, grab a clean liner and swap it with the dirty one? I guess other stuff just seemed more immediate and important – I always had something I was rushing off to do, or I just had totally forgotten about it by the time I was dressed. (I tend to lose track of ideas quite easily in the constant swirl within my head, hence my obsession with writing everything down.) But it occurred to me that I had spent say an average of two minutes for each shower berating myself for not being an effective enough person to change a shower curtain liner, plus an additional minute or two here and there each time I saw or copied the words written on my journal page, which all amounted to over two hours of mental energy I poured into something that would take less than two minutes to do!
The Inner Parent
Sounds ridiculous I know. Why didn’t I just do it? The best answer I have is that I have a hundred of these two-minute tasks floating around in my brain, and again, I am so distracted by generating, observing and juggling all my thoughts that I rarely get to the “implement” phase. I know, I don’t quite understand it myself. But I guess it also has to do with the way I was treating the intention, or really myself in relation to the intention. I was applying that old logic of “beating myself up is the only way to get things done,” without realizing that this method was really increasing my resistance, not my drive. I was rebelling against the parent voice in my own head.
I was talking the other night with my husband, who incidentally knows nothing about the Owning Pink community aside from hearing me mention it a few times, but is one of those people who seems to Own Pink as naturally as he breathes. As I shared my frustration about not being able to get things done, he helped me see that I have been resisting what is and trying to be someone I’m not. He suggested that instead of trying to be someone who is linear and organized and focused, that I really “own” – his word, I swear! – unapologetically that I am creative and passionate, and with all these great ideas I have I can find it challenging to keep track of and implement them all. He encouraged me to really pull this in, recognize its marvelous beauty and love myself for it, even laugh about it if I could. It was one of those things that was so obvious I couldn’t believe I was just now getting it, like it had been here next to me the whole time and I had just never looked at it head-on. A giant truth-recognizing grin spread across my face as a whole new relationship with my “to do list” opened up.
Mastering My Intentions
In the shower the next morning, I looked at the gross liner and thought “I am not changing the shower curtain liner! I am really OWNING that I am not changing the shower curtain liner.” And I enjoyed responding to every similar subsequent thought in the same way, so that every “I should clean my sock drawer, I should be writing” was followed by something like “I am powerfully choosing NOT to do that right now.” And suddenly, instantaneously, instead of being the victim of my intentions, I was now their master.
This morning, as I pulled back the curtain and prepared to step into the shower, I looked at the nasty liner and thought, “I am going to change this right now.” And I did. And it took two minutes. And I now have a mass of mental energy I had been devoting to that idea free to devote to other (hopefully more exciting!) intentions. So I guess I do have one New Year’s resolution – whatever I choose to do or not do in the New Year and beyond – to choose it powerfully, to OWN it. Who’s with me?!
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