I love this time of year. There is something potent about these dark winter months, the seeds lying dormant underground until they germinate and break through with new life in the spring. We can all relate to that feeling; it is a palpable energy. Setting a new goal is intoxicating, and as a recovering perfectionist, I get downright giddy about it. This year I invite you to pause for a moment and consider the reasons behind your goals and resolutions.
It starts with your WHY. What is the impetus behind your intention, goal, or resolution for the year? Many reasons seem innocuous and positive on the surface – better health, more income, or to find that special someone. There is nothing wrong with wanting these things or others at all, but get curious and examine the root cause of your desires and the need to achieve them. Often there are deeply embedded beliefs in one’s psyche that create the need out of the idea that one is not whole, or completely worthy without the attainment of them.
Pretty much all consumer marketing and advertising is based on making you feel less-than, so that you will buy whatever they are selling in order to compensate: weight loss programs, expensive face creams, plastic surgery, cars, electronics, online dating services, etc., the list is quite long. Over time this can become an internalized belief system and even if you cognitively know it not to be true, it still has potential to affect your daily choices and behavior.
I struggled with this for years. In the past, I really only loved myself completely when I was what I considered to be “perfect.” My own self-love was conditional. To make matters even worse, 99% of my conditions were based on external values alone: what I looked like, where I lived, how much money I made, and where I was headed to next. My goals and intentions were set out of an unconscious belief that I was not enough simply as I was. This led to a life of continually chasing and attaining all sorts of things that provided no lasting and true happiness.
The goals were coming from a place of lack, and my happiness and sense of life satisfaction were on an emotional roller coaster. So even when sheer determination and desire led me to achieve even the most difficult goals, more often than not, it was completely unsatisfying post attainment. I had every external mark of traditional success and yet was totally unfulfilled long term. This need for external approval and achievement led me to make some damaging life choices in terms of how I spent my time and who I spent it with. I compromised my own values more than once which did nothing but perpetuate the cycle.
How did I get off the roller coaster and learn real self-acceptance? If you’ve been following my progression over the past few years, then you know the answer, it was through the practice of kundalini yoga and meditation. These patterns and beliefs were so deep in my subconscious that I couldn’t even recognize them even though on an academic level I knew what they were. It was through the experience of my soul free from these ingrained patters that I was able to gain a clear awareness of these subconscious motivations and desires. Kundalini yoga and meditation practiced consistently gives this kind clarity.
Now as I move forward in life, the goals I set are coming from a place of wholeness and I take more enjoyment in the whole process, not just in the win. I am able to freely and wholeheartedly get behind my tasks which is so unbelievably satisfying. Of course, this internal discovery didn’t happen overnight but rather began with a question while I was swimming in the Mediterranean Sea in 2014. I was crying my eyes out into the salt water at a time when I was supposed to be the happiest in my life. Something was definitely off and there was no denying it any longer. Why was I so miserable when I had almost everything I'd ever wanted?
If you find yourself unable to attain your goals, or keep your resolutions, or find you lack fulfillment in them, don’t be afraid to ask yourself why not? Just hold space for the question and the answer will come when you are ready. Again there is nothing wrong with goals, or wanting more out of life, or to be the best you, but when you truly know on a soul – level that you are completely whole and perfect, it definitely changes not just what you are after but how you go after it. Make the time to consider your WHY and see if anything changes.
Wishing you lots of health, happiness, and prosperity in 2017. Sat Nam.
Erin Siri Sampuran