This article was featured as my Holistic Outlook column in The Times Herald Record.
What is your deepest commitment? Is it to your marriage? Your children? Your faith? To doing your best work? Whatever it is, I bet you don’t wake up each morning and decide all over again whether or not you will keep that commitment today. It’s part of your essential being, how you define and understand yourself. It’s who you are. While it’s only human to have moments when you want to opt out, having that level of commitment means that in the face of your inevitable frustrations, questions or doubts, you take a deep breath, and re-commit. You stay the course.
As 2013 dawns, I challenge you to have that level of commitment to… yourself. As stated in Buddhism, “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” And, I would add, support, care, and kindness.
Listen to your “self-talk”, your ongoing inner dialogue. Do you criticize and chastise yourself, call yourself names, feel anger or disappointment in how you are doing? We all do it, despite the fact that it isn’t helpful. Not at all. You know it isn’t helpful to deal with a child’s difficulties that way, yet we somehow forget that we still have that tenderness of the child within us, even as adults. I urge you to become aware of that negative voice and, each time you hear it, consciously change it. Talk to yourself as kindly and compassionately as you would to a small and vulnerable child that you treasure. You will find that kindness is a much better motivator than harshness.
Are their health objectives would you like to tackle this year? Maybe you want to lose weight and improve your body composition by losing fat and gaining muscle; lower your blood pressure or your cholesterol; clear up your skin; eliminate digestive issues or headaches. Maybe you want to get rid of aches and pains, or have better mental focus. All of these can be accomplished with nutrition, but you have to commit. You have to be so committed – not to a plan, or an idea, or to any other person – but to yourself. Committed enough to consistently make choices that support you in thriving in your own wonderful life. Are you ready to do that? Is this the time? No one deserves it more.