As we end 2016, many of us will take time to reflect on that which we are not so thrilled. We might have already criticized ourselves for not “doing” what it is that we thought we should have already figured out. We might be determined that 2017… WILL be different. We might make lists, create a plan, and a few of us will find a way to “muscle” ourselves towards victory lane. Most of us; however, will honestly…fail—fail to accomplish what it is that we most likely, impulsively, are now, once again stating that we will change without really pausing and owning how it is that either our internal or familial systems need for us to create this change. We will most likely be ‘efforting’ for someone or some thing important to us, without knowing how to wait for a true, organic, internal impulse that can actually create the success we say we want. The New Year’s resolution, “tradition” begets that January 1st is the moment, but regardless of our ambition, the local YMCA will be slammed for only about 5-6 weeks. As a previous personal trainer, I saw this happen year after year. I know now that change can be concrete, but only as individuals start owning an intention to bring more value and honor towards themselves.

So how is THAT accomplished? Owning value of self enough to do what Ray Castellino has coined as a “PAUSE,” is STEP 1. A Pause is an acknowledgement of sometimes a painful truth or awareness about something within that lets us know why it is we keep doing what we do not want to do. Only then when we can bring compassion and healing support towards this new awareness, (STEP 2) do we then need to continue to wait (STEP 3) to listen…for the new, fresh, effortless, internal action IMPULSE that will certainly bring a calm, organic shift in our behavior.

To further expand, we have to acknowledge the root of why something is “off” within. We have to be in what Dick Schwartz will say is a CURIOUS position. A wondering… “I wonder why that is?” For example: It is easy to see an extra 20 pounds in the mirror, or for others to see that we have been starving ourselves. It is easy to feel rejection, but maybe not so easy to own why it is that we are actually rejecting something about ourselves, and thus disconnecting from intimacy within ourselves first, and thus, also towards others. To love ourselves best towards change, we must learn how to own this pause and become aware of why it is that not only our mind, but also our body knows the root of truth as to why it is that we see what we see in the mirror. By taking an intentional ‘pause’ to slow down and listen, to own/acknowledge a potentially painful thread of truth/experience, and to then bring love and compassion towards this internal pain, IS the truth serum to either melt away pounds or to actually create the desire to find a healthy weight, and essentially, come into balance with our secondary, ‘managed’ relationships with food and exercise. Acknowledging the more tender emotions of what really needs to be acknowledged IS the calorie burning or energy absorption that needs to take place. The impulse to then “walk, run, or maybe even to eat,” with newly felt love, compassion, and freedom within, becomes the organic, lasting, natural impulse that never has to be ‘muscled into existence’ ever again. May you, in this new beginning be so blessed with courage to find your internal stillness and peace as you learn to pause, and then find yourself acting upon a true impulse that creates lasting change.