Frozen New Year's Resolutions

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February is upon us and we are firmly in the grip of winter's frosty fingers. For many of us, the initial wave of
inspiration that motivated us toward making positive changes in 2010 has already been thwarted. So soon, our best laid plans seem to have come to a standstill. Why does this always seem to happen with our well intended resolutions?

As always when I posed such questions to myself, nature usually provides a metaphor with the answer. Last weekend I co-led a Winter Reflections Retreat in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Bundled up in layers of warm clothing, our group of fearless women ventured out into the bitter cold and was amazed by the pristine beauty we found. As we hiked along a mountain stream, the sound of water rushing past was particularly rich and multi-faceted, magnified by the surrounding silence of the winter woods. Sparkling ice formations encircled every stone, branch and blade that touched upon the water's edge.

What I found most beautiful were the half frozen waterfalls in the small creeks that tumbled down the mountainside. Icicles stopped in mid air, reaching down toward rounded towers of droplets frozen one on top of another. Even these frigid conditions couldn't deter the gravitational pull which drew the water downward. The water kept rushing under, around, and over the frozen barriers. It reminded me of the
old saying, "Where there's a will, there's a way." Or as I heard it better expressed recently, "If the WHY is big
enough, the HOW will follow!"

What I saw made me pause to re-examine my noble intentions that had been so quickly undermined only one month into the New Year. Are these goals really important to me? If so, WHY? What am I hoping to achieve? Are they really the priorities of my life right now? Or did they come form those insidious "shoulds" echoing in my head from what other people deem important? Are my resolutions truly an expression of my
heart's desire? Will they enhance my purpose or legacy? Would achieving them make my life a better expression of my highest self? Not surprisingly, the answers to these questions were hardly a resounding, "Yes!"

February is the month to go deeper, to ask the big questions. You don't have to know the answers, you just have to find the question that is most relevant to the person you really want to become.

The second morning of our retreat, I saw that the lake had frozen over completely, but still the water resounded as it rushed over the waterfall downstream. Despite the extreme external conditions pressing upon it, the water kept flowing deep underneath, reappearing at its first opportunity. By focusing your attention on your big WHY, you will unleash the current that can plow through obstacles. Connect with
that force and the HOW will unfold in its own time.

Take the opportunity during these cold weekends and winter storms to sit by the fire, wrap yourself up in a warm shawl, and journal about the values you hold most dear. Find that deep current within you that is your passion, your reason for putting yourself out there every day. Then allow your personal path of personal growth to flow from there.

About the Author:

Karin Marcus, Professional Certified Life Coach / Retreat Leader "Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do" Rumi 610-667-5247

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