Stuck on Outcomes

One of those Requisite Year's End | New Year's Personal Development Posts with Resolution Exercise Alternative I don't know what happened to me.

(Well, actually, I know exactly what happened to me, and I'm going to tell you about it, but first let me take you back approximately forty-eight hours and walk you through my amnesia.)

I had a fantastic Christmas experience; I was feeling all Super Abundant and Thankful; and I know (at least, intellectually) what "the Secret" is... You'd have to be downright dense to present yourself as some kind of New Age guru riding on a Unicorn (which, you've probably figured out, is my Nutshell Agenda) and still manage to fall off the Law of Attraction Wagon as hard and fast as I did.

Oh, but I did.

Ego Radio The Naggot (which is the personification of my ego) got a hold of the microphone some time in the wee hours of the day after Christmas and I woke up already listening to some Shoulda Coulda Woulda Telethon, broadcast live on the Ungrateful Channel, right from my own Special Place in Hell.

Maybe I've kept my poor Naggot crated too long these last few months -- I went on tour to various Heaven on Earth destinations -- Hawaii right before Election Day, and then on to Phoenix and the healing vortices of Sedona -- all resulting in CNN deprivation. Wolf Blitzer hosts The Situation Room, Anderson Cooper has AC360, and the Naggot is my own private Lou Dobbs on a short leash. Maybe he's just uber-pissed that I chose not to participate in "The Recession"...

Whatever the neurotic details, my ego, successfully muted for months at a time, will find the remote control and take over once in awhile. Part of the nature of a serious Ego Hijacking is that it finds new, original, insidious ways to circumvent your psychic security, your guardian angel intelligence, your big purple bubble, and your pink taffy lightworker filters. As with any terrorist event, you wake up when the sabotage bombs actually detonate...

You become the schmuck walking around asking WTF?

I absolutely adore the energy of a New Year. I like ALL New Year's days -- Beltane, Birthdays, Back-to-School, Neo-Pagan/ All Saint's Day, Chinese... Solstices, Equinoxes, and New Moons. You name it -- if it marks a Beginning, I'm there, with all the craft supplies for a Vision Board in my arms, and the U2 classic playing on a loop.

I'm not into your Mama's New Year -- I don't drink a drop and I don't do resolutions, either. I also can't stand to read articles by people like me who tell you how to set goals. "Pick one thing and persevere!" Screw that -- that singular-minded Goal Setting Getting Things Done Playbook has never done a damned thing for me. I wasted three decades of my life believing I was a failure for not "following through," until I discovered that I am a Scanner -- which I have had the pleasure of identifying for tons of my clients.

If you're wondering why your One Perfect Goal turns into an annual exercise in Divine Abortion, I highly recommend you look into the life-changing Refuse to Choose: A Program for Doing Everything That You Love.

I am a proud Plate Spinner. I am a Chaos Surfer. I don't succeed at One Thing At A Time. I've accepted Juggling as an Art form bordering on Religion.

I know this. The Naggot knows it too, and for the most part, he pouts in the corner in a specially-crafted sound-proof booth, mud-wrestling with pundits and raging at the machine... If I could outright murder the little bastard, I would, but he's kind of like the software that comes pre-loaded on my End User Human Body. He's the Gollum to my Fellowship. He's part of the Mission -- can you hog-tie your ego, duct tape his mouth, and drag his ass across Mordor, and still learn how to love (yourself) in a life time?

Fast forward to my meltdown I guess I accidentally opened one too many classic New Year's Resolution posts -- I'm sure it wasn't yours; I strayed too far outside my regular reads... I allowed some well-meaning personal development blogger to get my Naggot all riled up. (Like half-hearing an irritating pop song you did not choose to listen to that nevertheless gets stuck in your craw.) I'm not pissed at the blogosphere or this awesome Time of Year; it was my own damned fault.

My friend Jeff Peck called me and got an earful of Negative Nancy's Greatest Hits at full volume:

  • I didn't do enough.
  • I wasn't good enough.
  • I have to do more, better, faster, bigger.

My ego took me time-traveling all over Where I Should've Been Six Months Ago and Where I Need to Be Six Months from Now.

The Absolute Sin of Ingratitude and Non-Presence

Living for the future Mad at the past Missing right now for loving it last... me

Poor Jeff, bless him for walking with me where I needed to go... He asked me what my spirit guides had to say about what I was experiencing. "That's just it!" I wailed. "You can't hear clear for shit when your ego's running the radio station..."

So, he pulled a card for me. Now, Jeffrey Peck has The largest collection of oracle cards I've ever seen assembled under one roof. That includes metaphysical bookstores. Actually, I used to be a buyer for a metaphysical bookstore, and Jeff's cards put most catalogs to shame. When Jeff pulls a card for you, even the choice of the specific deck itself is an exercise in divining, on many levels.

Fruition Manifestation, realization, attainment. Maturation, ripeness, fulfillment. “I reap what I have sown through sincere effort.” The splendid harvest. Who amongst us honestly expects to reap any reward without first offering up some degree of spiritual, emotional, and physical effort. The degree of energy we are willing to invest in any project has a direct bearing on the quality of the outcome. This card acknowledges your efforts thus far, and suggests that abundance is yours for the having. We can get a little stuck on outcomes, though, to the point where we lose sight of the journey itself. Although this card speaks of abundance and fruitfulness in return for our efforts, it reminds us to enjoy the process. Once we have reached one pinnacle, we see from our new vantage point that there are further pinnacles to conquer. This could be frustrating, were we not to acknowledge the blessings inherent in each and every day. Enjoy the journey. Acknowledge the gift of each moment. To view all of life as a gift leads to true fulfillment.

Linnie Lambrechtsen

After twelves hours of torturing myself, I got it. I found the mute button. I immediately dove into a tried-and-true method of course correction. Reframing is the simplest, easiest, most obvious thing in the world (except when your ego's spinning the tracks...).

The Exercise

  • Step 1 -- Start 2 lists, on separate sheets of paper. If you're working on a computer, create two documents.
  • Step 2 -- Let your ego write the first list, recording all his complaints and failures.
  • Step 3 -- Create a second list of everything you DID accomplish, everything for which you ARE grateful, everything you DID do right. Wherever it applies, take items from the first list and record the lesson you learned from the challenge.
  • Step 4 -- Burn the first list (or delete it) with much ritual fanfare.

Now you have repossessed your secret of joy and may proceed into the future.

Instead of writing this post, I had planned to simply publish my Year End Gratitude List, but it's actually LONGER than this rant and... I gotta say, some of it is too personal/ private. I think what I'll do is choose 12 of the items I feel comfortable sharing -- one for each month of the year -- and post them below in a comment.

I'd love it if you would participate with me -- if you have a blog, feel free to create your own post with a Year End Gratitude List and link back here so we can find it; or, you are welcome to use the comments section below if you have a list you'd like to share.

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