Rhythms vs Resolutions

A year or so ago, as new years was approaching, I read in a pop psych journal why new years resolutions rarely work.  We try to do too much at a time, and our brains rebel.  You see, our minds can only handle so much change at a time, and usually at new years, we are asking to loose weight, read more, quit smoking and get out of debt. 

Thomas Moore has another reason they don’t work.  Resolutions are un-natural.  They are often external, coming from a place of comparrison, of shoulds and expectations.  Instead he recommends listening to the rhythms already in your life.  You don’t need an arbitrary date and millions of other people to decide when it is best for you to try to change, if you pay attention, you will find out both when and what you are ready to change.

Saying all that, I have never been great at paying attention to myself, one of the reasons I am doing this experiment.  But the following are some of the concrete rhythms I hope I am ready for in this period of time.

1. Read the bible again. 

 I think I am ready because the same old emotions of guilt and expectations don’t come up when I approach the subject.  I will know I am ready when I start to read and my mind actually has a new experience, not of a new understanding of the text, but rather my relationship with the text will be new.  Also,  have Johny Cash Reads the New Testament on audiobook, so that should help.

2. Walk in the park with little brothers dog. 

I miss walking in the woods.  I used to live in the remote woods, so when I would go on my daily walks, I rarely if ever, see anybody, and if I did, I would know them.  But now I live in the city and the adjustment has been difficult.  But the few times I have gone, it has been much better than I had feared.  My park is just a block a way, and isn’t that crowded.  Plus, it will give me an excuse to listen to Johnny Cash’s comforting voice. 

Older Brother


Guide #1

The idea of Three Storey Abbey comes from the Divine Comedy. It has been a while since I read this, but if I remember right Dante had Virgil and some old girl friend as his guide.  In the same way,  I have found in my first day that Thomas Moore, the therapist and spiritual writer has seemed to set the tone for what I hope this time will entail. I have been listening to his audiobooks and his calming voice and understanding mind is a huge blessing in this step back into spirituality, which has often felt condemning and stressful. I am curious who else I will find to guide me.

Older Brother