Spring is a time of setting new intentions, the time for planting new seeds in your life.
Like the New Year, the Spring Equinox is a time of new beginnings. Your spirit feels alive with new life, new inspirations, new things you want to grow and do in your life. You have all this growth energy & potential surging into your life.
Often, we feel very inspired to set new spring intentions for ourselves this time of year. If you can focus this spring growth energy it can be incredibly powerful. But it can also overwhelm you.
Especially if you’ve tried to put too many thing on your plate.
I was recently reading through the spring intentions I set for myself last year. My list included:
– Eat well, myself & my family
– Exercise 4 days a week
– Grow my SACRED SEASONS group
– Learn Tarot so I don’t need guidebooks anymore
– Deepen relationships with my husband, my kids, and my friends
– Meditate daily
– Create Wheel of the Year art to sell
I really should have recognized from the very beginning that this was a completely unattainable & overwhelming list of goals.
All I really did was create an impossible To Do List for myself. I was doomed from the beginning; it was unrealistic to think I could accomplish all those things on that list.
Immediately I felt crushed by the weight of it all, and started to get down on myself. Queue all the negative stories I tell myself about never accomplishing what I set out to do: “I never finish what I start.” … “I don’t have what it takes.” … “I can’t see anything through.” … and on & on down that deep, dark hole of self-flagellation.
Which is all bullshit.
It was an impossible task from the get-go. I totally set myself up to fail. Then I could reinforce all the stories I tell myself, “See! I never finish what I start. I don’t have what it takes … Just like I said.”
But it’s all a trick your ego play on you–
in order to keep you small.
Our egos get a bad rap. But at its core, your ego’s job is to keep you safe.
Your ego is there to protect you when you are threatened. When we were cave dwellers that meant alerting you to predators so you could run. Today we don’t (usually) have predators, but your ego is still on high alert–constantly on the lookout for danger. And to your ego, anything that’s unfamiliar is potentially dangerous.
When you set out to grow–to evolve, to change your life in someway–your ego experiences that as a threat. And it sets out to shut that down.
Because growth requires you to stretch beyond your comfort zone, to push yourself further than you feel comfortable. And to your ego this is very dangerous territory. If you push yourself beyond your comfort zone, if you’re in territory that is unfamiliar, there might be predators lurking. Your ego thinks you might die, so alarm bells start going off & your ego throws everything in its arsenal to keep you safe.
And what better way to keep you safe, then to trick you into never starting out at all?!!
When I created my list of Spring Intentions, my ego knew it was an impossible list. It also knew as soon as I started slipping, it could throw its entire arsenal of stories at me. And I would believe them.
Knowing your ego is going to react like this, one great way to create lasting growth & change in your life is to slip past your ego undetected.
Instead of creating this whole big long list of things you’re going to do/accomplish/change this season, try starting with one ridiculously easy, attainable goal.
For example, a constant goal I’ve had for myself (on every list of new year resolutions & spring intentions I’ve created for as long as I can remember) has been to exercise regularly. On every list I vow to: exercise 3x per week, or start running, or do yoga regularly, or run stairs–or whatever new scheme I’ve come up to finally meet this goal.
But I’ve failed every time.
Because whatever goal I set is always too hard: my ego sees it coming from a mile away. And it’s very prepared to remind me how I always fail … I’m not athletic … I hate exercising … I don’t have enough time … I never finish what I start …
So this year, I decided to try something different. (I’m so sick of seeing that same goal on every list. I’m so tired of constantly waging that battle.) So this year I made one, simple goal for myself–a goal I felt like I could actually reach.
I dusted off my fitbit & decided to shoot for 10,000 steps a day. That’s it. No other goals. No other list of things to accomplish. Just 10,00 steps a day.
It’s not a glamorous goal. And my ego’s quick to tell me, “It’s just walking. It’s not real exercise.” But other than that my ego’s really left me alone, and let me slip by the gate it’s constantly guarding.
And the truth is, this one small goal is actually way more than I was accomplishing before. I might not be getting ripped at the gym, but I’m moving my body every single day (which I was not doing before.) And, it has added benefits: I’m getting outside every day. I’m spending more time with my family; walking to meet my son at his bus stop, for example (when usually he’d just walk himself home).
AND (most importantly): when you actually meet the goals you set for yourself, you start changing those stories you have about how you never do.
My husband shared this wisdom he received from his kung fu teacher: you perform whatever you practice.
If you set up impossible goals for yourself, then you become practiced at not achieving your goals. Therefore, you’ll likely continue to perform in ways that do not achieve your goals, because this is what you have practiced.
So you have to get in the practice of accomplishing your goals–any goals, simple goals. Small goals will get you in the practice of reaching your goals & changing your stories.
This is where foundational transformation truly lies:
in changing our stories.
All you really need to do is change the story. Because the truth is: YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE ACCOMPLISH ANY GOAL YOU SET FOR YOURSELF. The only thing stopping you, is you. You can do, grow, BE anything you want. It’s all about believing in yourself & not getting in your own way.
So this spring, instead of setting a long, unattainable list of intentions you want to plant, try setting ONE totally achievable goal for yourself.
(If you need an idea, start with taking a walk outside every day. It doesn’t need to be 10,000 steps, just take one walk outside, every day. This alone will change your life. It really will.)
What is ONE THING you want to focus on this season?
Here are 2 simple rituals you can use this spring to take the next step in firmly plant your spring intentions:
(These are particularly potent on the New Moon, but rituals like these are powerful anytime!)