Do I create compassionate goals? Do you? For me the answer is: Um, heck no! I tend to create too many goals then beat myself up for not reaching them or any, due to lack of focus or “whatever.”
Yep, my truth.
I DO get stuff done, but never satisfied…
Here is a noodle of information or a “starter” idea towards creating compassionate goals:
One way to create compassionate goals, according to yogic wisdom, is to reframe them as an ongoing practice of sankalpa (resolve)— san means “born from the heart,” while kalpa means “unfolding over time” — recommends Richard Miller, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga.
So, to be compassionate to myself I would need to resolve to allow the goals I set to first, be from the heart and second to unfold over long periods of time. This I have done! This I can do! For example, I set goals for myself as a parent when my children were 4 and 2 years old. They are now 20 and 18. The five goals I set for myself, for them, have taken many years to unfold. In fact, in many ways I am still resolving to be the parent I set out to be.
Was I a perfect parent while reaching the goals I set for us? Did I follow the outlined goals (I had 5 concrete written down goals) all of the time? Of course not! And I am totally OK with how much I have done and how much I didn’t do. I know that for 95% of the time (maybe less) I did my best with the kids.
Then there is my art life.
Somehow, for my art life goals — like writing another book, making more fine art, making fun art postcards and note cards, sharing free art, creating coloring books from my drawings, and so many other things… I am not as compassionate with myself! I feel like I let myself down because I want to do so much and I only have so much time. And I have added a full time job to the mix – uh oh!
I want to do so much that I loose track of which project I am working on. This is real. This is the life of a creative. This is the me I have created. I hardly ever feel like I have met my best self in my creative pursuits. This is why the idea of creating compassionate goals caught my attention.
How would I create compassionate goals? How can you?
Seriously, I really am struggling with this. When I look back, raising kids did not happen alone. I had help! There were teachers, coaches, tutors, other parents, family, and others along the journey with me. I woke up each day and did the work, or as yogi’s say—the practice.
Creating compassionate goals for my creative life might mean being kinder to myself. If I go back to the quote above, that means two things, do work from the heart and practice. Practicing working towards goals—compassionately. OK, I get that.
In writing this reflection, I realize that I may also need a team, peers, mentors, and others to join me along the journey. To create compassion for self may require a network of people to help and support the goals along the journey. (I think of my readers as a part of this team, wink, wink…).
Compassion starts from the inside, but also needs to emanate from the outside.
SO lets hear it for NOT going it alone as creatives! Let’s also build compassionate goals not just for our creative lives, but also for life in general. The world needs our heart and practice towards compassion.