How Resigned Are You?

by janice on February 3, 2011

If you put your best foot forward, you will be rewarded. If you do your part, if you take one step toward expressing all the greatness that lives within you, the universe will take a hundred steps toward you. But you must be willing to take the first step.~ Debbie Ford


Debbie Ford - The Best Year of Your LifeI was so tired of feeling storm-tossed and twinkle-less over Christmas that decided I was going to go back to basics and work really hard at separating what I can control from what I can’t.  One of the things that came up for me was how resigned I was becoming about my own less than vibrant health and the dreams I was no longer pursuing. I realised, just in time, that I was dulling my awareness deliberately, using some really devious devices to disconnect my gut feelings from my ability to analyse patterns. Some folk self medicate with drink, or do drugs; instead of writing, I was drowning myself in daily drudgery, deadening my brain with chick-lit drivel and sedating myself  with evening DVD’s. Writing opens me up and keeps me aware and open, so it’s no surprise that I hadn’t logged on for a while, or didn’t read anything that got me reaching for a notebook to jot down quotes.

One of the little bits of synchronicity I told you about in my last post was getting a Kindle from my husband and kids for Christmas. It got me exploring different genres,  just to see what was available, and downloading dozens of free samples from books. It was like being given bags full of samples in a sweet shop! One of the books I went on to buy was Debbie Ford’s The Best Year of Your Life

If you need a wee boost to get your year started, it’s the kind of book I’d recommend. She writes with an uplifting style that inspires and sweeps you forward, and even if you’re familiar with the tools, tips and nuggets of wisdom she covers, it’s a refreshing way to revisit  old favourites. After I finished it, I gave it to my daughter to read; one of the most frustrating things about teenagers is how resigned they become to what they see as the ‘bad stuff’ happening in their lives. Seeing the damaging effects of resignation in someone so young made me very aware that in my fifties, I have to fight even harder not to let it drag me down. Learning to let go leaves me with that beach holiday feeling of getting clean and clear. Resignation’s not the same, nor is it the same as being ‘realistic’; it’s creeping and inciduous and disguises itself as a variety of malaises. It sits heavy in your heart and saps your soul.

Most of us are unaware of the extreme resignation that is brewing just beneath the surface of our consciousness. The voice of resignation is a little different for each of us, but its tone usually sounds something like this: “Why bother? It’s never going to happen. I don’t have what it takes. It’s too much work. I don’t have time. I can’t deal with it. I don’t deserve it.” When we fall short where we had hoped to succeed, when our day-to-day lives fail to resemble our visions of what is possible, when our goals haven’t turned into reality, our hope for a great life begins to die, our senses deaden, and gradually we become resigned about our futures. Since most of us are unaware of this fact or don’t know how to deal with it, we wind up spending countless hours and much of our attention trying to cover up our resignation and fill the void that exists inside of us. Instead of making peace with our past, we develop addictions, create drama, and attract upsetting incidents in order to change our focus and avoid the painful feelings of not having expressed our potential. Resignation comes in many forms. It might show up as cynicism, sarcasm, or hopelessness. It can feel like depression, sadness, loneliness, or emptiness. Left unexamined, our resignation will continue to mask the real issues at hand while diverting us from fulfilling our highest visions for our lives. ~ Debbie Ford

If you dug deep enough, would you find anything that you’ve become resigned about, something that might be stopping you creating the life and the changes you crave?

Janice
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{ 20 comments }

Marc February 3, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Learning to let go is a central theme in my life currently. It hurts like hell at times, but I’ll be damned (literally) if I let the pain stop me now.

That passage you quoted reminded me of a Facebook status I posted shortly before Christmas, in which I asked “why do I bother”. It was a real eye-opener for me. A slap in the face, kick in the butt kind. It showed me I have awesome friends and family and that I need to sort myself out.

Since then, I have noticed many different signs, symbols and synchronicities all centred around letting go and accepting there are things I cannot (and should not) control.

Regarding digging deep and combating the dreaded voice of despair and resignation; I have the following written on an electronic sticky note on my computer desktop:

“You are only as powerful as your ability to perceive, receive,
and use your abilities.” – Native American wisdom.

I read it daily.

janice February 3, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Brilliant quote! The thing about resignation, though, is that it’s a bit of a Trickster. If it shows up as desperation, it’ll be a quiet desperation. More likely than not, folk won’t even know they’ve become resigned to something; they’ll be too busy making dramas, or excuses, or getting ill, or being sad, or drinking too much – doing anything, in fact, except asking the questions “What do I really need? What do I really want? What am I really feeling?” We can never get what we want and need until we answer those questions. Resignation is the home territory of self limiting beliefs and although all of our self imiting beliefs are different and personal to us, they have one thing in common; they become obstacles and barriers to us picking ourselves up and doing something to change our situations. To me, resignation carries its own deep, sad sigh around with it. It’s like those chocked full of junk, cobwebby, dusty garages and attics we’ve all seen where folk haven’t just given up, but a cloak of invisibility seems to have fallen over the storage spaces so they become almost invisible – until something gives. But the thing about sad garages full of junk and hearts full of unresolved stuff, unhealed pain and uninvestigated thoughts is that they leave no room for wonderful new stuff to come along and fill us up. Inner, unhealed pain’s like an infection that keeps resurfacing.

So boyo, are you going to buy/download the book and let us all know how it works out for you as you put things into action? Strikes me there’s synchronicity for you in coming here after all this time and finding a post about a book that stresses the importance of investigating what we do to cover up our resignation, and how we fill the void left by not being/doing/having what we really need and want. Whenever we focus on how we think things SHOULD be instead of accepting that they are as they are because that’s exactly how they’re meant to be, we set ourselves up for a whole lot of pain. All pain is caused by resisting how things actually are right this very second.

If you don’t fancy that book, Lord knows I can recommend a stack of them. It only takes one good book to resonate with you and give you that incentive to do something that little bit differently today, tomorrow and the next day. Then you get thirsty for more. I also know where I can get you free life coaching if you have Skype.

Marc February 3, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Spot on Janice. I have low self-worth, when it comes to limitations I am my own worse enemy.

Truth be told I could read that book. I could read every book you recommend. But, and here’s another saying that has always resonated with me, “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”

I talk the talk, but I don’t walk the walk. I know what I need to do, now I need to do it. :)

janice February 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm

So, what’s stopping you walking the walk and applying what you know? And if you’re not spending your days reading uplifting, inspiring, helpful, strategy packed books, how are you filling them? And is that how you’d like to be filling them ? ;)

Get yourself a coach; one of the most underrated advantages of having one is that they keep you accountable and work with you to discover why you’re NOT doing what you know needs to be done. They also help you develop supportive environments. I can’t offer, because coaching friends rarely works well unless you start off as coaching buddies in the first place. But as I said, if you’ve got Skype, I can get you free coaching.

Marc February 3, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Actually I am walking the walk, or maybe a better analogy would be crawling the crawl :)

I’m finally getting paid for my writing skills. I’m being noticed (and found) through Welsh Scribe. I need to step it up a notch now, I need to turn it into a sustainable living. The important thing is that the first (scary) steps have been taken.

And they weren’t that scary.

I also have a mentor. Someone who gives it to me straight and keeps me accountable and motivated :)

janice February 3, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Glad you’ve got a mentor – drop me an email and dish the dirt!! Great news, too, about the paid writing. After all the hard work, perseverance and dedication you put in, it was just a matter of time. Anything I can do to help you keep up the momentum or stop it ever getting too scary, just let me know.

And while you’re here, pleeeeease tell me why my Comment luv seems to have died… :(

Marc February 3, 2011 at 8:30 pm

I’ll be in touch very soon, either by email or by phone. I’ll even put Skype on this box if I can get my headset/microphone to work again. Failing that I’ll put Skype on my mobile phone.

As for Comment Luv, I’m already on that. Mine isn’t playing nice either.

Marc February 3, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Okay, had to force a reload on my browser to get Comment Luv working. It says your version of Comment Luv is out of date. Need help updating it?

janice February 4, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I`ve already downloaded the upgrade, and am planning to upload it today. Thanks for the offer – I`ll let you know how I get on. Today`s bit of personal progress? I used my Kindle to post this!

Marc February 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Well look at you with your techno-gadgets!

I put Kindle reader on my phone, but Skype got terrible reviews so I’ll forego that and use the PC instead.

Barbra February 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Always enjoy your thoughtful articles Janice! Right now I am learning a lot from the zencast.org podcasts. There is an archive of 300 weekly dharma talks – a rich treasure chest of wisdom.

janice February 4, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Hi Barbra,
It always makes me smile when you visit! Because I associate you with what was one of the happiest, most rewarding periods of my whole life – my first monthly column, meeting other coaches at BACC and becoming certified – just seeing your wee photo evokes a visceral memory and a warm feeling that everything’s do-able, that it’ll all turn out OK. Good mentoring ripples out for years! I’ll check out that site at the weekend if I feel sure that I won’t get sucked in…

Connie Frey February 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Thank you for the post, Janice, which I read online yesterday before official post announcement.

Little background first: my life path for insight, experience and personal growth draws on many practices of embodied awareness, including depth sensory awareness and vipassana mindfulness as offered by Shinzen Young: http://www.basicmindfulness.org/

So as happened overnight, your theme of “resignation” echoed. As I ‘rode’ an intensity of sensations, images and mumblings ~ sensing and releasing ~ I identified some as historically embodied resignation.

Thought you’d like to know you got under my skin! :-)

Connie

janice February 4, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Thanks, Connie. It’s always good to know that someone, somewhere has taken away something from the weirdly unconnected stuff I’m moved to post. I had strong feelings, too, when I read that section of the book after I’d been cleaning the whole house for days (always a sign that there’s something I need to let go of!…) It hit me like an AHA! moment and I felt an uncomfortable spotlight, searching out all the stuff hiding in the void spaces, and interrogating all my excuses. I even found myself wondering to what extent my recent illnesses have merged into the resignation caused by unresolved issues and abandoned dreams that still haunt me.

Connie Frey February 4, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Your last words remind me of the title of your blog.

We are journey-ing . . . Along the way [fill in the blank].

Joanne Keevers February 4, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Hello Janice. I’ve always enjoyed your articles since discovering you through the Calm Space and this article is no exception! I’ll be looking into the book that you recommend, as it sounds like just what I may need myself right now.

My own personal journey of making changes in my life began over three years ago. It wasn’t until last year that the full force of my previous actions really kicked in, with noticable life changing events occuring.

By coincidence, I wrote a blog post yesterday talking about the little, seemingly insignificant habits we form and continue through our every day life, without being aware that we are doing these things, until someone pulls us up and points out to us what we are doing! I called these actions “habits”, you have referred to them as “resignation”, hence why I need this book!

It’s wonderful to hear that your own life’s course is back on track and you realise that writing is helping you. Far healthier than drugs or alcohol!

All the best, Janice. I look forward to reading more of your thought provoking articles. :)

Maya @ Completely Coastal February 5, 2011 at 12:14 am

I very much believe that life here is really the process of becoming more and more aware, feeling and understanding more deeply…, it takes comitment…, and courage too.

Regarding the driftwood heart… love the one on your site, and that’s easy to do too!! Then, thanks so much for your wonderful compliment!!!!!!! To hear that feels good!!

Hilary February 5, 2011 at 9:12 am

Hi Janice .. resignation .. it’s tough to pull out of when we feel overwhelmed and whacked physically and mentally for various knocks that happen around our families, or life.

Having had the 4 years I’ve had .. I really have no excuse for resignation – because I know I can get out of it .. I’ve done it so often – once done & remember those times .. it makes the next one easier. Not much else can happen down here .. and touch wood I’ve had the lot and can actually get on an upward trajectory.

We need that brief period of resignation, I mentally turn on my heel, adjust and then move on – it’s done .. and there’s nothing we can do – except be thankful for all the good things in life we have .. and there are so many … and there will be so much more if we let happiness in .. and act .. put that galumphing foot forward .. once the momentum is there more will follow!!

Have a great weekend .. and it’s wonderful having you back .. cheers Hilary

Karen Wallace February 10, 2011 at 12:12 am

Janice! Woot, popped over and found this beautiful post from you. And comments! I love that book, it’s in storage at the moment waiting to be unpacked on the wall of bookshelves in our new home.

Resignation is an insidious beast, isn’t it? Sometimes when things hurt too much we head downwards into denial/avoidance/distraction so we don’t have to feel quite so intensely, and if we’re not careful we can get stuck down there.

What I am hearing is a corner turned, a lid lifted, a window opened. and it’s allowing that beautiful, positive, insightful Janice to emerge once more. And I couldn’t be more thrilled! Would be hugging you and jumping up and down (at the same time:) if I was there… Kxxx

Davina Haisell February 18, 2011 at 3:52 am

You know, Janice… I think if we stop digging we get too darn cocky and complacent. There always seems to be something to reflect on and learn from. I agree with Hilary; it is tough when we feel overwhelmed to deal with the knocks that life raps on our door. Sometimes it goes away if we ignore it, but sometimes it just keeps on knocking.

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