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The Ease of Just for Right Now Resolutions
We're in resolution season folks. It's all over social media, it's all over advertising, it's in the air. With resolutions we can always feel the pressure that quickly materializes on our shoulders. We want to do better for ourselves, we want to commit to being there in bigger, healthier ways for our loved ones, and ourselves but in the process we can often wind up feeling discouraged and stressed out.
Years ago when I first began practicing Reiki I was quite taken by Dr. Mikao Usui's Reiki Prayer:
Just for today, I will not anger.
Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will be grateful.
Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
Just for today, I will be kind to myself and all living things.
For me, a recovering anxiety-ridden perfectionist, I found so much relief in the "just for today idea." It just made these concepts and lessons feel so much more manageable. But, because my anxiety was so entrenched, I shortened the "just for today" to "just for right now."
Just for right now changed my life. I could make mini-resolutions with myself. They felt contained, they felt manageable, and they felt achievable. I could not worry "right now." I could relax "right now." I didn't have to be concerned with not worrying ever again, or for the next day, year, or even hour. "Right now" is always achievable and "right now" is forgiving. We don't change habits overnight, we need time to change, and "just for right now" gives us that time and flexibility we need to slowly shift patterns.
For example, from my experience with anxiety and worry, if I say to myself "Alex, this year you're not going to worry" then on January 1st at 8am when I'm getting anxious I immediately feel like I failed.
If on the other hand if I say to myself "Alex, just for right now, let's not worry" I feel immediate relief. I haven't made any huge proclamations about the entire year and I haven't set myself up for failure. I've given myself an achievable goal. Just for right now, not forever, not for a month, not for a day, just for right now.
And the best part is when the anxiety comes up all I have to do is say "Just for right now, let's not worry." And when it comes up again, "Just for right now, let's not worry." There's no feeling of failure with which to beat myself up. There's no letting myself down.
Big breakthroughs are not miraculous. They are the result of millions of tiny steps in the direction of change. Those steps add up and one day we notice that we are different and that we do things differently. We notice our habits are different and we notice our reactions are different. Real change is often so subtle it doesn't feel like we are even changing. But, many moments down the road we look back and think, "who was that?"
This idea takes some getting used to, and it takes some reminding. I think it's a good idea to write down your mini-resolution and put it somewhere you see often like your computer screen or the bathroom mirror. Start with something easy and just practice the technique.
Some examples of using the just for right now idea:
"Just for right now, I'm not going to worry."
"Just for right now, I'm going to listen to my body's messages."
"Just for right now, I'm going to do 30 minutes of exercise."
"Just for right now, I'm going to eat food that feels nourishing to me."
"Just for right now, I'm going to be nice to myself."
"Just for right now, I'm going to think before I speak."
Just for right now, I'm going to be kind to others."
If you say those statements you will feel the ease that comes with them. All change happens small scale, and when you make a commitment to yourself for this moment, you make a commitment that you can honor. When you make a commitment you can honor and you honor it, you show yourself that you can trust yourself. When you show yourself you can trust yourself, you feel better about yourself. And when you feel better about yourself, you want to keep doing the things that make you feel better about yourself.
You may even notice that you can increase the time span of your self-commitment to a day, and maybe even more than that. But in the end it's not absolutely necessary. We live our lives in the moment, we are always in the present, and if we just resolve in the present we are resolving in the firm ground of reality. The present is the only true moment that ever exists and you can't go wrong resolving in and for the present.
Just for right now. . .