Meet Pumpkin. From the day I met her, nearly two years ago, I was reminded what ACCOUNTABILITY is all about. Have you ever seen the look in your dogs eyes when you tell her you aren't going to take her for a walk? I don't use guilt or shame as a way of having my clients be accountable, but my dog surely does!! The look she gives me is enough to get me outside, leash in hand and dog in tow.
What is ACCOUNTABILITY?
noun ac·count·abil·i·ty \ə-ˌkau̇n-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\
Definition of accountability the quality or state of being accountable; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions.
The kind of accountability that I talk about is a positive, not punitive form of SELF AWARENESS.
I have found in my own walk with a coach, that the simple act of discussing my goals brings them to the forefront of my mind, therefore, I am always thinking about them. If I didn't need to "report" back to my coach or keep a chart of my progress, those goals would likely just fade away.
Kinda like this cute puppy of mine who constantly reminds me of my daily walking goals, keep your goals handy so you can visualize what it is you want to do as a way of holding yourself accountable in between sessions. Heck, get gold stars or stickers if it helps... or get a cute puppy like this one.
I decided that an early gift to myself for Mother's Day would be a three day juice detox package. I was all set. The juice was delivered to my door at 6 am. I downed that bottle labeled “1 of 6” and was determined to “detox” my body thanks to the helpful and suggestive ads I have seen everywhere. I knew deep within what my own truth was. I wanted to lose weight. I didn't care so much about the detox. I had to lie to my kids when they asked me why I was going to juice for three days because I knew not to say my hidden truth. I am a healthy woman for the most part. I don't need to lose weight. I don't eat gluten, sugar, dairy, or soy. I do partake in a bit more wine than I should although it is sulfite free, telling myself that makes it better. I probably eat dark chocolate way too much pretending that it is not really sugar. My shampoo down to my dish soap is organic and sulfate and paraben free. I work out 5 days a week, walk my dog, do crunches and push ups at night. My truth? I don't feel I am enough as I am and I reminding you, as I remind myself, to ignore that LIE and to focus on your truth, your path, your worth.
Well.. let me do a little inventory here about my 6-10 am juice cleanse:
I missed my chai tea during my prayer time.
I fussed at every kid in the house under the age of 12 because they were " too slow", but the truth was I was just a cranky mess.
I missed my simple, comforting breakfast.
I didn't walk my dogs because I felt lazy.
I had a headache because I didn't have any coffee.
I left my gym class halfway through because I felt sick, and I was too scattered when I left the house to remember my water bottle.
My sitter asked if she could babysit tonight for a date night and I declined knowing I couldn't eat out for dinner.
Reading the above makes me laugh out loud a little. How was any of that beneficial? I don't think that was in the detox ad that I read.
At 10 am....I realized my truth was somewhere in the form of punishment. I wanted so badly to do what everyone else was doing. A juice cleanse is supposed to be so healthy, so good for you, so refreshing and so good for your looks. I bought into wanting to be something else and I tanked at it pretty horribly.
Do you punish yourself unknowingly by trying to find your truth on someone else's journey?
Don't get me wrong... a detox juice fast has been beneficial for many, even for me once in the past, but it's not where I am right now.
I realized in trying to love myself by losing more weight, I was losing a lot more.
My truth may have involved leaving the gym to get a breakfast taco (on corn and no cheese of course because let’s not go crazy !?) and a bite of dark chocolate when I got home. My truth involved walking my dogs, enjoying the smell of coffee brewing in my house, and looking in the mirror at Gods creation and saying “thank you.”
What is your truth today? Let me remind you to let it be your own, not the one you think it should be.
(thanks public domain images.com)
My clients surprise themselves when they start to see connections in their thinking. A recent session included the topic of comfort and "tomorrow." The picture above brings me comfort. I can see myself walking this path, enjoying the smell of the clean air, feeling the breeze blow between the trees and hearing the dirt crinkle under my feet as I walk. I don't want that feeling to go away. What if, however, that path was leading me somewhere quite the opposite? What if I knew that path ended, not with the same visions I have when I look at the picture, but with something that took me to self hatred, bad decisions, an unhealthy lifestyle and regret. Would I still find comfort in this?
What if I told myself I would only walk the path "one more time" and would find a new route tomorrow? How many times would I keep walking this, although temporarily comfortable, knowing where it ends?
You see, we as the beautiful creatures God made us to be, get caught up in what feels comfortable. We tend to put off what we know we need to do until "tomorrow" because the journey we are on feels right BUT we know the path is leading us somewhere we don't really want to go.
There CAN be comfort in the new path. A comfort that is more accommodating to where you want to be. We need to realize a new kind of comfort will come in the midst of getting started today.
How many more tomorrows do you want to keep separating you from the new comfort you can find today?