The Practice of Ruthless Compassion

I used to be all about making things happen.

It worked for a long time, until it stopped and I felt the inner exhaustion that followed. I did it so long it became my default way of getting through the challenges of life.

I tried to change but the alternative felt too soft, like I was letting myself off the hook.

“True compassion has nothing to do with being nice and everything to do with doing the right thing for ourselves and others.” – Dr. Marcia Sirota

Doing the right thing for others was usually easier than doing the right thing for myself, and of course, it felt so very virtuous.

Ruthless Compassion #truthbomb, rose quartz

Cue Ruthless Compassion

RUTHLESS: unrelenting, adamant, relentless

Ruthless is kind of a brutal honesty that doesn’t back down. It’s also the starting point when we get real.

Can you be ruthless about:

  • what’s working
  • what’s not working
  • what you want
  • what you desire

In the Desire Map workshops I’ve led recently what shows up is a discomfort with acknowledging these truths. And even though we may not be happy with the current reality, it’s familiar and safe.

It takes guts to tell the truth.

THIS is when it calls for being ruthless with ourselves; relentless for our soul’s deepest desires.

COMPASSION: commiseration, mercy, tenderness, heart

You probably have this in abundance – for others. How about for yourself?

Can you have compassion when you:

  • you slip up
  • forget what you promised
  • turn away from your inner knowing
  • ignore your heart’s longing

It takes heart to show self-compassion.

We are so fucking hard on ourselves and it makes me ache with a sadness that has no words. I know this sadness much too well.

“When a human being has thoroughly experienced his or her own basic rawness, there is no room to manipulate the situation. We just go forward and present the truth quite fearlessly. We can be what we are, in a very straightforward and basic way.” – Atalwin Pilon

What if you could be relentless with heart?

Undaunting with tenderness?

Unrelenting with kindness?

Finding your way with ruthless compassion is an ongoing process.

For me it is a practice of honouring my word to myself and allowing my core desired feelings to guide me.

It’s not easy, and some days I just want to get shit done, get it over with, and do ALL THE THINGS myself.

The cost of this way of being is no longer acceptable.

So I practice. Shifting from ruthless to compassionate and back to centre.

In the practice we find our way.

 

 

The Problem with Change

Change is what most of us want, and whether or not we admit it, we’ve got a list of things we’d like to change about ourselves.

The problem isn’t that we want to change. Change is natural and inevitable.

“Every single thing changes and is changing always in this world.” – Saigyo

The problem with change is that we beat ourselves up when we fail to change in the way we want, and we do it so often it becomes a cycle that creates the future; an endless loop of disappointment and self-recrimination.

When we really want to make a change, but feel defeated before we begin, is it possible to succeed?

It’s unlikely, as the vicious cycle is too ingrained and the negative feelings too strong. This is in spite of the fact that you may still have a strong desire to change.

Desire is the important first step in the process.

Think of all the times you tried to change, and the promises you’ve made to yourself.

How many of those promises did you keep? How many were successful?

Instead of judging ourselves harshly for failing to change, let’s take a look at some common beliefs about change.

Fact or Fiction?

Fiction: It takes 21 days to change a habit.
Fact: It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days, with the average length of time to successfully form a habit coming in at 66 days.

Fiction: All you need is a desire to change.
Fact: A desire to change is essential, but it’s only one of the steps in the process. It has to be accompanied by readiness, and a willingness to act.

Fiction: Once we act, change should be quick and long-lasting.
Fact: Change is a process, not a one-time event. The most effective coaching or therapy takes this into consideration, and encourages the development of a sustainable practice.

Fiction: If it hasn’t worked, you don’t really want to change.
Fact: Successful change includes slipping back into old behaviors as part of the process. It’s an opportunity to learn and grow every time.

So many limiting beliefs that keep us from the change we so desire.

When we’re inspired to change and make a promise to ourselves, that promise comes from a real and true intention.

Another obvious but often overlooked truth is that to change a behavior, we first need to catch ourselves doing it.

The problem is that if we do catch it, we judge ourselves for doing it, and get caught up in our thoughts, and limiting beliefs from the past.

Do the Work

The world of personal development offers solutions for any problem. Like you, I’ve read the books, taken the programs and workshops, and still been disappointed by the outcomes.

Those solutions often fall short.

And what happens after you’ve read the book, or come home from a weekend workshop?

That workshop high usually disappears within days, and we’re left once again to our own devices, which almost certainly lead back to past behaviors.

What’s missing is implementation.

implement – verb

: to carry out; put into action; from 17th century Latin, implementum: to complete, satisfy, fulfill

How often do you follow through, take action, and keep your promise?

Desire must be followed by action. #100daypromise

Desire must be followed by action.

We mistakenly place the responsibility for change with the book or workshop leader. Or we believe that working with a coach or therapist is the solution, as if the magic happens in the sessions.

We give up our power, forgetting that transformation – true change – happens in between sessions, when we’re doing the work of implementation and taking a promise or commitment to completion.

The work of implementation is ongoing, and can seem boring, or repetitive. Instead of resisting, or using it as an excuse to quit, it’s important to develop personal practices.

When we’re connected to spirit or devotional energy, the work of implementation can lead to profound state changes.

When our fears are stripped away and we see clearly what we want for ourselves and why, we’re better able to make and keep our promises. We become more willing to do the work that’s involved, and that paves the way to ‘get there from here’.

In my experience, it’s more effective to do this work in community where we see ourselves in others. The compassion we generously give to others is reflected back to us, and that glimpse of our humanity helps us stay true to what we want.

When that happens, ‘getting there’ becomes less important than the experience, and the journey takes on a level of ease and flow that leads to greater success.

The next 100 Day Promise begins January 1, 2016 with the theme of Living Abundance.

Click to join us here.

 

On Expectations (and the promise of 2015)

expectation (noun)

: 1530s, from Middle French expectation or directly from Latin “anticipation, an awaiting”

It’s a shame that having expectations is so often perceived as negative.

Imagine shifting to the original meaning, “anticipation and awaiting”.

It reminds me of when a woman is pregnant and expecting. There’s a certainty that at the end of nine months she will give birth.

What if you brought that same sense of expecting to your life?

What would you give birth to this year?

“Promise yourself… To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.” – Christian D. Larson

For me, 2015 is truly a year where many of the expectations I’ve had are coming to life.

The anticipation has been building and I hardly have words for what this feels like.

On the one hand it’s overwhelming because really, why do all the seeds I’ve planted the past year have to sprout ALL AT THE SAME TIME?

On the other hand, I am so freakin’ grateful I can hardly breathe.

This is what happens when you do the work. When you show up day after day, even and especially when you don’t feel like it.

The practice of showing up for your life in this way always makes a difference. It can’t not do so.

This work of growing and living a life you love isn’t easy, but it IS the catalyst for growth.

It is what fuels the imaginal cells to complete the transformation, making the pain of change worthwhile.

Maya Angelou said, “If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?”

On that note, here’s what you can expect from me in 2015:

More Desire

: My passion for helping you reclaim your experience of freedom in life is fed by my work with values and core desired feelings. It has been a privilege to lead the Desire Map revolution with Danielle LaPorte and her amazing team.

The coming year is paved for more collaborations and in-person retreats beginning with two retreats in April in the UK. Desire and embodiment are at the heart of these workshops.

More Writing

: With almost twenty years of experience and active participation in the world of personal development, I’ve got a lot to share and the time has come. I’ll be revamping my blog, getting more clear on specific topics and how I can be of service to you.

I’ve also begun work on a book that will bring together what I’ve learned about creating sustainable, effective change. Spring 2015 is about publishing!

More Promise

: The ability to change effectively and sustainably over time is essential to the work of personal growth. If we don’t make this a priority we’ll keep spending time and money on books and programs that ultimately make no difference.

It’s that simple. And that essential.

The next 100 Day Promise begins January 1, 2016 with the theme Living Abundance.

Last but not least…

More Love

I love this work with my heart and soul. I love how it connects me to you.

It’s easy and habitual to succumb to our fears. This year let’s practice choosing love together.

 

Thank you for being here.

Sandi Amorim signature

 

Your Resistance is a Sign

Resistance comes up when you decide to change something about yourself.

You create a goal, or make a promise bigger than you know yourself to be, and resistance comes up because in that moment your identity is threatened.

A part of you must die in order for the new part – the change – to come to life.

This is the journey of resistance.

Don’t try to fix it, or change it. Let it be, and let it move through you.

It can’t stay with you unless you feed it.

“Your resistance is a sign that your system is reconfiguring itself toward success.” – Todd Herman

Notice it, yes, because it’s there. Then turn your attention to what you want.

Commit each day to one action in service to your desire, and do what you need to do to feel how you want the outcome to feel.

Deep in the work of creating a new program, I’ve developed practices to fuel my promise, and ease my resistance.

Because that’s all there is to do.

Day by day, resistance lessens and my promise deepens, filling in areas of my being I didn’t know existed.

“When you surrender, the problem ceases to exist. Try to solve it, or conquer it, and you only set up more resistance.” – Henry Miller

It’s a tricky dance: surrender to it without trying to fight or change it.

It takes practice.

Like true mastery always does.

 

 

The Myth of the Overnight Success

Transformations and overnight successes are common, especially in the online world. We see them all the time: blueprints, roadmaps, and quick-fixes to success.

We forget that there’s no one-size-fits-all path.

We live in a world of over-promising that has a negative impact on our confidence and ability to pursue what’s important to us in life.

The problem with stories of overnight success is that is we don’t often hear about what had to happen to get there, and we almost never hear about the effort involved to reach the successes.

We only see the result, which if you’ve tried and failed in previous attempts to change, only serves to trigger self-recrimination and judgment.

So how do we get there from here?

When you make a promise to yourself, it always comes from a desire to change.

The truth is that change is what most of us want, but we deny that we want it.

Maybe you think you should be more accepting of what is instead of focused on what is not, i.e. your desired outcome.

But change is natural and to resist it is…well, kind of crazy.

“Every single thing changes and is changing always in this world.” – Saigyo

Always in flux, nature is the greatest example of change.

A few years ago we had a violent storm in Vancouver that included howling winds, power outages, and massive damage to our beloved park in the heart of the city. About a week after the storm, we drove through the park and I cried at the loss of so many trees. Yet, driving through the park now, I can hardly tell that anything had happened, and what was once chaos is again beautiful.

Change. From something that was, to something that different, and new.

At the time however, the media focused on the destruction and judgment of what had happened. That judgment was human and had nothing to do with what had actually occurred in nature.

The same thing happens in our minds when we desire to change, and make a promise to ourselves to do so.

The problem isn’t that we want change; the problem is that we judge ourselves harshly when we fail to change the way we want.

This judgment creates a vicious cycle; an endless loop of disappointment and self-recrimination that colours any future attempt to change, sabotaging our promises in an instant.

When we really want to make a change, but feel defeated before we begin, is it possible to fulfill a promise we make to ourselves?

How Does Change Work?

Change is too often thought of as a dramatic shift, i.e. from unhealthy to healthy, from debt to riches.

We’re led to believe that if we’re given the right kind of training, information or education, change will be quick and inevitable.

Except if this belief were true, many industries (weight loss for example) would cease to exist, and sadly that’s not the case.

In Changing for Good, Dr. James Prochaska found (after working with thousands of patients) that there are natural steps we all go through when making changes in our lives.

Since a promise is creating a change in the future, this is a good place to begin. 

cycle_of_change_prochascka, Changing for Good

It doesn’t matter what area of life you choose, we go through these stages every time we declare a desire to change, every time you make a promise to yourself.

Unless you understand how it goes, the cycle will keep undermining your ability to keep your promise.

This points to the fundamental truth that the process of change is seldom a straight path.

That’s why the 100 Day Promise is effective.

You’ll walk that path armed with tools and strategies, in a loving and supportive community.

Join us.