This time last year, we chatted about New Year's Resolutions. More specifically, why we do not make them and why the concept does not resonate with us (more on that here). I think many ultrarunners are naturally goal driven and A-type. We are constantly planning and pursuing big dreams. We do things that scare us. Our comfort zone is plain uncomfortable. When January 1st shows up on our calendar, it doesn't mean much. And really, everyday is January 1st.
As we embark on 2017, I will not be making standard New Year's Resolutions again. But this time I will be more particular about my non-resolution. My focus now is to change nothing. That's right, no change. I will not be seeking or striving for any physical or spiritual transformations. I will put no effort into changing who I am. I will let go of the desire to control circumstances or outcomes. I will change nothing.
I recently learned that change causes persistence. Meaning, trying to change anything does the exact opposite of that intention. It causes friction - even at the molecular level. I am increasingly aware of how this is true. There is no need to change, desire to change, or control change. I started applying this to my running, yoga posing, communicating with others, etc. Things became easier. Running just is. That slow pace I'm jogging today? It doesn't matter. Awkward poses just are. Listening is just that. And speaking is just words. Everything just is. Life just is. It just is. I have also noticed that the intention to change nothing, lightens the weight of the world I often carry.
Changing nothing is on the same spectrum as GZFs (learn more here), but goes deeper. I am choosing to whole heartedly embrace every weird characteristic, habit, and feature of my flawed self and change nothing. I give fucks about myself, but I am choosing to coexist in harmony with my demons and let go of any desire to change.
I do not want to confuse having the intention of changing nothing with trying to change nothing. Don't try. Just be. The more I try and control a circumstance or outcome, the more likely I am to experience disappointments in my anticipated expectations. There is no need to try. Let it go. Let it be.
For a control freak, changing nothing is not easy. "The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience." (https://markmanson.net/feedback-loop-from-hell?spfb_42733). When I'm happy, I'm happy. When I'm pissed off, I'm pissed off. I will not fight the uncomfortable. I will not change it. It just is.
So I am changing nothing, and making no effort to do so. Now that I have determined what I will not be doing, what will I be doing? Simple. I will be doing what I love. I will be drinking Malbec, exploring more mountains, learning like a Curious George, engaging with people who inspire me, laughing loud like usual, and apologetically interrupting sometimes.
Happy New Year.