How Goals Slip Away

How Goals Slip Away

written by: Melanie McGhee
by: Melanie McGhee
Winter-1971080 1920 Winter-1971080 1920

Such a good holiday. Leaves, Family, Laughter. Now it's back to it.

There are some things I want to tie up before the end of the year. One loose end is having clarity on where my 2018 goals fit into my calendar and begin chopping away at any of the ways I might get in my own way. I'm not alone in this, right? Am I the only one who sets a goal to find it slips between my fingers? That experience can become so noxious that we just avoid the whole experience and trundle along with eyes half closed.

Last week, Marie avoided talking about the thing she had dipped her toes into the previous week – her weight. With a mournful look, she took a breath and faced that beast head on. Such easy courage was at the ready because of ALL of her previous practice with acceptance and integration.

Facing "THE WEIGHT" meant looking at what she wants. It meant being honest about what she REALLY wants. What's her goal? Sometimes identifying a goal can send our clients into a tailspin of defeat and avoidance, not so with Marie. She took another breath, blew out long and slow as she does. It's quite beautiful watching her do this. Don't you love these small things about your clients?

Anyway, Marie's goal felt insurmountable. Yet, she did not surrender. She was game to keep going into the pain and fear and sorrow associated with the goal because she also knew there was ANOTHER SIDE and an endpoint. What captivated her was how insurmountable the goal seemed. She felt defeated before she began.

Goals inherently carry the energy of defeat, to varying degrees. To open the gate to this, I usually ask "what's the obstacle between you and your goal?" Lately, I've found an exploration of sacrifice to be more fruitful. "What would you have to sacrifice to achieve your goal?" Identifying what would have to be sacrificed and how your client feels about that sacrifice is rich territory for resolution.

Using Pairaday, an integration technique developed by Ivana Tomanovic (my mentor, Zivorad Slavinski's daughter) I lead Marie through a multi-layered inquiry into and through a briar patch of charged tension associated with her weight goal. We did this by moving between the opposites of having a goal of losing ___#s / not having a goal about my weight.

Step by step, breath by breath, I watched the tension melt away as she moved through layers of doubt, defeat, fear, shame, and sorrow. She recognized and softened into a state of peace which evolved into a spacious emptiness associated with nondual awareness.

There are many polarities associated with goal achievement. Integrating thoughts, images, emotions and sensations about having the goal and not having the goal can open a more easeful path to achieving goals and helping our clients do the same.

Marie left feeling free of any resistance to the goal. It was empty of charge. She is determined. She will likely encounter challenges along the way. What big goal doesn't have walls to bust through? The challenges aren't the problem. It's what we do when we meet the challenges where our real game is. I have confidence in Marie's ability to meet the challenges she will face because I've watched her meet and transcend other, even BIGGER challenges head on.

There are LOADS to explore, learn and share with each other about realizing goals. For now, consider exploring a goal through the lens of sacrifice and integration. Let us know how it goes.

  • What will they/you have to sacrifice to achieve the goal?
  • How do they/you feel about making that sacrifice?
  • Integrate having the goal / not having the goal (if you have the tools