Nourish relationships and self-care

Empathy works. It always does.

Six steps to make conscious commitments

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CommitmentHow do we make commitments we can honor? I hope these six steps will help you.

1. Connect to the underlying needs you’re trying to serve

In my desire to be an aspirant-member of the Order of Interbeing I try to nurture my need for help on my path of mindfulness and compassion. It also supports a need for belonging to a group I feel welcome and at home. I have a need for contribution, to use my practice to benefit others and relief suffering. There is a need for peace, to be more open and accepting of reality, and more joyful of what is in this moment, instead of what I want it to be. And there is a need for harmony and trust. This community handles conflicts with such peace, ease and grace.

2. Brainstorm other strategies

Write all your needs down on a big piece of paper, step back and look at the overall picture. Are there other strategies that might support all those needs?

I see my needs for support, community, belonging, contribution, peace, harmony and trust, and wonder which other strategies would nurture those needs. My marriage, moving back to the Netherlands, seeking certification with the Center for Nonviolent Communication? I don’t see they support all of my needs. This choice stands out as the best.

Maybe more needs come up at this stage. Jot them down, and re-do step 2. Do they reinforce your choice, or change your strategy? I realize my need for purpose and clarity reinforces my choice for being an aspirant-member.

If you have more strategies available, you can use the polarity matrix to check which one stands out.

3. Imagine yourself six months from now, after your commitment

Look at your future self, and feel, see, hear, taste, smell all the aspects of your life. What are your experiences, activities, surroundings? Do you like this future version of yourself? Do you get excited and enthusiastic to be that person? If so, go on with step 4. If not, this is not the right strategy.

4. Sleep on it

Let it go. Repeat “Everything is in divine order, everything will be resolved in God’s love and wisdom” or anything else that rings true. Trust your subconscious’ wisdom and guidance. Relax in the miracles of sleep.

5. Express your intention

You wake up with the same commitment? Express your intention to an accountability partner. Someone who is willing to check if this is really what you want. Hearing yourself express out loud what you want to commit to, will help surface any fears, hopes, reservations and longings. With empathy you can address them and include them in your choice.

6. Commit!

Go for it! That is the only way to know you made a true commitment. Even if it turns out to be the wrong choice, you can celebrate your sincere intention to consciously commit.

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You want help to clarify your commitments? Contact me for a complimentary, discovery session 512-589-0482

Author: Elly van Laar

I am a coach. I specialize in helping compassionate professionals integrate self-care in their lives. I have a Master's degree in Political Science, Leiden University, the Netherlands. I love meditation, walking, gardening, biking, and hanging out with family and friends.

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