I was thinking today about how often we make promises to ourselves that we break freely. We don’t start off with the intention of doing so, but all of a sudden it seems that something more important comes up and we can’t keep that promise to… go to the gym 3 times a week… be kinder to an irritating neighbor or colleague… write at least five pages in that Great American Novel we’ve dreamed of finishing.
Why do we treat ourselves and our commitments to self with such disdain and contempt? I think it’s not that we’re lazy, or can’t find the time to do these things. It’s poor habits of being congruent with the desired result.
We want the better health, the better relationships, the goal achieved. But we don’t really think we can do it. So when something else pops up, or when the neighbor is especially rude, or we hit writer’s block, it seems only natural to let the old ways win.
When I awoke on 1/29/16 with the idea to bring the Dalai Lama home to Tibet, not only was I startled by it, but I knew that for me to be the one to say “Yes” to the idea and actually take it from a one sentence thought in my mind into full-blown reality in the physical world, I would need to not only set a firm commitment, but be prepared to live up to it.
To support my commitment, I created a list of 88 affirmations. The number “8” is my lucky number and I’ve often had series of eights show up in my life. The Chinese, and other Asian cultures, consider “8” an auspicious number because it resembles the Chinese character meaning “joy” or “happiness.” So I called the list my 88 happy affirmations–I created the list within a few weeks of getting the idea for sending the Dalai Lama home, and began using it daily.
I have found these 88 affirmations a tremendous support to keeping my commitments to myself, both with this project and with others in my life. And so I turned the audio I created for myself into the soundtrack for a video you can watch on the “Restoring Tibet” YouTube playlist. Here’s the link — https://youtu.be/lYITYiKtVQA