Friday, April 29, 2016

Runes 403 - Rune Interpretations - Commitments Toward Goals

"I don't have time for anything."  "There isn't enough time in my day to do everything that needs to get done."  "What I would give to be able to do that or to have the time to do that."  Do any of these sound familiar?

I know they do to me, but my greater frustration is that I know I do have time.  Many of my friends have made the same proclamations and, listening to what they said, I realized that goals or deadlines tend to be attached to things they want to do, but "simply don't have time for".

So, I asked the Runes what would happen if I made a commitment to something without affixing a larger goal or deadline to it?  Here is what they showed me.

Ehwaz, Dagaz, and Nauthiz

I found Ehwaz in the first position served as an important reminder, especially with regard to two of its attributes.  The horse Rune represents loyalty and a mode of transportation.  What this suggests to me is that, if we really want to accomplish something, we will.  It's an abstract take on loyalty in the sense that when there is something that we really want to accomplish, we stick to it; we are loyal to the idea, not the idea of completing or acquiring it.  Let me give you a quick example that opened my eyes recently.  I want to finish my second novel.  (The Son of Nine Sisters was my first.) I am loyal to the idea of completing it, but I am not loyal to the process.  So, I decided to commit to spending six hours a week writing.  If I write 1,000 words an hours (about 2 pages), I will complete the draft of my second novel within a year, probably less.  This is where the mode of transportation piece of Ehwaz comes in, because, although I did the rough math, the "goal" is not to finish the novel in a year.  Instead, I am committing to the journey, transporting myself along this timeline of six hours a week. This changes my commitment from a goal (outcome) to a process.

The next question seems to me to be where I am going to find the time to write if, as the quotes above claim, I don't have time to do this.  Dagaz is the perfect Rune to address this question.  The day Rune has presented itself to me in a few posts on similar topics (achieving goals, time, and unfinished projects), so it is entirely appropriate that it shows up today.  This Rune in this position reinforces the belief that we can accomplish things we commit to.  It is positive and uplifting; hopeful.  This Rune says, "You can do it."  If we are loyal to something, maybe the best way to approach it is by breaking it down into smaller pieces.  Rather than insisting that we are going to write our second novel by the end of the year, what if we just say that we are going to write six hours a week? Here again, we are changing the focus of our commitment.  Now, how do we find the time to do it?

I find that, when I am unable to meet a deadline or I don't successfully complete a goal that I've set for myself by the time I say it will be done, I feel awful and I get frustrated and angry... and I don't like to feel that way, none of us do.  It isn't helpful.  I think that is why Nauthiz came third, because none of us need the stress that we place on ourselves by trying to force unrealistic goals into our already busy lives.  It is interesting that Nauthiz appears in many of my posts that deal with similar situations (calm and relaxed, pace yourself, unfinished projects, and priorities) and now it is here and telling us two things in this final position.  First, it takes on need in terms of reminding us to let go of stressful approaches to commitments.  That is very sage advice and frames itself in terms of things we do not need, like stress.  Second, it tells us to consider our priorities.  What are the commitments we need to make and what is the best approach to making them?  For me, writing is a very important part of who I am, a definite commitment that I want to make.  However, I need to be realistic about the position I give writing in my life.  Here is my realization.  I was making a goal of writing at night, after my kids were in bed, but that was not working for me.  I was exhausted by then and I have never been a night person.  I am a morning person.  It is far easier for me to get up at 5:30 in the morning and write for two hours than it is for me to stay up until 11pm doing it.  That is what I need in order to fulfill my commitment to writing.  By taking a step back and asking myself how I can accomplish this goal without adding more stress to my life, I incorporated something I need into my life and made a commitment to it in terms of a manageable process.