What Are You Committing To?

January 19, 2023

In my last email, I reviewed some of the major events and themes that made 2022 such a profoundly deep year for me. After much reflection and taking an honest inventory of where I am now, I decided that I will take a sabbatical in 2023.

Once I made that decision, I asked myself a powerful question: “What am I committing to?” 

Before I tell you my answer, let me ask you this:

What are you committing to in 2023? How are you committing yourself to it?

Take a moment to feel into those questions. See what comes up, and hold it in your awareness as you continue reading.

When I asked myself, “What am I committing to?” I felt a clear answer come through:

“Taking some time for myself.”

I’m committing to taking a pause from all the work that I’ve been outwardly doing, and focusing on the inward to create space for contemplation and reflection. I’m in the midst of a deeper initiation year that began last summer and is continuing to unfold. As a result, I feel it’s important to free up some space for creativity, especially for getting back into writing more. I’m also feeling called to deepen the relationships that I have in my current practice, working with people over a longer period of time and supporting them as they work through their own initiation processes.

It’s less doing and more deepening.

It’s less outwardly-focused and more inwardly-focused. 

By taking a sabbatical, I am fully honoring this deep process of transformation that I’m in the midst of, which will likely continue for the entire year ahead. 

Likewise, in honoring these winter months as a time for turning inward, we can slow down and have the space to be more present and to see what we are currently preoccupied with, and then to decide if it still serves us. 

Yet, it’s oftentimes hard to slow down when some of the things we’re faced with are uncomfortable realities.

For me, it can be enticing to stay busy with my list of to-do’s and not be fully present. I may attempt to drown out the discomfort waiting for me in the present moment of this death-rebirth cycle by keeping my attention outwardly focused. So, can I let myself be with that discomfort, and even get curious about it? Bring it close and get intimate with it? 

This is very much what we’ve been talking about recently regarding death: how do we bring death close, even though it makes us highly uncomfortable? There’s so much wisdom to glean from letting death into our consciousness, and to see what a gift it is to receive such wisdom, if we can manage to truly contemplate it, discomfort and all. This also applies to other issues that we may find uncomfortable, issues we have avoided looking at.

In my experience, though, we tend to get intimate with discomfort only in retrospect after we have blazed through it, anesthetized ourselves during it, or got distracted from looking at it. Retrospectively we can say, “Oh, okay, that’s how that thing was helpful (or not) for me.” But slowing down, getting curious, being present, pulling all of our strength and allies together to support us while we’re experiencing that process of getting intimate with our discomfort – that’s the real work.

I’ve taught courses in the past on a Transpersonal Approach to the Human Experience, and in doing so, I cover aspects of the whole person:  Body-Mind-Heart-and Soul.  I usually cover them in that order because that’s what we’re most familiar with in our culture, dealing with the body and mind first, and then deepening into the arenas of heart and soul. However, when we appreciate our own innermost beauty and gifts that we have to bring forth, we must begin with the Soul. This is because once we get in touch with our soul-level calling–we might call that dharma, purpose, or what brings us most to life–everything else falls into place more readily.

If we’re feeding our soul first, then the other aspects of life tend to get fed more naturally downstream. 

We’ll be digging deeper into how you’re feeding your soul in my next email.


For now, I encourage you to take some time to reflect more deeply and to journal about what you are committing to in the year ahead, and how you are committing to it.


To your health, 

Dr. Dan


Get healthy. Stay present. Help out. 

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