The Power of Commitment

Whew, two weeks have gone by since I wrote a blog post! I strive for once a week but frankly this Song-A-Week Songwriting Challenge is kinda kicking my butt. I’d be lying if I didn’t confess to some abject, unmitigated panic at what I just told my entire universe I would do.

“What was I thinking?!” I though. “I will never, no way in hell, be able to write 4 songs a month, let alone get them recorded so folks can hear and vote on them. I’ll be spending every spare second trying to accomplish this, and I’ve left myself no time for the pursuit of making money. How will I pay my rent?” Etc., Etc., Etc., down the rabbit hole of full-blown anxiety attacks.

But in the last few days, an interesting thing has begun to happen. Twice now, the beginnings of a song have trickled into my head, compelling enough to stop what I was doing and write it down. One of these times was right after my Sonic Alchemy workshop (which went quite well, BTW), when I might have allowed myself some well-earned brain-chilling.  Instead, I felt the urge to jot down some lyrics. So I did.

Two weeks in,  I am already seeing how the power of my commitment is  shifting my usual habits. Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? Just declare something, and it will magically fit its way into our lives.

Except there is one more piece.

I am a stickler for keeping my word. I have been for years, and while not perfect, I have a pretty good track record. IMO, this is where the magic really happens. Or course, a lot of it isn’t magic so much as plain common sense. Keeping your word demonstrates that you are not a flake. Which sets you apart from a large portion of the population. What’s that saying? “90% of success is just showing up”? That’s a big part of it. Keeping your word lets others know they can depend on you. When folks can depend on you, they want to be affiliated with you, share projects, be your friend, and know about your offerings. Others who keep their commitments –  and have success because of it – invite you into their club. And before you know it, a momentum builds of successful, reliable people sharing ideas, vouching for you, and creating with you. It becomes considerably easier to manifest the life you want.

But there is a magical part as well, and it goes like this: when we develop habits – good or bad – they take on a life of their own. They become automated as it were, and before we know it we are exercising, writing, or smoking without even thinking about it. So when we develop a habit of acting in accordance with our word, this behavior becomes second nature. Because we have spent time consciously restructuring our lives to support our commitments, our brains learn to rise to this occasion, and before long the restructuring happens subconsciously. When we make a new commitment, our brains work behind the scenes to develop a new rhythm that will enable us to keep that commitment. Spontaneous prompts come and urge us to write, to exercise, etc., and it all feels much more effortless. It then appears that we can summon our Wills out of thin air just by speaking them. Which is pretty darned magical if you ask me.

Keeping our Word builds our Will. And over time, renders us able to manifest our Will with much more ease.

Do you have any stories of summoning your Will by the power of your commitments? Will you tell it here, and inspire us?

Here’s a song Winter and I wrote on the topic over a decade ago, to inspire you while you think on a good tale to share –

8 thoughts on “The Power of Commitment

  1. Glad to hear you were inspired. Reading the poetry I wrote inspired me to write more. Can’t wait to see the finished products!

  2. This is so true Sharon. I find that whenever I commit to something it gets done. Deadlines are my friends. This past year I committed to taking part in the Sketchbook project, but I got stuck and froze. My brain said don’t worry you have time , son e the deadline is February 1st. Then as the date got closer I began to panick: maybe I should just not bother and just not hand it in. But wouldn’t you know my inner muse stepped in and came up with a brilliant (if I do say so myself) idea for what to do with my project. All becuase I had committed myself!

  3. What a prolific year of songwriting you shall have! I’m pondering a blogging challenge for myself now, as I think about what you are doing with this challenge and how you are relating it not only to your art but to your entire relationship with your will. Beautiful stuff!

    Here’s the story of mine that came to mind. I made a commitment once to wait to buy a longed-for new hand drum until I’d played the drum I already owned every day (for any length of time no matter how short) for 30 days in a row. Any missed day, no matter the reason, caused the count to reset. It took me about three months to make it, and then another few months before the drummaker I wanted to buy from was in town for a craft show. So there was a long wait.

    I could have afforded to buy myself that new drum without the practice challenge, but I wanted to playfully prove to myself that the expenditure was proportionate to the time I was spending on my drumming practice. What the whole experience really accomplished, though, was deepening my relationship with my new drum because I hadn’t just bought it on a whim; I’d made and kept a commitment first to Drumming itself. That challenge still resonates in how I relate to that drum and to my drumming practice. It was truly transformative.

  4. I remember one of the my teachers from way back commenting that if we wanted our words to be powerful, we *had* to choose them well. I think her comment was that if we only spoke truthfully about what was in the present, then what we spoke of being in the future would be more likely to become truth.

    I guess you’d say that the fact I’m launching my business today (woohoo!) is solely due to the commitment I made *months* ago to create the foundations, create the relationships and do the work day by day to get me to the point I’m at now.

  5. Gorgeous Sharon, today you are the proof to me that there is no such thing as coincidences.

    I’ve spent the morning going over what I hoped to achieve in the year so far,
    and the lusciousness I dream of manifesting in 2012.

    A bazillion star spangled ideas.
    Opportunities current and future.
    Options.
    Choices.
    Possibilities.

    And deep inside (I’m all about going deep inside these days),
    down in the quiet crevices of my gut/heart/somewhere in the middle of me,
    a small insistent voice said,
    “Ye gods, woman. Just COMMIT to something!”

    And in your post, one sentence leaped out at me,
    “I’m a stickler for keeping my word.”

    While this might be true of me toward others,
    to myself I’ve failed to carry out more promises than I care to count.

    If 2012 is going to be different,
    it needs to start with BEING different.

    And that means, being true to my word to myself.
    Committed.

    Thank you, gorgeous one.

  6. Hi Sharon

    This is such a heartening post for me to read because I believe wholeheartedly in the magical power of commitment and in my personal practice magical Oath making is a really big deal. Commitment may require sacrifice and hard work but the pay offs can be huge.

    Antara

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