Being a part of the ever-changing military lifestyle, commitment to a personal journey may seem overwhelming, selfish, or impossible. We tend to fall into habits and patterns that we create for survival and ease of constant transition. Over time, those patterns can get us stuck in a rut, eventually becoming people we don’t recognize. How do we break from tedious cycles that we’ve created and cultivate our own unique character? Through commitment. When we commit to ourselves, we set an intention to break out of the monotony of our previous habits. During this change, uncharted territory is explored, and our mental and physical states are challenged. Through the repetition of intentional and purposeful action, we stop becoming subjects of our environment and develop into manifestations of our true character where we can stand consciously in our own actions and outcomes.
The question then lingers: what do you commit to? I ask that you search inside yourself and find those things that make your heart beat a little faster, make you more curious—things you have always wanted to learn, see, or do. Identify your goal, no matter how substantial or small, feel it in your bones, observe it, and resonate in it. This space is not for doubt but is the foundation of the recognition and observation of your own creative power. Here are my tips on how to commit:
WORK THROUGH DIFFICULT MOMENTS
When working toward your goal becomes chaotic and muddled with sudden change like deployments, TDYs, sick children, or a season of anxiety and depression, remind yourself that growth is linked to adversity. The purpose is to go through it and grow through it. Consistency is the antidote that will teach you to remain in control of your environment when a challenge presents itself. Showing up in those chaotic moments gives you the power to manage experiences which will leave you feeling empowered rather than fearful. The more you push through hardship, the easier it becomes to face obstacles. As your resistance to pressure increases you will also start to consistently vibrate and manage life at a higher frequency.
RECOGNIZE THE SUBTLETY OF CHANGE
Change is not always a flash of light followed by a shower of sparkly glitter. Although the celebration of transformation may happen like this, remember that the process is subtle. The outcome of intentional change does not happen right away. In fact, you may find that there isn’t a specific ending point. Transformation is gritty, unpredictable, and full of ups and downs. The “when” is not the central component, rather it is the constant dedication to the work. Most importantly, remember that even if you don’t feel change, if you are working, it is happening.
BYPASS OPINION AND CREATE BOUNDARIES
A difficult part of committing to a new lifestyle is transitioning out of your old way of living. This can include friends, establishments, or personalities you once found comfort in. Many times, this comes as a gradual shift from what was once familiar. You may not have the time for the activities you did before, and in other cases you may start to realize that certain people or events aren’t conducive to your new habits. This can be a period of loneliness and frustration and you may feel pressure from others to give up your journey all together. Remember that loneliness, although desolate, is also vital in developing your inner voice that is void of outward influence. Embrace this season and continue to establish your boundaries based on what is most healthy for your growth and do so with grace, humility, and kindness. Through commitment, you will start to uncover new company, places, and behaviors that support your journey.
I have found that there is a magical power in harnessing a personal direction and setting the self apart from predictability. As you commit to change and move through the ebb and flow of growth, you will start to clearly identify your own version of success. This new energy that you have created through sacrifice, perseverance, and intention becomes a new found sense of freedom. The environment around you will start to soak in your energy and open new doors and opportunities based on whom you have become. The most powerful part of building your character through day-to-day commitment is recognizing your own strength and control. Although the military lifestyle is a commitment in itself, there is always room for who you were meant to be, and this should be respectfully and courageously explored.
Daena Vandre, a native of Wisconsin, currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and three children. She holds a degree in English and Human Services and is working toward her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health. Being certified in Kundalini Yoga, she believes that everyone has the ability to harness the mind, body, and soul to discover their personal creative awareness.