The Power of the C-Word


In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. *

You can feel it in the heat of the sun, see it in the buds on the trees, hear it in the excited chirping every morning. There’s a charge in the very air. And those thoughts of love soon turn to something more…

That’s right. I’m talking about Commitment.

Now, here’s a word that gets bandied about so much lately, it’s kind of losing its edge. We lose the weight of it, the implications of saying it. We’ve forgotten its power.

A few weeks ago I was at a friend’s wedding. Listening to the words of the celebrant and hearing the vows, drew me back to my own experience of those vows. I reassess what we said at our wedding and ponder how we’ve gained strength (or strayed) from them.

The purpose of marriage, of publicly declaring your commitment to another, is that it provides a container in which to pour your relationship. It’s the safe space where you can sift the good from the bad. It’s the bucket of mortar from which you can start to lay the foundation for the relationship.

commitment bowlAnd this isn’t exclusive to marriage. The idea holds true for any relationship – personal or business, internal or external.

So here I am, weeks later, pondering all sorts of commitments in my life.

It was about a year ago that I made the commitment to show up in this blog every 2nd week to share thoughts, insights and practical advice with my clients & followers. (It took until July to get the actual ball rolling, but the intention was in place last April.)

It’s been remarkable to witness that decision coming into fruition. Despite fears that I’d get tired of it, or the occasional bout of writer’s block, I’ve managed to follow through. Sometimes the results are better than others, but I can feel my own comfort & dedication to both the craft and my audience blossoming with time & effort.

The commitment has been the glue that’s held my decision in place.


Now there’s a word that always makes me think of my heart. It’s been beating (non-stop!) since 8 months before I was even born…and it’ll continue as long as I do. That amount of dedication fills me with unsettling amounts of awe. I’m completely undone by the idea that the Life Force is driving that action for me.

To go even deeper, a commitment by my spirit to incarnate sparked the driving force of my entire existence. The decision is made, the wheels set in motion, and there’s nothing to do but follow the ride to its completion.

It’s when I think of that steadfast gesture, by my soul and the Universe together, on my behalf, that I understand my own responsibility within that commitment.

I’ve been talking a lot recently about self-love, about self-care as a daily expression of that love. As for any beloved, it’s daily action that solidifies the foundation on which the relationship grows.

I commit to my own self-care & health as necessary to carrying through the intentions my soul has laid out for me in this life.

I’m getting kind of heavy here – are you still with me?

Let me put it another way:

When you take the time & effort to look after your health, you allow the best manifestation of your Self to shine. You afford yourself the strength  & energy to show up fully for your family, your work, your community, your environment.

You’re able to live the most enriched version of your life.

Because that’s the ultimate aim, commitment is one of the first things I require from my clients. I’m working on a contract they’ll sign, but for now, it simply takes the form of payment in advance.

Paying money is a concrete way of saying, “I’m all in!”

This (or any) type of pledge makes a statement to both the psyche and the Universe, so that they can align with your objective, and start working towards the picture of better health you hold.

Making that commitment means there’s a greater chance you’ll follow through.

It’s like when you take a course. You pay your tuition and get ready to work. And sure, who the teacher is will have a certain influence on your success, however, we all learned through high school and college that you get out what you put in.

Your chances of a satisfying experience are greater when you show up, fully present, to the lectures, when you read the required materials, when you apply yourself wholeheartedly to the assignments.

Same with your health. I’m merely a guide. Your chances of improving your health & well-being depend on how present and engaged you are to the process.

Which gets me to one last, but oh-so-important piece:

Commitment is NOT synonymous with perfection.

Like marriage, like school, like any part of life really, there’ll be good days and there’ll be days when you just want to pack it all in and say “F&#* It!”

Like marriage & school, the bad days provide the room for growth. Mistakes show us where we need to learn. Improving your health also requires compassion, kindness and forgiveness as much as any relationship or endeavour.

The commitment keeps you tethered to the path.

blossom path

Back to the charged energy of Spring.

In the spirit of renewal, I’m ready to bolster the walls in my own life by openly stating:

I am committed to stepping up my own self-care with a deep homeopathic detox.

I have a feeling it’ll be a challenge on many levels, but the delicious promise of what it offers on the other side stands taller in my mind’s eye than a few weeks of discomfort.

When you share in the comments, you open the possibilities for others.


* from Locksley Hall by Alfred Tennyson

27 thoughts on “The Power of the C-Word

  1. Pingback: Should is the New Gluten - Whole HealthWhole Health

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  3. When I am feeling like I can’t move on with my exercise routine, my son, 27 year old track athlete, tells me, “Ma, you have to COMMIT YOURSELF, NOT CHEAT YOURSELF!” I love that. It pushes me to do better.

  4. “…commitment has been the glue that’s held my decision in place.” Well said, Cathy. The decision is one thing, while commitment makes it happen. I love how you write, so beautiful and thought-provoking. I’m committed to a healthier diet this spring and forward. I find that meal choices can become the last thing on the list during a busy day, so it’s time to make some changes there! Thank you for this lovely inspiration.

    • Thank you, Marci. I like that: “the commitment makes it happen”.
      Yeah, I too have had to recommit to my meal planning & grocery shopping as a way of keeping the food choices at their best.

  5. i too appreciate that commitment does not have to equal perfection, cathy. that allows me a chance to breathe out, to relax into my chosen areas of commitment, to show up and do the very best i can do. “unwavering.” i like that word. unwavering in intent, unwavering in promise, unwavering in responsibility. nice, thank you.

    • April, you’ve brought up an image for me that hadn’t occurred to me when I was writing: of the commitment being like a boat in the ocean, unwavering in its course, but moving fluidly with the waves as they arise (not being perfect). Thanks for that.

  6. Cathy your writing is a breath of fresh air!

    And I am definitely making some big commitments lately – and feel more alive for doing so 🙂 Thank you for an inspiring article!

  7. You hit a nerve for me here Cathy, as I have spent 20 years ignoring my inner voice to stay in the commitment that I made to my marriage. I took my commitment so seriously, that I was willing to allow my heart and soul to suffer. I learned that the first commitment one must make, is to yourself, only then can you fully honour your commitment to others. Thank you for reminding me to be grateful for that lesson… it took a long time for me to graduate!! <3

    • Thank you for your open honesty with this piece, Angela. It can take a while to realize that the deepest marriage is to your own heart – something we all need reminding about.

  8. Great post, Cathy. Thank you for the reminder that commitment is NOT synonymous with perfection. This recovering perfectionist really needed to hear that. 🙂

    I commit to getting out of the house more to work from collaborative workspaces and coffee shops. Extreme Working from Home has been making this solopreneur a bit crazy as of late.

  9. Cathy, this completely resonates with me. I completely understand that when commit to something, an energy within you, that you never knew really existed, emerges. It keep you focused and committed. I am glad that was your “c” word 😉

  10. I am four days into my commitment to get back to my pre-winter weight. Between this harsh, endless winter and buying and selling homes, I haven’t given myself the attention I deserve. I love being back in integrity and I feel stronger every minute. This is beautifully written. Thank you.

    • Getting back to integrity and dropping the “harsh” winter – this reads to me as being gentle with yourself – great way to move forward, Lorna.

  11. Commitment to self care is wonderful! It sure is a lot easier to commit to others when you have made a firm commitment to yourself. VERY TRUE- “Commitment is NOT synonymous with perfection.” Kind of takes the pressure off! Thanks Cathy.

  12. ‘Commitment keeps you tethered to a path’ is such a great way to sum it up! That one is going to stick with me, I can feel it. Thank you for that, Cathy!!

  13. I’m immersed in a specific spiritual practice that has 3 more week ends to go. When we started we committed to making sure we really managed our self care… one of those ways was through making sure we ate well and had fun. And just through that commitment, we are! It’s such a better experience for us this year.

    And I’m thinking after reading this… where I can ‘step-up’ my self care practice even more. And . . . honestly, I think I am going to think about where commitment and me could also ‘step it up’ in my life. Yeah. I’m thinking I’d like to take a peak and see if there are some places that could use a little enriched commitment nudge …. Thanks Cathy.

    • Nudges are great, as long as you take time to rest in what is for a time. And how great to have committed to personal care with a group. There’s nothing like the energy of community to hold you firm.

  14. Yes, I am committed to living fully. To embracing what I was born to be. To overcoming the limitations I created myself. To being the fullest expression of myself and helping others be theirs. Shine on!

  15. Wow! What a lovely, deep and enriching article Cathy. “…a commitment by my spirit to incarnate sparked the driving force of my entire existence…” I love this visual… as I make the commitments in life I allow that courageous spirit to express its divine spark…I co-create with it. So powerful. Thank you Cathy. This is beautiful. X.

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