As we ring in the New Year, we say goodbye to 2018. This is the perfect time to leave behind all of the things that no longer serve us. What exactly does that mean? Well, here is what I think.
The ending of a year is the perfect time for a metaphorical cleaning out of the closet. Not our bedroom closet, but the closet of our hearts. Most of our suffering and our struggles, when boiled down to their most basic form, stem from attachment… or holding on. Holding on to what, you might ask? Feelings, like anger, sadness, regret, fear or even happiness. Things, or the idea of things – like that new car you’ve been wanting. Dreams that no longer accurately represent our heart’s true desire(s). Longstanding ideals and goals, regardless of whether they still “work” for us. People who are not positive influences in our lives. Whatever we’re holding on to, this form of attachment is not healthy for our minds, bodies or, especially, our hearts.
Tonight, let’s give ourselves permission to let go of anything we’re holding on to that is no longer serving us. Let’s unburden ourselves of things that are not adding value to our lives, without guilt. WITHOUT GUILT. Let’s release negative thoughts, negative feelings, unsatisfying jobs, dysfunctional relationships, toxic people and any number of other things.
Take a moment to reflect: what has been weighing you down lately? Jot down whatever comes to mind. Give yourself the freedom to let things bubble-up. Once you have collected your thoughts, ask yourself, “is this something I can let go?” Give yourself some time to truly ponder that question. Then, consider how it would feel to release those things from your life, from your mind, from your spirit, from your heart. Notice where those feelings show up in your body. Feel what you feel.
Need a little help identifying those things that no longer serve you? Here are some ideas – do any of them resonate with you? Doing things the way you have always done them, just because that’s the way you have always done them, regardless of how this affects you and your life. Believing that you need to follow a certain life trajectory, just because that’s what others expect of you. Disappointment in not meeting the timeline you previously set for your life. Dreams that we no longer dream. Anxiety over the future. Worry over the past. Feeling that you need to prove or justify your worth to others. Jealousy and envy. People who do not add richness or value to your life. Saying “yes” when you really want to say “no.” Regret. Guilt. Anger. Shame. Over-committing, over-scheduling, spreading yourself too thin, taking on more things than you can realistically handle. Self-judgment or comparison to others. Being your own worst critic.
Take a deep breath in through your nose…and then a big exhale through your mouth. As you exhale, let that ish go! Rid your body of the things that you have identified as no longer serving you. Make room for positive thoughts, positive feelings, new opportunities and people that bring out the best in you! Take several rounds of breath to release the old and make space for the new.
Finally, set an intention for yourself. A purpose. Reassess and mindfully give your life, and your self, new meaning. Prepare yourself for a fresh start in the New Year.