Happy Sunday All & Happy New Year!
Firstly, my hope is that the recent festivities/holiday season has left you feeling rested, renewed and relaxed. It’s a wonderful time, despite the commerciality, when (predominantly in the Western hemisphere) the world is made to look a little more magical and we are allowed once again to let the ‘child’ out to play.
Now that the festivities are over we invariably enter a time of reflection. We review the past year and consider our triumphs our challenges and hopefully learn some lessons from the last 365 days. Our thoughts turn to change, we make resolutions to do, be more/better.
I prefer to see it NOT as resolution making, but rather as ‘letting go.’
The universe has been talking to me to me over the last few weeks. It started out as light murmur which became a whisper, which became a prod which then became a shout, A slap in the face, a hollering I could no longer ignore.
The messages came in the form of comments heard in passing whispered in fleeting segments of conversation. They came as extracts in books & phrases which leapt off web pages, all of which were in some form or other telling me I had unfinished business and there was still some ‘letting go’ I needed to do. I’m still going through this processing but thought it would be useful to share what insights I have gained in so doing.
Letting go is so hard to do…
The song by Neil Sedaka (really showing my age now), says breaking up is hard to do, but it occurred to me that it’s letting go’ that we find such a challenge.
We’ve all been hurt… Everyone of us has at some point had to deal with some emotional pain. But it’s the letting go of the hurt that’ will allow you to make space in your heart and your life for new joy and happiness. If your heart is stuffed full of past hurts and pain how can you open up to new experiences, new bliss-ings?
New Year’s Resolutions
They don’t work!
Well, they don’t do they?
I realise now that one of the main reasons why they don’t work is that they tend to involve ‘loss.’ We see ourselves as ‘losing.’ something or that the change is something we’re making more often than not because we’re complying to someone or something else’s ideal.
It’s something we feel we should do.
If, in our unconscious mind, we haven’t really signed on to what we feel we ‘should’ be doing, then there is a disconnect. The ‘should’ implies a lack of emotional attachment to the decision and the action. We are operating from a place of pressure and being commanded. This lack of emotional attachment to the outcome means we are less likely to get the outcome we say we want.
We’ve all been hurt int he past. Many of us, as a result have developed compensatory behaviours to soothe ourselves and lessen the hurt we felt. But equally many of us are ‘holding on,’ nursing and feeding the hurt looking backwards and blaming the current habits that are our ‘resolutions’ on those past events.
The idea that we’re ‘losing’ something also brings up that old ‘bogieman’ FEAR.
We begin to fear that if we ‘lose’ our current emotional crutch, habit, obsession that we won’t have anything to replace it with. We may end up alone, or bored or more ‘stuff’ may come up to look at; all kinds of irrational ideas begin to plague our thoughts before we’ve even let go.
Open your hand
I often use an analogy to explain to my friends & pupils about fear and holding on to the past:
If you had a hand full of gold coins of course you’d want to hold onto them.
You may decide you’ll spend sparingly, especially if you’ve never seen such riches before.
However one day, someone comes along and wants to give you a beautiful, precious gemstone (Diamond, Sapphire, Ruby) whatever you wish.
It’s worth more than all the coins you can fit into your hand altogether.
You’ve always wanted a gem like this.
It’s beauty you’ve admired for years and yearned for one just like it.
The wealth it could provide would enhance not just your life but the lives of others too.
but you’re afraid that if you open your hand you’ll lose the gold coins,
letting go holds fear.
letting go means taking a risk.
letting go means maybe ending up with nothing…
What if the coins fall and sink into the mud
So you clasp your fingers even more tightly around the coins, desperate.
After all, you know their worth, the familiar feels of them in your palm and you’ve had them for a while
you know how much you’ve spent and how much is left and there are no surprises.
And so, you pass on opening your hand.
But what if you unclasp those fingers, lay your palm flat?
What if you allow someone to give you an even more beautiful, even more precious gift?, Instead you hold on tightly, stick with what you know and miss the chance of receiving what you’ve always wanted, what will enrich your life, everything you’ve ever dreamed of having, doing and being…
Flip the script!
Instead of seeing change as a loss, see it as letting go of something that no longer serves who you choose to be or what you choose to have, do or want.
Change your thought around the issue and change your language. A ‘resolution’ just SOUNDS like hard work doesn’t it? Res-O-Lu-Tion! harsh and gutteral.
LETTING GO however, sounds soft and easy and effortless,
Resolution has the emotional energy of the ‘must,’ the ‘should,’ whereas letting go is a ‘conscious’ and ‘positive’ decision You’ve made, you have the control and are more likely to follow through and get the results you say you want.
For example: If you’re wanting to lose a few Kilos, you could say to yourself
“I’m letting go of the need to feel comfort through foods that I know do not enhance my health and that hinder me acquiring a body I love, deserve and feel proud of”
You have the control, you have the power
This sounds so much better than:
“I’m so overweight/fat! OR I must lose at least 14 kilos OR ‘Who’ll want me when I look like this OR I’ve got to get this weight off!
As you can hear, the second options have so much more emotional charge to them and so we are less likely to let them go. The first statement comes from a place of empowerment and safety and of trusting that you deserve and can have what you want for yourself.
Is there something you really want to shift or change in your life?
Over the next week take an issue that you know you want to change. It could be a ‘resolution.’ type issue or a more long-standing, deeper issue that you know you need to shake, but you’ve struggled with.
Perhaps you don’t stick up for or assert yourself, perhaps you tend to be a people pleaser and afraid to put your needs before others, perhaps you do need to lose a few pounds or exercise regularly.
- Think about the issue – what feelings, phrases and thoughts come up around this? Don’t edit or judge what comes up, just let it be what it is
- Take a sheet of paper and write down how it shows up, notice the words, the language you use around the issue, how these thoughts make you feel.
- Take those words & phrases, thoughts and ideas and ‘flip the scrip.’ Turn them into positive ones about letting go. Statements that are about YOU making choices that enhance you, that you deserve to experience, that you want to experience.
- Feel the positive feelings that arise when you read these newly formed and empowered thoughts back to yourself. (Bin the negative ones by the way!)
- Sit with your newfound statement(s) and say them to yourself every day…Breathe into and feel the positive feelings that come with them; allow them to intensify.
Next week I will give tips on ways of ‘letting go.’
For now I will say ‘adios.’
I would love to hear how the exercise worked for you. What changes do you feel and what actions do you take as a result?
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