At this time of the year as we are full steam ahead into 2017, it is easy to just want to leave behind 2016 and I know some people are even wanting to give 2016 the bird and tell it to eff right off. And for some, rightly so. I get a sense that most of us just want to leave the past in the past and be done with it. And move the eff on.
And I get it.
For many, it was a particularly tough year. No doubt there have been some wondrous events too. You are likely to have had some setbacks and struggles. We’ve had some trips and falls and made some mistakes along the way.
But lets not underestimate the power of learning from our mistakes. I mean I remember the kids bringing home something early in the year that said, “If you aren’t making mistakes you aren’t learning”. When did we think that we were beyond making mistakes? Anyway, that is a whole new exploration.
There is however a wisdom to be mined from the last 12 months. Even if looking back wards might seem a little painful.
Often, hiding right in front of us are uncelebrated and important accomplishments. Hard won lessons you’d be wise to learn from as to not repeat.
We all tend to move quite quickly through life no days. Pretty much not a day goes by when I don’t hear someone say how busy they are or how fast the year is going.
Often moving at this pace, we neglect to stop and digest and acknowledge how far we have come. I am so guilty of this.
And, due to this pace I wonder if perhaps we are holding even some chronic emotional baggage that ready to be released and let go. Often we put everything before allocating some time to sit and notice where we are holding on to crap that doesn’t serve us.
Just like cupboards in the house that we keep saying, “I must clean that out” and instead we just go and buy more crap that has no where to go. So, the clearing out process is so important.
So lets REFLECT!
What did you do, create or experience this year that you are really proud of? If it helps, maybe you could close your eyes and do a month by month review and see what you can see that gives you a physical sensation asking you to pay attention.
They might be big things, they might be small things, but something that YOU made happen this year. A decision you made, an adventure you took, something you created or experienced. Think about it, but most importantly, write it down.
The reason that this is so important is that usually as humans we are incredibly critical of ourselves. We look at everything we didn’t get done or didn’t do well enough or accomplish enough or produce enough and wind up heading into the new year feeling deflated and defeated.
If you are thinking, I’ve got nothing, consider small things like tough conversations you have had with friends, or dinners you have created, or meetings you have attended or a trip you took.
Take a few moments and then write it down.
The next step is one that is really really, really important one that we often overlook in the reflection process.
What mistakes did I make that taught me something?
This one can be a tricky one sometimes because often the first place we go to when we make a mistake is to beat ourselves up with all kinds of negative smack talk.. But at this time with a little bit of space and distance we can gain a bit of perspective.
So maybe look a thing that just didn’t go so well, or as you planned and ask, what mistakes did I make and what did I learn. How can I use these mistakes?
This allows us to transform what we might think is a putzy thing to do that we kind of circle and circle around smacking ourselves in the head about, into something that we can leverage as a learning. Life is always teaching us. And mistakes are all a part of it.
So, what mistake or mistakes did you make this year that taught you something?
Write it down.
The next part of this process is asking ourselves;
What am I willing to let go of?
Oh my jiminy cricket, this is a big one.
I am one of those people who tends to love to get rid of things…after they have amounted up and I just can’t stand it any more. My husband is someone who gets rid of stuff ALL THE TIME. I love that about him.
It is time that we let go of the crap that is holding us back. Some of us get a little commitment constipation. Blocked up with commitments. Oh the pain!
So, we need to start with a commitment clean out.
What are the goals, the projects the languages you thought you might learn….that have been hanging around and around on your to do list for YEARS that you just never seem to get around to. This is telling! What can you get out of, or release or just plain old drop like a hot potato?
Seriously, lets get rid of any project that is no longer aligned with who you are right now or who you want to be in the future.
THEN we gotta take it inside. Because there is always some stuff lingering around in there that is getting in the way. Cluttering us up. Clogging the system.
What resentments, what anger, what pissy things and hurts are you willing to let go of. What kind of guilt or shame or embarrassments have you been hanging on to?
When we clear this, it is like an emotional ejection.
Lets keep going. What stories are you telling that no longer serve you? Maybe its a story like, you’re too old or getting too old to start a new thing. Or, you never create things fast enough. Or, you are a slow learner. Or you are not successful enough.
Who might you be if you completely let go of those disempowering stories?
Rumi, the great poet says, “Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop”.
Often, it isn’t until you release something and let it go that you see how it has been holding you back.
So, that story, that thing that keeps rattling around keeping you stuck, write that story down.
If your story is I’m not smart enough, or, I’m never going to get it….it is time to release that.
Remember, who would you be without that story??
So, then what we did was write it down on a leaf. No, for real. To represent the dead leaf dropping.
Then we walk in silence down to the waters edge. Where the waves run in and out. Just like our emotions. Just like life. Ebb and flow.
We thank our stories for serving us this far. As we stand at the edge of the water, we ask that just like our tears wash away our pains, the ocean wash away our stories.
As we release the stories, in your own way, we open space for new and refreshed stories to write themselves.
And release the leaf into the ocean.
We cut the energetic cord to our emotions. We don’t want to have this as our story anymore.
So, I invite you to:
Reflect on what you are most proud of this year, what lessons you learnt from a mistake you made and what story you are willing to let go of that no longer serves you!
After we have cleaned out our cupboards, we want to only put in there, things that are going to be used. That are going to energise us. That are meaningful to us. That serve us.
So, to do this, we have to dig deep into our hearts and explore what is in there that really, really wants to be experienced.
What is it that in my heart of hearts do I want to bring into my life going forward.
Do I want to be compassionate? Do I want to be more adventurous? Do I want to change careers? Do I want to move my body in a fun way? Do I want to win an academy award? Financial abundance? Do you want to join the circus?
What is your thing?
What calls you?
What does your ideal day look like?
Ask for it. Invite it in. You have the space now. Lets order up!
Don’t ask, don’t get!
And I don’t necessarily believe that you can do anything you set your mind to. I mean, there is no way on this planet that this 40 year old woman is going to be able to sprint 100mts in less than 10 seconds. It isn’t possible for me.
But I can move my body to the best of it’s ability in a fun and strengthening way.
Find what it is that you want in your life. What is important to you and ask for it to have space.
I sincerely hope this supports you on your way finding adventure!
If you are still unclear as to what all this self awareness is about, expect more on that thoughout the year from me. I’ll be writing, and teaching at various places, so keep an eye out on my calendar or the events section of my website.
If you have any questions, please ask. They are my favourite things to receive. Apart from hugs!