Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Moving Ahead in Freedom

January is traditionally a time when we look forward into the new year with anticipation. However... when we look only forward we are missing an opportunity to reflect on what has been. To take time to mindfully and lovingly look at what we may be holding on to that is no longer serving us.

My daughter worked in a shipyard for many years and every year boats come in for repair and maintenance. Some come in regularly and you can see they are well taken care of. In others, it is easy to see that the owners have not brought their boat in for a long time. The bottom is covered in barnacles, the wood is starting to rot, the boat is sometimes even in danger of sinking. What has happened is that little by little the barnacles have attached themselves, and over time the integrity of the boat is in jeopardy.

There is something in our lives that works in a similar way – and that is holding onto the stuff of our past. We all carry old beliefs, attitudes, thoughts and feelings from a long time ago. And if we do not take the time to consciously let go of them, they – like the barnacles – get pretty stuck and hardened.

What can we do for ourselves to release negative and limiting thoughts and beliefs that are no longer serving us? So that we CAN move ahead – into the new year – into life - with ease and freedom.

We can take time for the definite work of consciousness cleansing. Of creating a new slate for the new year. It is a time in which we release the past so that we can open a new place in our minds and hearts for the future.

I have noticed in my life that some baggage is pretty comfortable. familiar. I hold onto it –even though it is not really working FOR me any longer.

The first step is to look inwardly for something we may wish to release. Often the first thing that comes to mind is a person or situation that we want to put behind us, to move past. The Truth is, as much as we would like to release someone from our lives... sometimes... they are still there! at work, next door neighbors, family members. We cannot make a person go away. But we can sure transform the energy we hold around them and as a result feel differently about them.

So it is important to remember as we do this inner work - we are not releasing people……we are not releasing conditions……We are releasing the energy we have around them - letting go of the feelings or thoughts we have about them.

We can release the disappointment …. Judgment……… regret.

We can release the thoughts and feelings we have about them because THIS is something we do have control of. This is something we have the ability and power to do.

Spend some time in quiet meditation and contemplation - creating a space in which Spirit may work. Gently allow to come to mind any thoughts and behavior patterns you wish to release. What IN YOU is standing in your way of experiencing life fully and with joy?

When you know what it is you would like to release, write a word or short phrase on a small piece of paper, meaningful only to you. Take your time.

Next you can take this paper and put it in a flame – a candle or burn it outside. You will see it transformed by the flame, releasing the energy and power you have previously given that condition back to the potential for good from which it came.

As the fire transforms the energy contained in the paper into heat energy, so you are releasing the seeming power this condition has had in your life.

You may find this affirmation uselful as you burn it: ‘This is no longer a part of my life. I set myself free’

Now we have cleared a place in our hearts and minds for something new. Growing in consciousness is a two step process - first clearing out what no longer serves us, then filling in with something new. Every time we clear something out - we want to mindfully choose what to replace it with.

I encourage you to take time to choose what it is you want more of in your life this year. It might be peace, or love or strength, or acceptance. Give it some thought and activate the good that is already within you!