I don’t have any specific resolutions for the New Year–there aren’t any juice cleanses or new gym memberships or spring cleanings on the horizon, but I am thinking more about the way I wish to live.
I’d like to stop comparing myself to others, for one.
I’d like to finally break-up with “I’m not good enough.”
I’d like to formally and permanently un-invite self-doubt, scarcity, anxiety (especially this one!), and perfectionism to my 2016 party.
I’d like to drop the word “should” from my vocabulary.
I’d like to dissolve the guilt I feel around taking time for rest and self-care. As Brené Brown so eloquently puts it, I’d like to “let go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth.”
I’d like to trust more, control less.
In short, I’d like to live out my brilliance–because everything I could ever hope for is already inside of me (as it is for all of us), the work to be done is on bringing it forth.
So, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reading lately about the topic, and essentially what I’ve come up with is that manifesting our brilliance generally requires three things:
- That we get clear about what we want–about the “what,” not the “how.” This means that we don’t have to instantly have all the answers about how we will create what we want to create, we simply need to know what we’re creating. The uncertainty around not immediately being able to figure things out is where many of us get thrown of course before we ever really get started.
- That we get the hell out of our own way. That we abandon the reasons why not and the “I’m not good enoughs.” That we take a few moments to check in with ourselves about where we’re holding ourselves back. That we dig deep to uncover the limiting beliefs we might not’ve known existed, because they are running the show, whether we’re aware of it or not.
- That we simply relax into the plan we’ve just set in motion. We’ve just done all the work to put the train on the tracks, let’s not derail it with our flailing and doubting and meddling simply because we’re too inpatient and controlling to practice a little thing called trust.
One of my little New Year’s Eve rituals is to find a quiet space I enjoy being in, dim the lights, maybe light a candle or two, close my eyes, and silently review my year. Beginning with January 1st, 2015, I sift through all the big and little moments (not shying away from those that are uncomfortable or painful–feeling them all is important), month by month until I pass through the holidays and arrive here in this very moment. And then, I set the intention to stay there, in the present moment, for the new year.
Do you have New Year’s rituals? If not, and you’re looking for a way to bring some meaning to this auspicious time of year, here’s a little list of silly and not-so-silly things I put together:
1. Practice yoga with a lot of forward folds–these symbolize not only surrender, but also our relationship with the past–making this the perfect way to energetically let things go. Hell, maybe you even want to do this practice naked, to really rid yourself of hang-ups.
2. To build upon #1, spend a few minutes with the breath, engaging in a “let-go” meditation to dissolve limiting beliefs. This is one of the simplest meditations ever, but it’s also very powerful. Here’s what to do:
Sit comfortably, close your eyes (or not, if you prefer), and ask yourself what limiting stories you tell yourself. What subconscious beliefs hold you back? Maybe you know them well, or maybe you have to dig a little deeper. Once you have them all in mind, inhale as you say to yourself silently “let” and as you exhale “go.” You’ll feel your body soften with each breath, becoming lighter, liberated, free. And then finish it out by taking a long, slow inhale in. Once you’ve filled your lungs, take in another sip of air, and then another and another until your lungs cannot physically hold a single drop more, and then hold. Let everything well up inside of you. Notice what it feels like to really hold on to something. And then finally release it all with a big breath out through the mouth.
(And now for the less serious, more light-hearted stuff….)
3. Write down your resolutions and burn them.
4. Wear red, ahem, undergarments for good luck.
5. Watch fireworks to ward off misfortunes in the new year.
6. Jump into some kind of water (pool, bath, ocean, puddle…) after midnight to cleanse your soul and signify a fresh start.
7. Eat 12 grapes or black eyed peas for 12 months of prosperity.
8. Flip open a fresh calendar as a universally hopeful act for the chance to start over.
Most importantly, with all the hopes and resolutions we hold for the new year, let’s not forget to be compassionate to ourselves along the way. If you fall off the wagon at one point or another–as we all undoubtedly will, say to yourself gently, “how human of me?” Then take a deep breath and remember that every day is a new day–each breath is another chance to begin again.
We don’t need to wait for a new year to give permission.