New Year, Who’s This? Make Space & Release What No Longer Serves In 2021 - Inner Life (Part 1)
The changing seasons and phases of the moon - and even the ticking of the clock - are apt reminders of the cyclical nature of life. While there are always things that we don't want to - or struggle to - let go of, nature always shows us that eventually, everything runs its course. Take this post as an invitation to take stock of where you are, make peace with it, shift your perspective of it, and clear the clutter. Think about the clutter that might be weighing you down in your inner life - old thoughts, emotions, and ways of being - and the clutter collecting dust in your outer life - connections, relationships, things, situations, and places. There is a separate post coming over the next few weeks on ways to declutter your outer life, so keep an eye out for this!
With the arrival of a shiny, new year, what better time to release what no longer serves and make space for some goodness?!
We all know that it feels good to feel good. And our awareness of our temporary time on Earth adds to our need to feel at our best and most positive all of the time. When things happen that aren't in alignment with feeling good, it’s easy to get thrown off track and to dwell. These situations also tend to feed the inner critic. But should we really expect ourselves to be happy all of the time? And is being ultra-positive all the time really realistic and really all that it’s hyped up to be? You can probably guess that my personal answer to these questions is no. I think that there are many gains to be made when we accept the present moment, as negative as it may feel. When we’re too focused on wishing something away, we overlook what we can learn from the situation and how we can use it as a springboard for positive change.
Noticing what baggage we've been carrying that day, that week, that year, or even for a large part of our lives and accepting that certain things have happened and that they happened as they should, allows us to make peace with this moment.
So how can we make peace with what is?
Journalling. Even writing a couple of lines on what you want to release and then making a list of words that you associate with positivity and how you want to feel, should do the trick! I have written a separate post on the science behind journalling and its cognitive benefits, which you can read here
Meditating. Just three deep breaths in and out are enough to get you out of a state of constant thinking. There's more on meditation and its benefits in my post here
Practising yoga. Whether you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced, just 5 minutes to stretch it out when you don't have a lot of time can go a long way and there are plenty of YouTube videos for all levels
Practising a sport like martial arts. One of the many reasons I enjoy martial arts is because it requires focus, discipline, and being in the present moment. If you're interested in cultivating healthy, new habits, click here to read a separate post on it
Getting some fresh air and movement in by going on a walk
New routines, new habits, new ways of being. As cliché as it may sound, think about what the ideal version of yourself would be like, act like, speak like, think like, and behave like. What does their day look like? What habits do they have? And then start doing those things
Doing whatever it is that you find helpful in clearing your mind!
(Side note - it's not my intention to group everyone's experiences under the same bracket because everyone feels and perceives things at varying levels of intensity - we all have a metaphorical 'traumatic shield' and anything that 'pierces' that shield is defined as a traumatic experience. Something that might totally not phase one person might really distress another, as we're all coloured by our own experiences. However, take this post as an invitation to shift your perspective of any event or situation that has caused any heavy feelings in you and to see its place - and perhaps the purpose of it - in the grand scheme of things. In doing this, we can drop what no longer serves so we can focus our energy on things that make us feel good!)
I hope this post has served as a reminder to accept - or try to accept - the place of every event in the grand scheme of things, to drop the need to feel good and be positive all the time, that we are where we need to be and that everything is as it should be. The past year has shown us how uncertainty and turbulence can envelop us, so creating an inner retreat and repeating the habit of going with the flow and feeling unconditional peace is invaluable to ourselves and to those around us.
I hope you can make some space and release this year. To a bright, light 2021.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational and educational purposes and should not be seen as a substitute for professional psychological, psychiatric, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.