It’s a new year! As you think about your forthcoming journey through the next twelve months, it might be helpful to revisit this message from last month about setting New Years resolutions while maintaining detachment from the outcome. Doing so will allow you to truly open up to endless possibilities.
While pondering what I should share today, I thought about my 7-day and 1,400 mile journey from San Diego to Portland. Being alone for that long gives the mind permission to wander for hours, which can be a blessing and a curse. A wide-open mind has plenty of space for receiving enlightened messages as well as room for less empowering thoughts and emotions to play over and over again, resulting in obsessive contemplation. During my trek, I experienced both blissful thoughts and ill-serving mind speak.
Much of my trip took me through the breathtaking landscape of the California coastline and being so close to the ocean, I related the varied behavior of the waters to my diverse brain work. Depending on location, climate, and time of day, the mood of the ocean was vastly different. Torrential rain and blustering winds brought rage and intense power to the water, whereas at sunset, when the winds died, the waves mellowed and flowed with very little inertia.
I was able to visually affirm the analogy between what the ocean was doing and the state of my emotions and at times, felt as though my thoughts were like ocean waves rolling to the shoreline but never receding, leaving a high tide of brain activity that could eventually swallow me whole.
In order to break the cycle of these repetitive thoughts, I needed a physical shake up; something to free me from stories being replayed over and over again. So I ventured to the shoreline cliffs and hung my toes over the edge just to experience the exhilaration of rocking between stable ground and the expansive and uncertain world below. I wanted to feel the sensation of letting go; of complete surrender, even if just for a split second. My intent was to shake loose obsessive mind chatter. For a moment, I lost my breathe from fear of falling, but it freed me from my own mind. It catapulted me into thinking about nothing but that very present moment when all that mattered was whether or not I was going to survive.
Letting go can be difficult, especially if you have trouble quieting your mind long enough to discover what needs to be set free. All too often we grasp a hold of a thought or emotion and give it so much energy, time, and focus, that it begins to own us.
What are you holding so tightly to that it controls your life without you even noticing? Are you anxious about your safety? Do you agonize over the health of your finances? Do you worry constantly about accumulating debt? Do you fret about the need to lose ten pounds? Energy expended on these patterns of thought breathes life into them and attracts more of the same to you. When you can let go and live more presently, these cycles of obsessive thinking cannot thrive and you create space for new opportunities…new realities…new states of mind.
As you welcome the New Year, honor it by observing what you can let go of. If you were to give yourself permission to forget about what has to be done tomorrow, or hurts, frustrations, and loss from the past, what would you have to focus on, but the Now? And if you were to truly cultivate a more present state of existence, what would you see, who would you meet, where would you roam, what dreams could come true for you?
Warmest wishes for the New Year!