Congratulations…you have survived—the holidays, I mean! Survived food, relationships, gift exchanges, weather, travel and it is time for recovery! Time to get back to the person you recognize in the mirror each morning rather than perhaps the one that your mom is clinging to at the age of 9 or your dad at the age of 17.
Getting back on stride, your stride can be easy and quick as quick as turning a corner. Honestly, though there is a prerequisite: cut yourself some slack and recognize you are one of the billions on this planet –learning, growing and releasing along the way. Period.
So, how do we get back to where we were and continue our forward movement?
#1: Breathe. Bringing yourself to your present comes with no price tag and is always with you whether in your car driving to work, standing in line at the grocery store or sitting at your desk. You may have heard this before, but now, it is time to try it. Take your awareness to your breath. Feel your body take in the oxygen, entering your nose and filling your lungs. Feel the release on your exhale as your lungs collapse and the air leaves through your nose. Do it 3 or more times with awareness. As the air enters, does it feel cool or tickle? As your lungs expand, how does your body feel as your chest widens or your shoulders rise up, just a little? And, as you exhale, does one of your nostrils feel a bit clogged? Do you feel the contraction of your chest or your shoulders releasing? Whatever you experience is your personal moment of awareness of presence. It is not complex, but it is deeply and fundamentally real in your body. Embrace that reality for a few moments. You may begin to find your door to a bit of heaven.
#2: Do nothing! Enter and discover your stillness, either in movement or non-movement. Crazy, right? Yet stillness can be found in rhythmic movement as well. Go for an early morning walk. Or, find your place of stillness watching the movement of the branches. Just be with yourself for 15 minutes. This can be a recharge. It really is just what it is.
#3: Clouds in the sky. As the thoughts roll in with the stillness, just notice. Let them be like the clouds in the sky-they are there and are moving. Notice them, even name what you see – anger, anxiety, hope, fear. Let them continue to move on by; you do not have to claim them just because they happen to be in your head. Your mind will not be used to being watched.
#4: Take out the garbage. Ok. Stuff comes up. Release what is simply not yours. What stuck to you as you left time with family, friends? You know what it is. Simply write it down and dispose.
#5: Keep the gold. Time with family and friends can offer great gifts of understanding, wisdom, forgiveness, challenge, humor, and memories. Give yourself the space to integrate what you would like to integrate, write a memory down and keep it in a special place-a journal or memory box, or family album.
#6: Name your daily play! Yes, this is your game of life. Claim your rules, the teammates you want to be with, the competitors that you want to challenge you, the coaches that lift you up and guide you forward. Life is impermanent and holds connection to the eternal. So claim your play as you move with your learning and growing.
Life is messy. But in the mess you will find fun, creativity, learning, growing, letting go and well, living. Hold it loosely with the other few billion people hanging around with you…and, Happy Every Day!
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As we embrace the New Year, we create the opportunity to open to our deeper self, claim the mosaic of our life and discover our journey to joy. While those ideas seem quite lofty and maybe overwhelming or untouchable in the everydayness of life, why should our journey be anything less!?!
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