Dear Beautiful Souls,
In 2017, the world changed and shifted to the point of being nearly unrecognizable. It sometimes seems unsafe to express our creativity, in the face of harsh and unpredictable events. It’s easy to feel that our future is no longer in our hands. Yet as long as you are still dreaming, you are capable of creating a channel by which you can achieve those dreams.
Dreams are all about expression. They are the outlet through which we become our best selves and contribute our soul’s goodness to the world. When we are clear on what we want to achieve, we have the power to bring something into being and then nurture it. Dreams don’t have to be grand. So don’t burden yourself with the notion of finding your life purpose or saving the world. When your inner being-ness touches the outside world, you are expressing your purpose. It is as simple as that! Stay humble, set aside your expectations, and seek ways to pursue your unique ways of being. This is the way to create stability, balance, and joy.
I invite you to join me in a three-day personal retreat to press the reset button on your life. (I’ll be doing this on December 27, 28, and 29, but you could choose any three days around the new year.) You’ll need a journal, a pen, plain paper, and some colored markers. Each day’s practice will take no more than thirty minutes.
Find a quiet spot in your home or outdoors. In your journal, reflect on the following:
Make a list of your concerns.
Now review them and mark each one as either “within my control” or “outside my control.” Keep the list of “within my control” items for tomorrow’s reflection. As for the items outside your control, take a look at them and fall into your heart as you state this prayer:
Dear God, I am grateful for the beautiful life you have given me. I am grateful for all you have provided. Right now, I feel this crippling worry about our future. I feel reluctant to let go of the fears in my mind. However, I know that nothing in this universe moves without your permission. I release my worries to you, knowing that you have a plan for my life. I accept what comes my way as it contributes to my growth and resilience. I now fully let go of what is worrying me in this moment. I give this to you, and I surrender as your grace enters my heart. Thank you.
As a symbol of letting go, you may burn your list of items that are outside your control. When you wake up tomorrow morning, notice how you feel, as your mind is cleared of those worries.
I no longer create new year’s resolutions. Instead, I focus on a theme for the year, such as clarity. As the year unfolds, I notice how life provides me with opportunities and lessons in line with that theme. Today’s first practice is to pick your theme for the year ahead.
Get comfortable in your body and sense into the coming year. Ask yourself, “What theme is the next year wanting me be in?” Fall into your heart and let your soul whisper your theme to you. Write it down in your journal. Use colored pens and paper to create a visual representation, then place it somewhere you can see it every day.
Now look at yesterday’s “within my control” list. In your journal, reflect on the following:
Identify some actions you could take to address your concerns and improve your well-being. Perhaps you will work on your mental well-being by giving yourself more time to read. Or perhaps you intend to focus on your emotional well-being by practicing compassion. Be aware of the energy that is motivating your goals. Choose ones that unfold from a current pain or inspiration, not a sense of “have to.”
Now narrow your list to three actions for the year. (If you have too many, you’ll be less likely to follow through on them.) The subconscious mind responds more strongly to images than to words, so, again, make a drawing that symbolizes each goal. Post these where you can see them daily.
Resetting your life means more than choosing a theme and a set of actions. It also requires a shift in perspective. Today, we’ll focus on the lens through which you see the world. What emotions do you have about your goals and dreams? Can you identify areas where you are inclined to be pessimistic or hopeless? Write down the thoughts and emotions you have in response to each goal.
If your emotional state in response to a certain action seems negative, ask yourself, “What is a truth that would balance this point of view?” A balancing truth helps you see things differently.
For example, if I have the goal of creating a new training program for my clients, I may worry that no one will sign up for it! A balancing truth might be: “My work is worth sharing, and all I desire is to express it truthfully and authentically. God will take care of the outcomes.” Bringing awareness to such a truth will bring your emotions into balance. Think of a scale. Your current negative emotions and perspectives may weigh you down. When you counter them with a balancing truth on the other side of the scale, you’ll start to feel lighter, and you will be more inclined to take action.
Congratulations! Now that you’ve completed this three-day exercise, you have a theme for the coming year, a set of actions, and the balancing truths to help you overcome mental and emotional obstacles to achieving them. The door is open for your soul to express its beauty fully! And a fully expressed self is just what the world needs right now. Take heart: as long as you are breathing, you have the power to make a positive change big or small.
Action item: What is your theme for 2018? What are your three main actions? What are your balancing truths? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Happy New Year! 🙂