As we prepare to let the calendar year go to fall softly into the rear view mirror, shall we spend a moment or two considering what we are holding on to, which may need to be released?
As a recovering perfectionist, I have continued the practice of observing myself, as often as possible in the moment. I certainly have not mastered it…as I am human. More often this observation practice is done as reflection on a moment which has already passed. These are the experiences which help me see more clearly or discover for the first time what I still have a “white-knuckle grip” on.
Thoughts and questions about beliefs (mine and anyone else’s) usually top the list of observations when reflecting on various outcomes. From discussions, to meetings and the occasional news story (when I allow myself to even go there), to the usual antics of my companion animals, there is always something to see. I have become more and more aware of the limiting beliefs I hold though the process of asking myself a few questions. “Is it true?” “Was it ever true?” “Where did that belief come from, anyway?” “How does holding that belief serve me now or does it?”
“Seldom do we think about how seldom we think.”
― David C. Alves
It can be a scary, at times, arduous journey inward to ask these and other questions foundational to our human experience. Yet, asking and sitting with the questions will bring forth our answers. Those answers may evoke more questions. In fact, living the questions is what keeps us moving forward…growing…evolving.
The ending of a calendar year seems to be the time that many people are setting new intentions, creating new resolutions and beginning again any number of past failed attempts to do something. The new calendar year can also be an opportunity to reflect and to begin again or continue the journey inward that makes the quality of our lives peaceful, joyful and filled with love – even in the midst of what feels like external chaos in our families, communities and world.
“It’s an inside job” is an oft used phrase which contains profound truth for us all. As we consider the condition of our world, we might consider looking in our hearts and minds, as a place to start. By focusing on the way we regard ourselves, we may have found the holy grail of change; the center of love and peace; the truth of what can truly be the salve on the wounds of our collective experience.
Our self loathing; our regarding ourselves as unworthy or not good enough only leads us into the dark places of fear and anger that we then project in our speech and behavior toward others. By feeding our victimhood in this way, we invite more of the same experience into our lives. Often, the need to control people and outcomes is one way in which we compensate for our perceived unworthiness. We wish to feel powerful and believe that control will provide that power. At that point, control really has us in its grip. Consider the energy required to maintain this belief. What does it take from us in order to exist in us? What happens when the control is out…of control. We become angry, upset.
“Mindfulness has to do with waking up and living in harmony with oneself and with the world. It is examining who we are, constantly questioning our views of the world and our place in it, while cultivating appreciation for the fullness of each moment we are alive. It is the direct opposite of taking life for granted. It is empowering as well, because paying attention in this way opens channels to deep reservoirs of creativity, intelligence, imagination, clarity, determination, choice, and wisdom within us.”
― Jon Kabat-Zinn
As individuals, we deserve our own loving-kindness. Whether allowing that we are human and therefore not perfect; or realizing that our mistakes are truly our opportunities to learn something that perhaps was not known before; or forgiving another for something done or said – whether intentional or not, loving ourselves through any of these, over time can bring acceptance of self and of the life we are living. In so doing, we wake up to change…to possibility…to creating a new and different way of being.
Let us prepare to let go of what we may still be dragging around lest it slow our progress toward living the life we wish to live and enjoy.
I am deeply grateful to all of my readers for their presence here. I wish for us all a continued awakening to the many possibilities which lie within and which will carry us forward into a new world. I wish for us that we all find our leaders within; so that we stand from wherever we are for love, healing, kindness and the very best for all beings.
A special thank you to Lori Coleman at Loco’s Photo’s for permission to continue to use the amazing photos that she captures with the camera lens as first seen through the eyes of her heart.