Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: Shedding Baggage like Snakes Shed Skin

Study the past if you would divine the future. ~Confucious

Each year I take an opportunity to prepare myself for leaving a year behind and starting one anew. Many are ready to get on with it, giving little to no thought to the past year and its good, bad and ugly, while others, like myself, reflect.

A year is a mile in the journey of life we travel. Wallowing in one's past with regrets is not recommended, but honestly “revisiting” the past year's experiences is a helpful study of the landscape for the last “mile” traveled this life. Reflective attitude of willingness to acknowledge one's mistakes, less than stellar moments and choices, coupled with a resolve to own responsibility and consciously commit to change one's ways are keys towards creating a better new year. Holding/Living in regret, anger, guilt, resentment, vindictiveness and wishful thinking invites the Human Ego (and its pride) to further nurture grudges, deepen resentment, and fester in blame. Law of Attraction states: what you put out in the Universe boomerangs back to you more of the same in your life.

I choose a journey free of excess baggage. “Reliving” and “stewing in” past experiences is unproductive. The new year offers an opportunity for reflection, contemplation, and re-evaluation, ideally done with compassion for self and others while objectively observing one's personal choices and actions as if watching a movie. My favorite approach involves visualizing myself sitting in a movie theater, watching the movie that has been my life in 2011. From this vantage point, and in a prayerful meditative state to hear God's guidance, we detach from the events' emotional plug-ins to witness what transpired and how we “performed” within them. Feelings may be felt, but in the observer position, their energetic grasp loosens within a reflective state of mind. This review requires purposeful willingness to be truthful with ourselves from a spiritual/God-centered place, which invites Divine wisdom and insight into the review. This approach facilitates shifting of our Ego-focused and -driven emotional obsession around past events into recognition of our responsibilities within them; it creates an openness to become more forgiving, of our self and others, and thus, the process of healing which opens the door to inner peace and harmony; and it opens a greater awareness of how to move forward more productively into the next year. We also realize the positives we experienced, accomplishments we achieved, and successes we enjoyed. We must celebrate it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

For me, 2011 involved a great deal of decluttering my life of unproductive people, patterns, and habits. Just as a snake sheds its skin, I needed to physically and energetically shed a great deal, things once comforting to me but no longer serving my highest and best good. I resisted this shedding process. Upon review of the difficult and heartbreaking events of the year, I recognized my pattern to negotiate and compromise my values in the name of keeping peace. I tried to carry “baggage” that weighed me down, both vibrationally and emotionally, when it no longer offered anything of value in my life. Lesson #1 for 2011: If a situation, a career, a relationship (family, friend, romantic), a habit, a practice or a pattern fails to create, offer or facilitate peace, joy, harmony, and love in my experience, it doesn't belong in my life. Some situations and people that I hung on to, clung to out of hope and fear, dragged me down; I held on in the hope things would get better, improve or change. My efforts compromised my authenticity and sense of self as I avoided making heartbreaking and difficult choices to change or redefine circumstances, relationships, habits, and patterns in my life. Lesson #2 for 2011: I can only control who I am, how I show up through my words, thoughts, choices, and actions, and recognize I can't control how others show up, think, choose or act.

I faced some stormy weather in 2011 that led to hard decisions and major changes in my life: unexpected financial hits, disenchantment in a career path I spent 2010 blazing, loss of a beloved pet, draining relationships and their heartbreaking end, family transitions, unemployment, and foggy confusion as I struggled to regain clarity of who I am and my purpose in this life. I worked jobs I didn't want until I secured the one reflecting my passion for serving and empowering others. I grieved the loss of business and personal connections, developed new relationships, and strengthen existing ones while eliminating those that drained me. I held “Come to Jesus” meetings with myself about my health, dating life, spiritual practices, and my purpose in life. I reclaimed a drama-free zone, realigned myself with my value system, and faced my personal challenges with humility. I dug deeper in my personal power to stand against disrespect, bullying, and verbal abuse, as well as to ask for what I want and deserve. I cried, laughed, and forgave. I eliminated anything that threatens my experience of peace, joy, love and harmony in my life. I regained a foothold of centered strength in my spiritual truth, authenticity, values and guiding principles in the face of overwhelm, hopelessness, vindictiveness, disappointments. I reclaimed my life. I reclaimed me.

My reclamation is a process continuing into 2012. 2011 revealed I compromised my principles, my values, and my higher consciousness over the last two years. It was a year to deepened my faith that God's got my back, guiding me, providing for me, and supporting me through dark times along the journey. For the first time since my mom died, I'm actually excited about Life, and about my life and the opportunities available to me. No doubt there will be bumps, detours and roadblocks attempting to deter me, distract me and even derail me along this next mile of my journey. But I am prepared to assertively move through them, to circumvent them, and if necessary, eliminate them from my path.

Thank you 2011 and everyone who facilitated my personal growth last year! Hello, 2012, let's roll! Happy New Year to you all!

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