This is the end of the first week of 2017. The last calendar year was intense for many of us. Lives were shaken up, structures challenged, relationships altered, and paths re-routed.
2016 was a year I faced a lot of the ‘stuff’ in my life that has kept me sometimes clueless and dis-empowered. That process was scary and sometimes tiring. I’m grateful for those who supported me lovingly and willingly through it all. Each person who crossed my path, I know, played their role in my journey. I watched myself go through feeling victimized, blaming, focusing on other’s issues, social problems and such, while all the time I was losing sight of myself.
Moving from there I learned to regularly take back my power, taking responsibility for my feelings, my reactivity, my needs and desires, my personality with its own unique needs and desires, living with care and affection for myself. This then would help to soften my heart and open up to accepting and loving others more and just having more fun.
I took the opportunity to practice many of life’s skills: letting go, challenging assumptions (mine and others’), sensing into pain (felt physically and emotionally) and determining what it was about and what it was guiding me toward. I also trained myself to soak up joyous of leisure moments of ease and regurgitating them at will, I chose to starve conditioned patterns of being and allow to me to open into the freshness of the unknown in each moment. How helpful to name these processes!
Then there was the daring to make connection with people or respond to invitations as well as courage to retreat. I got to watch my resistances and notice why they felt like closed fists in the air: judgments toward my resistances just strengthened them. I found I could watch them with wonder and see how they were trying to serve me and allow them to guide me. And so life and evolution continues…
Change is in the air. It’s on people’s lips and in their psyches, especially her in the US. This naturally evolutionary phenomenon is a constant reality, shifting cells in our body, seasons and our relationships. Change is a normal part of reality. Yet, we never seem to get used to it. Yet, it often brings juicy gifts. Preparing our bodies and minds for change helps us be more receptive to the big and oft unwelcome changes that life often brings.
I like to allow small discomforts to my day by choice. And it’s really not in the category of “should”. That kills the fun. They include making a call that I would rather not, or arriving a few minutes early to an appointment I have (I have a history of being late, and it is history!) to people watch. Sometimes I put things into neat orderliness around my home to allow myself to ease into the squirming that would ensue as I adapt to this changed environment. Enjoying my body in movement has also not been within my comfort zone. When I choose it, I allow myself to move from some unease to many delicious pleasures.
As the year settles in, let’s reflect and challenge ourselves to discard our lived labels and dismantle some elements of self-identity, the “I am” stuff. “I am generous or intelligent”, “I am a good partner”, “I am free”. Yes, this is a limiting self-statement ( as all self-statements are) as it makes us subtly fit ourselves into our idea of what it means to be free, rather than just allowing what’s emerging to take its own shape in our way of being. Then there’s the “I am no” stuff. I am not racist or rich or successful. Challenging ourselves to consciously open up to change can be a wonderful experience, but is not always easy. For some, permitting less change is change. It often starts with a desire and motive to move away from something or toward something.
I invite and encourage you to challenge yourself to practice of change in yourself, your life, your thinking, your schedule. All this in conscious choice and full awareness of your process.
Stay in touch with yourself and me. Feel free to share your reflections. A happy 2017 to all and may we meet change equipped with our own wisdom and compassion.
–The Listening Group meetings (4th Tuesday of every month)start this month: Tuesday, January 24th (6.30-8.30 pm)
– At Ease with Emotions: a workshop in Monroe, MI: Sunday, January 28th (1.00-4.00 pm)
Please do come. I hope to see many of you at these events.