Welcome to the New Year my friends!
I am reaching out today for my third round of thoughts on mindset. When we started this journey together a few months ago, we were priming for the New Year, checking ourselves and our tendencies. Checking ourselves for places where we get stuck and fall into the autopilot of preference. If you didn’t get a chance to read through the first two Mindset checks you can find them here, on my website. And as I said before, this series is my effort to make the most of the good things about resolution: the reflection, the self inquiry, the curiosity.
I want to harness the potential for pattern interrupts … starting at the base, starting with our mindset.
As a yoga teacher, I often offer my students a time in class to leave something on their mat that isn’t serving them. To check with a mental pattern that might be swirling about causing clutter or even worse, thoughts that could be causing self harm. It may be a decision that deserves clarity, it may be a regret or a grievance. Whatever it is big or small, there is a chance to leave it behind.
I offer the opportunity to let go… with love.
The part that most of us get wrong, myself included, is that we fester and hold on because it is safer than the unknown, then the change of thoughts or a new way that isn’t 100% familiar. We don’t like to admit how much familiarity gives us comfort – and our thoughts are no exception. The love part though, this takes some practice.
Our rebellious instinct will always win if we let something go with anger. Think about diets and self restrictions, they only lead to cheats. Sometimes when the let go is peaceful the rebellion isn’t as sexy.
Can we learn to let go without having to know what is next, can we let go and trust that there could be infinite endings to this story?
Can we learn to thank our pattern, our thought, our festering, our habits for every experience they have provided?
Can we say goodbye and learn to discern when the heavy load is not worth it’s weight?
Can we make the leap?
Mindset #3: holding on protects me
Evidence Collected : “This is who I am, defined by the protection. In order to let go of something, I have to hate it. If I am repulsed enough by a habit, then I will change it. Without protection, who will keep me safe? If I can control it, I am bigger than it and protected from it.”
Pattern Interrupt : Letting go makes space for the new. I give thanks as I let go, for all the good and bad that has come from it. I am grounded and can handle whatever comes my way.
We create intrigue in the beauty that is all around us when we relinquish what we think we know.
I worry that we are becoming a subculture that is addicted to the story that everything is so messed up in the world. This becomes our filter, like we are refusing to be pleasantly surprised. For every bit of darkness right now, there is absolutely just as much light. Sometimes it seems the faith that there is good feels so vulnerable and the story of the bad is almost… comforting? This doesn’t require looking away, but it does require patience and attention. It requires subtlety and being brave enough to slow down. I do not wish to be oblivious but I wish to meet experiences with a fresh palate.
My hope for this New Year is to be present to the pleasant surprises. To leave some room by letting go with love. One of my favorite poets is Mark Nepo. He writes:
“We need to give up what no longer works and find new ways of being that keep us close to what matters.
My hope is this year offers you some gems, some glimmers of a new way. Happiest of years to you!
All the Best and Full of Love