With the New Year quickly approaching, it is hard not to hear people talking about change and New Year’s resolutions. Typically, people try to use the New Year as an opportunity to break old habits and take on something new. Whether this is how you feel or not, this year, instead of taking on something new, simply let go of your old ways and simplify your life.
Let go and you will discover a new you.
1. Clear your closet. We hold on to our wardrobe for all sorts of reasons: lack of funds, memories, status, and sometimes a personal attachment. Seems harmless enough. But there’s emotional clutter that comes with busting closets and basement storage bins of clothes that are simply holding you back and keeping you from a better flow of energy, a new you. Let go of these clothes: a good rule of thumb is that every time you want to go shopping you have to purge a few things; when items are worn, torn and simply falling apart, retire the items to painting clothes, rags or, if in well enough condition, a thrift store
2. Release old mind sets. Take a few minutes and write down the things, thought patterns and people in your life that are holding you back and keeping you from growing. Maybe you only gossip when you are with them, maybe every night when you come home you habitually have ice cream. And if you are someone that isn’t into journaling, I encourage you to get out the pen. Part of letting go is self-reflection and when you write something down you are able to read it back to yourself. Words are power; roughly 90% of our thoughts are habitual thoughts, meaning we have already thought about them (and usually with little action), so by writing them down we are releasing them and are able to let go of them.
3. Breathe in bed. For many, the idea of a meditation practice is more a futuristic thought, then an actual real life action. So start small. Before you drift off to sleep, take ten conscious deep breaths, and make it a point to fully and completely follow every inch of the inhalation and exhalation. Not only will it allow you to clear your mind from your busy day, but it will also give you space from your last activity before bed. Those ten breaths are not just a simple meditation, they’re more oxygen to the brain and a better night’s sleep.
4. Make it a point to see the good. We are a society of negativity; most of us, unknowingly, thrive off of negative news, gossip, trashy magazines and hearing the tail end of someone we know struggling in life. I know you may want to disagree, but the truth is that in our society it is easier to go with the flow than to go against it, especially when the flow is everywhere we turn. So let go of your trashy magazine subscriptions and your habits of reading them in the grocery store checkout line. Ditch the six o’clock news and forward to the weather if needed. Say no to gossip with a friend even if your ego is trying to sway you to believe that the conversion is for the greater good of that person. For most of us, we have to choose to see the good, choose to make the change and choose to stop the cycle of negative reinforcement.
5. Finally, trust your gut. Yep, you have the answers; you know what you need to do; yet for many we constantly turn away, usually because it is too hard or not what we are accustomed to, or possibly it means we have to make a change. But all those reasons are keeping you from being able to let go, keeping you from the best version of yourself, and keeping you from living the best life now. Let go– not in five years, not in five months, not even tomorrow, but today. As someone who has battled the recovery process, the biggest part of letting go is allowing good to come in, trusting that you are perfect and, little by little, implementing simple changes that will amount to something big.
So if you are anything like me, what do you have to lose? Two minutes in bed that you’d probably spend surfing the internet on your phone before you go to bed? A negative, gossiping session with a friend, busy negative noise on the television about people’s personal lives that is simply none of our business, and if it is, it is surely a spin our stressed minds don’t need anyways. So, today, accept and let go, what do you have to lose?Photo Credit: Simply Rita, Dee