What do you need to leave behind this year?
As 2018 draws towards its close, like most of us, I’m doing some reflection on the past year.
For many years – almost a decade in fact – I’ve spent the last week of the year as a personal retreat space to heal, to review the past lessons the year has taught me and to make a plan to forge ahead into a new life – a new year, bright and shiny with promise.
Do you do this too?
I’ve found that there’s something about the quiet and darkness of the winter, and the ceasing of normal activity between Christmas and New Year’s, that’s truly sacred. I lick my wounds, rejoice over my successes, and get in touch with my authentic self to make a plan to continue the journey I was meant to live.
There’s always been something about the prospect of a clean slate and a fresh start that has inspired me. But one thing that’s emerged time and time again within the promise of the New Year is the need to leave the past year behind and to let go.
Letting go of what didn’t work, what wasn’t meant to be, of what we can’t change.
- Letting go of regret.
- Letting go of loss.
- Letting go of the fear.
- Letting go of so many things, but mainly letting go of the person you don’t want to be any more.
Because it’s only when we let go that we open ourselves up to all that’s still to come.
It’s only when we let go that we allow ourselves to move forward instead of backward.
It’s only when we let go of what isn’t working in our lives that we can actually remember who we are and what we came for.
Enough of the past. Enough of what didn’t work. Enough of all the trying, the endless second-guessing, the crawling, the begging, the pleasing, the endless beating ourselves up, lamenting what we could have had if only we had done or said something different.
When we hang on to what was, we miss out on what is. We miss who we truly are and what we truly want out of life. We miss why we are here on this planet and the reason for our beautiful creativity and talent, our huge hearts and our innate love of life.
Personally, 2019 celebrates the ten year search for meaning for me.
New Year’s Day 2009 found me totally lost, unhappy, overweight, diminished and truthfully in despair. What had happened to that beautiful young theater artist with so much passion and so many plans? What happened to the gifts I knew I had? I knew that I had allowed myself to die inside.
I had a family I loved more than anything, that consumed me completely. We had a beautiful big home on the North Shore of Long Island. I was teaching theater, writing a bit, working at a professional theater company doing marketing and sales. I toiled on day after day, always so super busy taking care of everyone and everything around me – that I forgot I had a being and a spirit, and my life meant something, too.
My life counted for something! It had to! But what? I knew I had to find out and do things differently, or I would continue to die inside, living for everyone else and taking care of everyone else but me.
At the beginning of 2009 I had a reckoning with myself. A journey that was literally “do or die.”
I made a choice to live. I made a choice to discover why I was here, and what I was meant to do.
I needed to cast off the life that was killing me, no matter how “perfect” it looked on the outside.
So…. I prayed, I consumed self-help books voraciously, and I remembered the vivacious little girl that I had been. The young theater artist who received so much encouragement years ago from mentors and professors, who had so much passion and ideas for creating the life she knew she wanted.
And…. I jumped.
My Aha Moment
I thought of that little girl from Cincinnati a few weeks ago as I was at a star-studded opening night party for a big Broadway show. Truly, it was the most glamorous event that I’ve ever been to – I even had my makeup done before the show! And I had the most wonderful time, feeling comfortable in my own skin, knowing so many others in the room, and I looked around the room and realized – this is where I belong.
I did it. I did it for that little girl. I kept my promises to her.
How did I do it?
By letting go of what didn’t work. By making a commitment to love and cherish myself just as much as I did the others around me. By honoring my dreams and intuition and strong impulses.
I did it by using the knowledge of how to create theater magic onstage to tranform my own real life off stage.
But I first had to let go of almost everything in my life that wasn’t working.
A lot wasn’t working.
What do you need to let go of? Let it go here and now.
Step into the authentic you this year. Make the magic happen in your own life.
I am launching another MasterMind group this year, to help other magnificent creators move their projects and their life forward. I am also launching a beta group for high performers looking to transform their real lives from the inside out, just as I did mine.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in changing things up for yourself this year.
Looking back at 2018, what do you need to let go of once and for all? Share it with us here in the comments as we support each other on this journey of letting go.