Are you feeling blue thinking about the year gone by? The missed opportunities. The past mistakes. The lost time. Are you looking forward to the new year with new resolutions and new goals? We look forward to the new year with new resolutions and new goals. A chance to correct those past mistakes. To seize new opportunities. To stay ready in wait and this time, not lose crucial momentum in indecision or confusion.
While being optimistic about the future is a good thing, the pressure and the expectations that we set, both, are killers. Not to mention the stress from constantly worrying about what’s happened, done and gone. And, jostling with what’s often beyond our control.
This is why before we look at what’s coming, we must first learn to let go of the past. This releases us from the punishing bondage, the heavy chains we carry. And makes us free and truly available to explore the new at its advent.
Here in this week’s blog post, I discuss the art of letting go, and especially how and why it applies this season.
1. Acknowledge and accept
Begin by accepting and acknowledging what has passed. Let there be no two ways about it! What has happened has happened and needs to be accepted before we can move forward.
Look at the year gone by – If you’ve lost someone? Or, perhaps regret your actions? Take a moment to acknowledge and accept what has transpired.
2. Tie up loose ends
Next, complete any unfinished tasks. It is easier to look back on the past year when you have closed all open tasks and attempted to resolve issues.
Think of your past goals and resolutions. Or, even unkept promises. Try to fix a timeframe within which you will at least attempt some of these activities.
3. Focus on what you need
Forget about others’ expectations. Focus on what you need and want. Many a time, we concentrate so much on what others need of us, or what people may think, that we forget our own needs.
This is especially important when you have conflicts with others or demands on your time. In all such cases, put yourself first. It is not self-centred. It is not selfish. It is entirely justified.
4. Practise gratitude
Be thankful for what you have. Carry gratitude in your heart for your health, wellness, for your good luck, for a home and family, for friends who care, for food and shelter, and for everything that comes your way. Even for the lessons and learning that come from bad experiences.
Keep a gratitude journal and pen down your deepest thoughts. Think of the remotest thing you could be grateful for and write it down. Learn to forgive others and yourself.
5. Believe in yourself
This is perhaps the biggest most crucial handicap. We don’t believe in ourselves enough! Change this.
Start believing in yourself. Look at your unique experiences. Your innate strengths. Your beauty and power. Learn to recognize your talents. And give yourself credit for everything you do. (No one else will do it unless you do it first.)
6. Leave room for mistakes
Not everything you do will be a resounding success. There will be trials and tribulations. There will be challenges and failures. It is important that you make room for mistakes and don’t beat yourself too hard if you fail.
Learn to look for the positives even in the bleakest of the situations. There will be something you did well. Pick that up and work on it again.
7. Think positive
Positivity will get you through anything. Be positive about what you have done, about who you are, about your perspectives and ideas.
Hope and positivity are two skills that make any situation better. There is a possibility yet. And you can do it.
8. Express yourself
Learn to express yourself. Journaling is helpful and so is maintaining a diary. Talking to a friend and confiding in them is therapeutic and effective. The more you open yourself and share, the less stressed and pressured you will be.
In the meanwhile, you may also uncover a few ways to counter the challenges you face! It may come from within you or from a person you share with. Whichever the case, it’s a win-win.
9. Learn kindness
When dealing with your darkest emotions or juggling with thoughts of regret and anger, be kind to yourself. Eat well. Drink lots of water. Have a warm bath. Go out for a walk in the fresh air. Talk to a friend. Buy yourself something. Do something good for a stranger.
Kindness keeps the humanity in us intact. Our souls need kindness to flourish and breathe.
10. Keep that smile on!
And finally, learn to laugh at yourself. Humour keeps the stress and dark thoughts at bay. Don’t get too serious and caught up in anything. Give everything an honest shot and let your intentions be right, but remember to smile and enjoy whatever you do! After all to err is human!