Updated: Jan 1, 2022
How can we make New Year’s Resolutions in a topsy-turvy-metamorphosis of a time? Even in this environment, we are releasing what no longer serves us, and moving into a higher consciousness all the time, sometimes even at a more rapid pace. It has not been easy!
If you are like me, your idea of resolutions have changed over time. I remember the point I decided resolutions were ‘not for me.’ I remember thinking, "I want to feel rather than what I think I need to do." While the idea of a fresh start still resonates with me, I want to focus be-ing rather than do-ing.
Creating the Opening
A few weeks ago, a feeling started bubbling up in me around making space. Not long after, I heard within: Make space for what moves you. The felt sense was that of an opening in my life, and in my world. Make space so something new can enter.
The thought is freeing for me, as I, like many, have experienced burn out and constriction around the idea of of being "resilient" superhumans.
Rather than adding something new to squeeze in or manage, how about an intention to create space?
When studying contemplation, my initial assumption was the practice was asking me to "make more time" for it. While only a subtle shift in thinking, I learned it was asking me to disengage. Disengaging from things that were less sacred to me began to re-shift where I was spending my time and allow me the space to think about what held great value for me in my life.
Creating an opening does not have to be an action. It can be an intent, an invitation from our soul. It simply beings with our own awareness to feel into a little space calling out to us where a new energy wants to enter.
Is Your Soul Calling for You to Create Space?
Here is something you can do right now, in only a few minutes.
Take three deep breaths. Ask yourself what needs to be released to make room for what truly moves you. Examples that come to mind for me are:
Clutter: Physical clutter, mental clutter
Stagnant Energy: Time spent, or things we hold onto that don't light us up
Overwhelm: A habit or behaviors (such as busyness) that is asking to be released
Burdens: Are we carrying someone else's burden we need to return to the rightful owner?
Let your imagination run wild, and trust it. Your imagination is your soul speaking to you. Write down what comes up for you.
Listening to What Wants to "Move On"
Three years ago felt a strong urge to clear out an entire bookshelf. Like many, I treasure my books, and several of them were my “Hall of Fame-ers” that had made a great impact on my life and my own evolution. For years, I would look at my dear Flannery O'Connor, Raymond Carver, and Thom Jones books of short stories and poetry and the memories that would arise would be of stories from over 20 years ago that touched me deeply. That feeling repeated itself for decades. I had seven shelves stocked to the brim with handwritten notes, ah-has, and dog eared pages.
Over a brief period of a few weeks, I started to notice a shift within. I started to notice a new feeling when I sat by the bookshelf and looked at the books: It was as if they were energetically dragging me into the past. Those books contained lessons along my journey then. They were gifted to me at the right time and place then. When I looked at them previously, I had always felt deep meaning and would sit with the 'old' stories. I noticed my internal dialogue changing. I began to wonder, "What's next?" This feeling washed over situations beyond my books, into conversations with old friends where, when we would get together, we would relive stories from the past. "What new are we weaving, then?" I began to wonder.
My soul had been sending me signals something else was around the corner. I kept feeling I was lunging into the future, but I wasn’t sure toward what.
My higher self kept asking: How can you open yourself to all the new things that are available to you if you don’t make room? I pondered this for several weeks.
Make room... Ok, how do I do that?
Eventually I knew what needed to be done. I cleared out the entire shelf and boxed up the books to save, or gifted them. And there it sat for a couple of months. Seven empty shelves, clean and able to be dusted. It carried all of the elements of a new beginning: awkwardness, curiosity, exhilaration.
I began to treat one of the shelves like an altar with a few special things that reminded me to stay open for the unknown and a calling arose in me – an inner knowing that this was a mutual invitation between myself and the divine. As one might imagine, it was not only about the physical clearing of the books themselves.... What was to come was something I would never have predicted.
Fast forward three months, and I ended up embarking on an educational journey to obtain an advance degree which required a lot of reading. Ah-ha! The entire bookshelf, quarter by quarter, filled with books I had never heard of – required reading gifted to me by my new courses.
I realized through this process it was about two things: Trust in myself and the process, and knowing what was sacred for me. Not for others, but for me. In the end I had a brand new, life-changing experience I couldn't have planned or predicted.
Inviting in the Sacred with Ritual
This year as a resolution, I will choose build on that learning with a ritual that is rooted in fundamental spiritual truths for me in this present time, having to do with remembering to include myself in the pathway of my own love. In the last several months I have been reminded that I have left myself out of the picture at times, as a cultural habit and personal pattern, when it comes to my health, my time, what moves me, and making space for the sacred.
As Mark Nepo writes in his poem Gemseed, “Loving yourself is like feeding a clear bird no one else can see.” As I open myself to entering into another layer of wisdom around this, I will invite in my 2022 version of my clear bird and as a ritual, ask her: What feels true? What does she need? I trust as I practice this will evolve and grow into something rich and meaningful.
I love rituals because they can be simple, fast, and the most nourishing thing we can do for ourselves and are also not bound by time or anyone else’s rules or expectation. Rituals can feel small, but they hold entire worlds. They can include healing for our ancestors and future events, our goals, our communities, and our planet.
No matter your feeling on “New Year’s Resolutions” a ritual or intention to "make room" might meet you where you are and open the door to something amazing around the corner: welcoming in the sacred into your own life.
I leave you with five self-inquiry questions to help you with your rituals/resolutions this year. If you have a resolution in mind, explore the following questions around it and notice what arises for you:
How would it feel to have this and why? (What is the energy and emotion I am carrying around this?)
Does this feel rooted in my heart or ego? (Does this have meaning for me or will it please my ego or someone else?)
Does this move me? (What moves me?)
Does this feel sacred? (What feels sacred to me?)
Do I want to die with this? (Will this serve me long-term? Is it something to carry with me?)
Now that many of us have Marie-Kondo'd our hearts out (i.e. "Does this bring me joy?"), I find "Do i want to die with this?" takes me to a new place to explore.
A Resolution as An Invitation from Your Heart
If you can’t think of a ritual, you can simply set an intention from your heart to stay open for what wants to arise.
Each morning, remind yourself you can stay open hearted and are open to making room. There is no need to explain this to anyone, you can trust your feelings and your process wholeheartedly. Light a candle, write it on a card... say it in your heart as you are making your coffee or tea.
Most of all, trust that everything will come in perfect timing in response to an invitation from your heart. Notice, honor and allow what arises with love.
Honoring You, Amie