THE BLOG
01/06/2015 10:59 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Power of Reflection, Gratitude and Letting Go

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There is something about a new year that activates both a desire to reflect on the recent past and to make plans for the coming months. It's important to first dedicate time for the reflection part of this process before making your action plans. Reflection plays an essential role in creating action steps that feel aligned with your inner dreams. If you've been making choices that have not felt right, it's time to pay attention.

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What did I discover about myself?
What have I accomplished?
What were my successes?
What is finished?
What do I want to carry forward that doesn't feel complete?
Is there any place where I need to dig deeper to find the learning?
What do I feel grateful to have experienced?

Notice if you are doing something that no longer works for you. Truth will hide behind whatever choice you thought was going to be the "answer." Has a commitment you made previously become a struggle to continue? Have your resources shifted? It may be time to rebalance the scales so that you are not being depleted. Are you complete with a relationship, a place you've been living or with a career path? Perhaps you're ready to release an old way of thinking that defined what was permissible. Let go, so a more aligned picture can become visible.

This year I walked away from the security of a lucrative corporate job, stepping (leaping!) into unbounded space so that I could claim myself as teacher, speaker and writer. It's the second time that I left a career and livelihood. The first time was much scarier, when I stopped being a psychotherapist. Both times I had known that I needed to make the break. Both times there were compelling reasons that I stayed... until I no longer did and I left. That moment of taking action was true celebration, when I chose to heed my inner voice, to stay with my breath through each moment of hesitation and fear, knowing that my heart really only had the path forward.

In order to fully embrace your own story, you have to have immersed yourself in the chapters already written -- the ones that come before the pages you will write in the coming months. Claiming where you have come from is integral to moving forward. It seeds what you will become. All of your experiences, opportunities and learning get to travel with you -- not as baggage to haul through the airport, but as wings for a new expression to take flight. Acknowledge with a feeling of gratitude what you've received this past year; it will ground these gifts, spring boarding you into your next step. Then notice what you are ready to release; this opens space for you to create something fresh.

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New beginnings sit outside the edges of what you already know. Allow yourself to get quiet, giving space for something new to unfold. Take a deep breath. Feel it circulate through your body, imagining it going to every cell. Visualize your breath filling each of your cells with light. Let yourself sink into this great inner silence so that you can connect with what is unknown and unformed within you. This is the place where new possibilities begin to reveal themselves to you.

Aren't you ready for something new this year?