Goodbye to what served you
Are you taking a new look at your life with the new year? You won’t find much room for creating or letting go until you honor what’s served you.
The morning of New Year’s Eve, I was writing with a group of strangers at a cozy neighborhood coffee shop. We were part of a “contemplative year-end review,” noting our joys and lessons from 2018, and what we wanted to let go of for the coming year.
I’ve written both letting gos and wishes before, burning them outside on New Year’s Eve or the Winter Solstice. But there are fire regulations in a coffee shop – imagine that.
So we tore the papers into bits and sprinkled them on the “earth” – actually the compost bin. I was surprised at how connected this new ritual felt!
The quest to fit in
As I ripped up my habitual patterns that no longer served, I thanked them for doing their best to protect me. Even though the concerns were often skewed from present reality.
The habits were based on relics of childhood, adolescence, and my impossible struggle in a high school hooked on conformity: Straight blonde hair, narrow hips, well-contained emotions, in a provincial community I was not part of.
What became set in my beliefs was an underlying fear of not fitting in, even though I’m a not-fitting-in kinda person. So despite my DNA of being quirky, odd, creative, I’ve been driven by:
• Headiness (analyzing what I do).
• Vigilance (making sure others think it’s okay).
• Belief in the safety of fear.
I’ve been navigating around them or trying to make them Just Go Away. But thanking them was the first step in letting go.
Old patterns don’t just vanish
Patterns don’t just disappear into thin air or a new calendar year. Something needs to replace them.
In my case, it came from a celebration last month for Rain City Rock Camp. Women who LOVED being quirky showed up in costumes, loud voices, wigs, and enthusiastic joy.
I realized my new year’s resolution is to be a badass, with compassion. My role models are women who live life large, with heart and connection, like performer Janelle Monae, congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and author Robin DiAngelo.
If (when) I’m a badass, I’d be relaxed being more visible, more present, and more helpful to people suffering from insomnia. Many who suffer at night – I realize as I write this – carry burdens similar to what I’ve navigated during the day:
• Headiness (too much thinking).
• Vigilance (watching the clock).
• Belief in the safety of fear (preparing to manage fears of the mind).
Does that describe your nights, or nights of someone you know?
I’ve been moving towards this in 2018
This last year, I’ve been becoming more visible from the inside. I redefined the 7 Pathways to Rest.
These changes include not just the previous 5 obstacles, but also the relationship to sleep and alignment with life, all key to be able to let go into rest.
As you may know, when you let go of headiness and vigilance at night, you welcome rest and sleep. And as I let go of headiness and vigilance during the day, I welcome my own wisdom, instead of others who in real life or my imagination, tell me what is “right.”
I’ve also redone my website (which is now live! Yay!) to reflect my new visibility. It speaks to who I really am, vs. how it is supposed to be. Take a look at some of the new pages:
I’d love to know what you think.
My next steps: being more visible in the outer world
I’m providing free consultations (and I’ll be doing another challenge: 30 consults in 30 days). We can talk about how you can be your true rested self instead of heady, vigilant, and hanging out in fear.
It’s a great gift for yourself or someone you care about, to get a new perspective on insomnia.
And if you know of naturopaths, doctors, masseurs, or others who know people with insomnia, I’d appreciate an introduction. I want to increase the circle of people who know that rest is a valuable way to reduce suffering at night.
What’s your next step?
Whatever you intend for 2019, this week, today, or this moment, I hope you can be present, engaged, and rested!
May your year be healthy, happy, and filled with hope and goodness.
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