Phew, it has been a YEAR, hasn’t it?! No matter where you are, or what you’ve been through, 2020 will likely always have a special kind of memory in your heart. Collectively, we navigated a pandemic, and so much that was long overdue rose to the surface with social justice. Even if everything in your world was technically FINE — and you feel lucky for the health of yourself and your family — the year was still a LOT. A lot to think through. A lot of hard conversations. A lot of firsts (like wearing a mask or having the entire world shut down).
So, in the words of Taylor Swift, let’s shake it off, shall we?
In order to make room for what you DO want in your life, it’s helpful to release what you want to let go of. It’s really hard for something NEW to come into your life if all the old is in its way, crowding the space the new blessing could take up. So let’s clear some space! Below are three steps to release the OLD and make way for the new… whether you’re reading this in 2021 or any other year. The principles are the same, and I hope they serve you.
How to Make Way for the New
1. Acknowledge what you’ve gone through
The first step is to give yourself credit for GOING THROUGH SOME THINGS. Never has anyone alive seen our interconnected world completely shut down. Never has anyone worn masks day after day. Never has anyone heard 24-hour news cycles about a new virus or waded through so much misinformation in real time. Even just the so-called little stressors of trying to anticipate where you would be able to travel, or eat dinner, or stand with enough social distancing… is a LOT.
It can be helpful to just acknowledge that. The same goes for any hard thing you’ve been through. Maybe you’re ending a relationship. Leaving a city. Closing a business. Give yourself credit, girlfriend! What you went through made you stronger, wiser, and more resilient… but it wasn’t easy, and YOU are the only person who knows how it felt from your perspective. So you’re the only one who can really understand the weight of everything and acknowledge what it meant to you. What it did to you. Let your body feel that you are a warrior, and you deserve that credit — and that release.
2. Release what you want to let go of
When you’re ready, it’s time to consider what you’re ready to let go of heading into your next chapter. I like to journal on this — to write out what I’m ready to release.
You can still be grateful for the good. For what the experience taught you. For who you became through it. But there may be parts that you are finally ready to leave behind. Who do you want to become? What does SHE need to feel less burdened by? What gift can you give to her by lightening her load and letting go?
You may even feel called to create a ritual of sorts around it. Maybe you write out everything you’re thankful for from an experience, and everything you’re ready to let go of, then light some candles and burn the paper. Maybe you ask a girlfriend if she’s willing to go in on a ceremony of sorts with you, where you read your list to her, so she can pump you up and remind you that you totally deserve better. Feeling witnessed — and still loved, and still safe — can be so powerful.
3. FEEL all the feelings (even the ugly ones)
Some uncomfortable feelings may come up. You may feel a wave of anger, hurt, frustration, loss, remorse, or rage… I want you to know that’s OK. As women, we are so conditioned to feel only the good feelings. We are so quick to bounce back to happy, cheerful, positive, and polite. To push down anything that would make us — or moreso anyone else — uncomfortable. But those angsty feelings need to be FELT to be released.
Otherwise, they create all kinds of dis-ease locked inside our bodies. Even nature shows us this; after being chased by a predator, ducks shake their bodies to release the trapped anxiety and adrenaline coursing through them. They intuitively know this is important.
So do whatever you can to FEEL the emotions so they can leave your body. Go for a run. Kick box. Punch a pillow. Throw rocks as far and hard as you can into the ocean. Scream in the middle of a forest… you might feel a little crazy, but you will definitely feel a LOT better.
I would love to hear if YOU have any other tools that help you clear out the old to make way for the new. It’s not about erasing a year, a memory or a season… but taking what it taught you, releasing what no longer serves you, and clearing space for what does.
Ready for Your Biggest, Brightest, Life?
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