DailyOM - A Year to Clear What's Holding You Backby Stephanie Bennett Vogt
The following is an excerpt from the "A Year to Clear What's Holding You Back" on-line course. If you would like to enroll in the course, click here.
"The call to adventure is the point in a person's life when they are first given notice that everything is going to change, whether they know it or not."
~~Joseph Campbell, The Hero's Journey
With all our best intentions and rich resources, why is it so hard to slow down, simplify, and care for ourselves? Why do most clearing efforts fall short or peter out?
Why are we so afraid to let go?
Our drive to attain and succeed comes at a great cost to the soul. We are malnourished, if not starved, when it comes to compassionate self-acceptance, awareness, and care. We yearn for simplicity but struggle to find it. We ache for balance but can't sustain it. There is no time to juggle it all, let alone clear the things and thoughts that have caused us to feel so overwhelmed in the first place.
After years of study, deep inquiry, and personal experience, here's what I know for sure:
• For clearing to last you need to put yourself first. You won't make a dent in reducing the stress and stuff until you've healed the the patterns that created it. If you don't feel safe, you won't let go.
Clearing is an inside job that begins and ends with you.
• For clearing to last you need to change your mindset. Clearing is not something you "do" or squeeze into your life. It's a way of life - a journey - that doesn't always add up, make sense, or go in a straight line. Clearing is not about "getting rid of." It's about letting go of the things and thoughts that get in the way of realizing your true nature and best life.
• For clearing to last you need to slow down. Clearing old habits and resisting behaviors is not possible until you slow it …way …down.
In a world that is all about speed, this requires awareness. Daily doses of it. "Slow drip" efforts applied consistently over time are the real game changer here.
These messages you are receiving here are like a time-release nourishment for the soul. They are designed to develop your clearing muscle, and grow new habits that will expand exponentially and last a lifetime. Their wisdom will work on you all day!
These guidelines will help you gain the most from your experience:
• Be open. As you start to peel away the layers of your former self, not everything will make sense to you. Suspend judgment, be open, and be willing to not know. You may be pleasantly surprised. If a message mystifies you, just be with that.
• Stop and feel. The daily contemplations, inspirations, and practices will open you up to new information. Notice and allow the emotional "weather" to arise to the degree that you can handle it.
• Receive and nourish. Read each message at least twice: once to get the overview and general vibe, and a second time to deepen your experience. If you can, give yourself at least one minute to "receive" its wisdom.
• Take your time and keep it moving. You don't want to go so fast that you miss making vital connections. Similarly, be mindful not to get bogged down in details. If you do fall behind simply notice it, jump ahead if you have to, and allow your "missing out" button to get pushed. Use the experience as another lesson in letting go.
• Don't identify. Most of what you'll be feeling is the release of stuck energies that come from the past, from other people, and from your (and other people's) living spaces. Unpleasant sensations usually pass to the degree that you don't make them "yours."
• Allow silence. Silence creates openings and opportunities to feel.
Don't be afraid of it.
• Have fun! Don't take yourself or anything that happens too seriously.
Being less attached to an outcome will raise your energy level, expand your perspective, and lighten your load.
LET'S GET STARTED!
The theme for this week is "Departing."
"The starting point is realizing that letting go is not a dramatic moment we build to some time in the future. It is happening now in the present moment – it is not singular but ongoing."
It seems we spend half our lives winding ourselves up, like mechanical wind-up toys, and the other half unwinding, or trying to unwind. If we've learned to live well, our unwinding will be even and steady. We'll have energy to spare right up to the very end. If we've wound up our "toy" too tightly or too fast over the years, however, we'll either find ourselves stuck in a lock jam that keeps us spinning in circles, or we'll unwind so fast that we'll careen off the table, hit the wall, and keel over.
This is about how to unwind the slow and steady way.
But it is also about this little mind-bender: You are not the wind-up toy.