We must create space for what we ask for.
When we feel the subtle stir, the gentle rumblings of shifting ground, the task is to be still. Through stillness and space we open the door. With quiet curiosity, we allow it to be.
2014 seems like it brought some major chaos for a lot of people immediately surrounding me as well as on a global scale. This last year we have seen what feels like a concentrated dose of trauma, of upheaval and disaster. There is a tension, an anxious vibration hanging in the air, which at times can feel ominous, but most certainly heralds change.
I had a recent conversation with a friend whose own family has experienced tremendous upheaval in the past year. She said that although the last 12 months have seen a lot of adversity and challenge, she has also witnessed many people in her life expressing desire for big changes in their own lives and she wondered about the correlation. Few would argue the overwhelming need for political action, environmental action and social action on the front of major crisis in the United States and the world. This isn’t the blog for those issues, but it is about the crisis that begins and ends with each one of us.
As she spoke, I realized I shared her observation. The call, the need, the draw to shift on an individual level has been reflected is many of my relationships, in my own family and in my spiritual life. Before something new can be created, the old structure must be torn down. Don’t be afraid of the mess.
I have seen a lot of people’s lives turned upside down this year but I believe that 2015 is a year of reconstruction. I don’t think we have seen the end of bedlam or turmoil but I believe we will see the fruits of well placed intention sprout and grow at a rapid pace, that we will see powerful, sustainable positive change coinciding with the extinction of old frameworks. The turf is ready and the seed planted in fertilized soil grow well, nourished by what has come before.
The Feng Shui Saying goes, “If you want to make space for something new, you have to let go of the old.”
How can we create space? Physical, mental, emotional?
In the last few months, I’ve identified four specific time and energy drains in my life. Here are four ways that I can create more space, save more of my attention and energy starting now:
1) Get off Facebook. While I see its value at times, I do not see the benefit to the amount of time I spend mindlessly scrolling through the feed, pulled one way and another by stories and other people’s drama that sap a lot of time and energy that right now is better spent intentionally. If I have 20 minutes to scroll through my friends’ Facebook statuses, I have 20 minutes to check in with myself. I began a 90 day hiatus from Facebook. I feel so much freedom already.
2) Quit mentally rehashing conversations past (including emails sent) and/or rehearsing conversations for the future. Once I identified this habit I realized I do this all of the time! It is a totally futile attempt at control and driven by anxiety, self-doubt and insecurity. Done with it!
3) Do a major sweep of all closets and cupboards and fill up at least three 21.5 gallon Rubbermaid tubs of stuff to give away or take to the thrift. Commit to not bringing anything new into the house for the next 90 days that we do not absolutely need. (I will report back on this!)
4) Limit myself to one cup of coffee per day. Sip and savor that delicious mug in the morning and then concentrate on putting into my body what will bring me health, (natural) energy and vitality instead of riding the caffeine high all day and depleting my body of hydration and essential minerals and vitamins it needs to function optimally.
Where are we willing to let go of in order to let something new in?
What habits can you identify in your life that are not serving you?
Do we believe we are supported enough to let go of the thing that is makes us feel safe and in control?
Pranidhana Mudra (Gesture of Surrender)
This mudra (hand gesture) is helpful for releasing attachments.
1. Touch the tips of the thumbs to the tips of the middle and ring fingers of the same hand
2. Extend the index and little fingers
3. Bring the tips of the extended little end index fingers together
Hand mudras are gestures that can be used in meditation to bring about specific qualities in our physical, psychological or spiritual levels of being. Mudras direct breath and energy awareness, evoke feelings and cultivate specific qualities. They are a powerful tool to use as part of any meditation or asana practice. For best results, sit in a comfortable seated posture and hold for at least 5-10 breaths, allowing the breathe to be natural and not controlled in any way. Mudras work with the body’s subtle energies, directing awareness and breath.
The affirmation I like to use with this mudra is, “As I learn to release old attachments, I naturally find greater ease and harmony.” I think it is the most effective when you find your own words and phrasing that resonate with you personally.
(To learn more about mudras see Mudras for Healing and Transformation, Joseph and Lilian Le Page)