With 2018 fast approaching, it is time to review and release the past year. Rather than looking back through memories for successes and failures, or good moments and heartbreak, let’s use a simpler technique. We will be tuning into what our bodies experienced by noting how often we either squeezed or relaxed our bodies.
By observing whether our bodies are literally squeezing or relaxing we can assess how stressed/afraid or safe/comfortable we feel in our daily lives. Because the body never lies we can use this information to create more relaxation and feel less stressed in 2018.
Looking at both approaches which would you say feels better to you? Squeezing or relaxing?
It will be difficult to recall the individual times we may have squeezed or relaxed, but it’s a safe bet that we squeezed often, yet relaxed far less. Looking at both approaches which would you say feels better to you? Squeezing or relaxing?
To help us get more clarity with this question let’s try this exercise.
Think of all the squeezing you have done in 2017, from trying to meet deadlines to trying to get to your parent/teacher conference to reading news headlines. Add stress, anxiety and fear to the mix and the squeezing becomes more palpable.
What do you notice happening in your body as you recall 2017? Do you sense any tension or squeezing? Which places become squeezed? Abdomen? Heart? Lower back? Does your breath become more shallow? How does it feel? Comfortable or uncomfortable? Same or neutral? Only notice the physical body sensations, not emotions or thoughts here.
Imagine you could begin to let go or relax the places you are squeezing the most. Do it slowly and incrementally. Unsqueeze a little bit at a time and keep going. What do you experience? Is there a shift in your breathing?
As you visualize yourself unsqueezing or relaxing your body from the pressures and pushes of 2017.Listen to and follow the cues from your body. It may want to stretch or shake off or shimmy the stresses of 2017. It may want to lie down. Trust your body wisdom.
Certain memories or thoughts may arise as you do this exercise so remain disciplined and stay with the body only by noting if you start to squeeze etc. Each time you find yourself squeezing repeat this exercise of noticing and relaxing.
Once you feel complete take a breath and begin to move around the house. Look out of the windows. Make each each step a mindful step as you move. Breathe. Inhale and exhale. Continue a few more times.
Now ask your body what color it wants to wash away and release experiences, memories, behaviours from 2017 that do not support your blossoming. Take the first color you perceive and imagine it pouring into your body, releasing all the flotsam and jetsam of 2017. It’s time to let it go. Keep drawing in the color until you feel done.
Take a deep breath and open your eyes. Completion or closure are great ways to clear away a table before setting it for the next meal or feast.
Just as with any meal or feast we have to take it in, digest it so that it can nourish us. I think you would agree with me when I say we could all do with some nourishment in 2018.
2018 could be the year we take in nourishment by letting love in. We’re all so good at giving and wanting to save the world through our love because we see the need for love. But what we forget often times is that there is love out there too. Waiting to be let in.
Let’s let love in. We could even make it our goal for 2018
PS Check back next week for an important announcement.