The new year is upon us. This symbolic occasion offers, to those willing to take the time, the prospect of treasure. A perfect time to slow down, get quiet, and reflect, it beckons us to go within. The turning point is a mini death of sorts, urging us to complete the year and leave behind our old life in order to enter the new year with a fresh clean slate, as if reborn into a new life.
This mini death offers us an opportunity to reflect on ourselves and our lives, to do the deep work many of us put off until we are facing the actual death of our physical form. The inner work I’m referring to doesn’t need to be difficult, tiresome, or guilt-producing, and we don’t need to lock ourselves away to do it. Instead, it is about self-discovery, a deepening of intimacy, maybe even a chance of falling in love, with ourselves. If we choose to take the opportunity, we won’t be disappointed. For if we take the time to journey within, the treasure we’ll eventually unearth is self, our true self.
A New Twist on an Old Tradition
This isn’t a new concept; it’s been a longstanding custom to make resolutions or goals for the New Year. And, for most people I know who practice this custom, it hasn’t always produced the results or lasting change they were hoping for. So here’s the twist. When we set goals or resolutions, most of us focus outside ourselves, including on our bodies and behaviors, for the changes we want to see.
What if instead we began by focusing inside and looked within to discover who we truly are? What if the goals we set were about living and expressing from that inner place, from our real self? In my experience, this is the foundation for any deep and lasting transformation. And, the bonus for setting goals in this way is that it brings us into deeper relationship with self and Spirit. Happy Rebirth in the New Year! All my love, Deborah
I’d like to suggest the following exercise to assist you in your inner exploration. You may feel you know yourself well. If this is the case, how well can you discern the innermost self, your soul or spirit, from the outer layers of personality or ego, consisting of identifications and roles, beliefs and defense patterns? This exercise may help you to refine this discernment. If while meditating on the possibility of your impending death you experience a strong fear reaction, skip to the second step outlined in the following paragraph. My aim for this exercise is to inspire you to journey to the innermost depths of your being and discover the treasure that awaits you there, so that you may move into and live from a greater alignment with your spirit.
Set aside some time, maybe a few hours, and meditate or reflect on the question: If I knew there was a possibility I was dying in a few days or weeks or months, what would change? Have an intention to connect to your innermost self, your true self. Write down and/or draw what you received from the meditation or reflection. You might add one or more of the following questions: What would I do differently, or how would I be differently? How would the possibility of my impending death impact my relationships with others, myself, and Spirit? How would it effect my dreams and creative pursuits? What would I let go of?
Next, create an intention statement. Based on your reflections, write a clear, concise, and powerful statement of intent. Write the statement in the present tense instead of the future, as if it were true already. It may be helpful in formulating your statement to ask yourself one or more of the following questions: What do I want to come of this time? On what do I want to place my efforts or focus right now? What do I want to make time and space for in my life, instead of waiting for a rainy day, retirement, or impending death? How can I better embody, express, and relate to my true self?
Last, keep your written statement handy so you can review it regularly. You can post a copy on your fridge or mirror, or put it in your pocket or on your bedside table. This can help you keep it in mind as you go about your day. Your intention can serve as a reminder you have entered into a new life. It can become part of the new framework in which you see yourself and your life. You can refine and re-write your intention statement, and even repeat this exercise, whenever you are called to do so and as often as you like.