Happy New Year everybody! I’d really love to reach out to everyone on this site to give you a huge hug for 2012 and say thank you for allowing me to be part of your community. Even though I can’t physically do it in person right now, I hope you can feel it any way 🙂
Perhaps not surprisingly, I am choosing this week to talk about new starts, new beginnings and renewed hope. Over the holidays I came across a statement that resonated with me on numerous levels.
“You can’t reach out for the new until you let go of what is in your hand!”
It’s another of those simple yet deeply profound wisdoms that convey the truth in a way that can be instantly understood. I smiled when I first read it – then came a few nods of the head followed by an inner “Ah-ha” and an even wider smile for reasons that I’m about to explain.
The past few weeks have been, for me, another period of huge inner voyaging and discovery. It hasn’t been easy and at times it’s been acutely painful. This particular journey was not sparked by anything external – nope, on that front my life’s in pretty good shape. I’m free from the ex (in all ways), I am surrounded by loving friends and family, and my career is in great shape.
So no, this time I believe it all came about as a result of finishing the manuscript for my book. You see, in the process, I had dug up old feelings, relived past experiences, and gone back over situations that I hadn’t considered for years. Yes it’s been hugely cathartic – and I would have been a fool if I thought that writing about deeply personal experiences going back to my early childhood would pass by unnoticed. Of course, yes, I understood that it was bound to have a knock-on effect. Emotions and memories were bound to have been stirred up – it’s only natural!
Out With The Old!
What I hadn’t quite counted on, though, was that the settling process after all that jiggling around would present me with quite so many challenges. All those memories, you see, all those ‘facts’ about things that had happened, all the ‘history’ of events that went together and got me to where I am today had become solid foundations. Re-visiting and re-living them, and then writing them down in a format that would be of interest to others, necessitated that I consider new perspectives. That process alone meant that the ‘solidity’ of my unconscious memories were rocked. It meant that many of the things I had just accepted as ‘fact’ now deserved a new set of questions – well, that’s what it meant for me in any case!
All of a sudden I found myself feeling pretty lost. It was weird. My ‘external’ life (family, friends, home, work) was – and is – totally sorted. As I’ve said before, that particular war was finished and done with a good while ago. But on the inside, I was suddenly starting to ask myself questions that had never occurred to me before. Going over my past caused me to re-write my own inner emotional history – which meant re-evaluating and shifting my present understanding today about who I am.
With my old unconscious ‘facts’ now re-examined and out in the open, the foundations of my belief system had quietly become unsettled. Technically, if my belief system had shifted, then surely I was in a place to consciously give my life a makeover? Surely now I could choose how much to keep, how much to throw away and how much new stuff to bring in… couldn’t I? But the strange thing is, with the core foundations moved, I found it increasingly difficult to find my footing – or to ‘get a grip!’ as I found myself saying many times to my reflection!
I had honestly thought that finishing the book would be the end of it – like drawing the curtain after the final act. End of, job done, pat on the back and move on. Well I was wrong. In actual fact it turned out to be the calm before the storm. This time, though, the storm crept up stealthily and took it’s time before building in to a tornado that was determined to rock my world! Taken by surprise, and unprepared for this new twist, it proved to be a white-knuckle ride that left me very much shaken not stirred!
Just Let Go
It won’t come as a surprise to many of you to know that I found it pretty tricky to just let go and ‘go with the flow’. I’m one of those people who like to retain an element of control (my friends would say perhaps too much!) so when I found that I simply couldn’t get any traction, I felt scared and often panicky. And we all know how this goes – the more scared I felt, the more I panicked, and the less capable I became of getting any emotional footing whatsoever. It was exhausting!
But at some point, I can’t pinpoint exactly when it was, I realised that I was actually being given no other option than to give up, give in and let go. To trust and have faith that I was safe and heading for a better place, and just allow myself to go with it, wherever it was taking me. And you know what? It worked. Well, of course it did – and the absurdity of the situation is that I always knew in my soul that it would. So I got to wondering how I’d once again fallen in to the trap of struggling against myself during a process which, ultimately, has brought me even more peace and confidence than ever before!
That was exactly the time when I came across the phrase I started with earlier “you can’t reach out for the new until you let go of what is in your hand!” Of course, of course! Even though I know all this stuff (as I believe we all do) it can still be tricky spotting and changing old habits. Habits, it is said, are like a comfy bed – easy to get in to and very difficult to get out of. Yep, ain’t that the truth!
Letting go seems such a wonderful idea – and I know so many people, myself included, who say “wouldn’t it be amazing to just be free and go with the flow?” It makes such perfect sense, and yet the strange thing is (from my experience in any case) that it can take a tremendous amount of courage and determination to relax and accept. From my point of view, I realised that I had still been holding on to old stuff while expecting to be able to welcome in fresh ideas….! But how could I possibly reach out and grab hold of anything new if my hands were already full? Crazy, really, when you look at it that way wouldn’t you agree?
And so now here I am. The emotional storm has passed by and I am once again surrounded by blue skies, sunshine and birdsong – this time even brighter and more beautiful than ever before. It may have been trickier than I’d expected, and I may well have put myself through unnecessary struggles on the way, but yes, I can honestly hold my hand on my heart and say that I have indeed let go of the old. Well, at least I’ve let go of the old that was in my way this time – I’m quite sure I’ll come across more old stuff as I continue on this wonderful journey called life!
Having scraped away at old rusty beliefs and rigid opinions that had hitherto kept me in a particular place (don’t get me wrong, all have been exceptionally useful for many years, but many are just no longer appropriate) this New Year finds me stepping forward from the firmest foundations I can ever remember experiencing.
In all honesty, I have no idea where this year is going to find me. I don’t know how many of the exciting projects that I’m discussing will come off – or how they’re going to develop. Indeed, I haven’t got a clue about how many other opportunities might present themselves over the course of the next twelve months… who does? What I do know without question that I can look back at where I’ve come from, give myself a huge pat on the back, and look to the future with nothing but excitement and joy. It’s been a tough ride with massive ups and downs – but you know what? From where I am standing right now, in this very moment, I wouldn’t change a thing.
So, come on 2012, let’s buckle up and enjoy the ride – Bring it on!