I’ve been humming that line to myself for the last few weeks to the tune of the holiday favorite “Let It Snow.” It fits so perfect to the music and for a time of year that is to be filled with joy, so many of us are filled with stress, guilt, and just plain grumpiness making it all that more important to ‘let it go’.
As we approach another New Year, it’s a time for reflection on the previous year as well as setting intentions for the year to come. Too often we reflect with negativity focusing on our mistakes, sorrows, or hardships; yet why would you want to take those into a brand new year?
It also feels like we put too much emphasis on ‘later’, and the start of the new year being the biggest ‘later’ of them all. We start diets, quit bad habits, make life changes in January which statistically, often fail. New Year’s resolutions don’t stick because we aren’t really ready for a change and don’t commit to it mentally. Let’s face it, if you actually wanted to change your life you wouldn’t have waited until January 1.
A few weeks ago I threw my back out, and had a nasty cold. I was whining like a baby, feeling sorry for myself, loathing the fact that for the first time in a long time I couldn’t exercise. I have come to believe there is perfection in every moment, if we are awake enough to notice and willing to believe that it’s not because life sucks. While confined to the couch, I thought of the phrase: “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” Well, what if I don’t want to make lemonade? What if I actually like lemons? Living in California I am occasionally the recipient of a random large bag of lemons from a neighbor’s lemon tree and I’ll tell you what – it makes me downright giddy.
During my cripple-gate, I challenged myself: How was this moment actually perfect? For one, I needed to rest. I’ve been hitting it hard exercise wise and haven’t given myself a break for over a year. During that week I did yoga every day, got much needed writing done, and met a fantastic chiropractor in need of a dietitian. It also was the perfect exercise for just’ being’, letting go of the 8,000 thoughts per minute that usually run through my head. This is also when I started singing ‘let it go, let it go, let it go’. Who’d have thunk it? It was perfect indeed.
As the years pass by and we experience all that life has to offer, especially the harrowing moments, we allow those ‘bad’ experiences to dictate our thoughts and actions losing our true selves in the process. When Captain I Hate My Life is at the helm, of course he’s going to steer you directly into a shitstorm. Trust me; you didn’t come out of the womb thinking life is terrible. You came into the world filled with joy and wonder so if you’ve lost that, how did you get here? Where’d you go?
Years ago when I was bartending as a feeble attempt to fund my college education, one of the regulars who was usually pretty incoherent by night’s end said to me: “Colleen, do you know about whales?” “Um, besides them being large, ocean mammals?” “Yes, smartass, there’s more to that. As whales swim, they collect barnacles from the sea. Every once in a while they come to shore to rub their bodies on the small stones on the beach to remove those barnacles. You need to try that once in a while.” I just got schooled by Drunky McDrunkster, but that’s part of life’s magic isn’t it? Besides, he was totally right.
It’s New Year’s Eve, and I like a good party as much as the next gal but today I find myself wishing everyday could be New Year’s. Not because of the parties, but because people everywhere are collectively putting out hope for a better day. It’s like one gigantic global Care Bear stare for 2015.
This year instead of setting a mindless resolution, focus on letting go of all the crap you accumulated. The negative thoughts, behaviors, patterns, experiences, actions, or people- anything that stands in between you and your actual you needs to go. Or more simply put: Make like an orca, come to shore, and shake it off.