I love the New Year because it presents us with a great opportunity to weed and clear the grounds of the past and to plant good seeds for the future. Over time I have collected various spiritual exercises that have proven to me to be wonderful tools of transformation for this most auspicious time. I would like to share them with you in hopes that they will be as much of a blessing to you as they have to me. They do require you to take some time for yourself, about 30 -60 minutes each, but you are certain to reap much reward in return. The only other thing asked of you is to keep an open heart. I suggest that you do these in the order that they are presented as each makes way for the next.
1. LOVE YOURSELF
It never ceases to amaze me when I become aware of how self critical we all can be. Have you ever caught yourself saying things like “I am too this”, “I am too that”, “I can’t do this”, “I can’t do that” or “I should do that”? Do you feel uncomfortable when someone compliments you? It is as if most of us, somewhere along the line, have had the idea branded into our beings that we just aren’t good enough. I cannot stress this enough, it’s a lie and that lie is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to achieving the peace, love and happiness that are intended for each of us. I am not saying that there aren’t things that we would like to improve upon, but before any of that can really happen, we have to learn to love and appreciate ourselves for the wonderful beings we are right now. You are good enough just because you are you, you are lovable just because you are you and you are deserving enough just because you are you!
Sit down and write ten things that you like about yourself. Go ahead and toot your own horn. When you have finished, go into the bathroom and shut the door. Look at yourself in the mirror and say aloud “I your name love myself because item on the list. It may feel awkward and downright corny to do this but it will work wonders. Next time that you catch yourself speaking critically of yourself, pause and say or think “NO that just is not true”.
2. LOVE YOUR LIFE
There are times in each of our lives when things seem far from perfect. We can be over or underwhelmed by the present, fearful of the future or just want a big positive change in some area of our lives. All of these feelings are quite normal and human. When we sometimes get stuck in these periods the best thing that I have found to do is to make a gratitude list. This simple action produces a shift in perspective that opens the way for good to come and it makes the waiting time much more endurable.
Sit down and write at least fifteen things, people and circumstances that you are grateful to have in your life. You can start with the basics like food, shelter and a friend. There were times in my life when I didn’t think that I could muster up one thing to be grateful for and ended up with a list topping thirty. Keep this list so that you can re-read it if you start feeling low or you can begin a new list each day.
3. FORGIVE, BLESS AND RELEASE
By the time that most of us have reached adulthood we have experienced our fair share of hurts and disappointments. All of these accumulate and leave a residue on our spirits, preventing us from fully living the life we want for ourselves now. This can manifest itself as repeating negative patterns, fear and depression and, in the most extreme cases, even chronic illness. This is perhaps the most difficult of these suggested actions as it requires us to be truly thorough, honest and willing. If you do this with all sincerity you will experience a tremendous true freedom and well being. You may have old feelings stirred up while you do this process but that is O.K. because they need to get out and will pass quickly.
Sit down and write a list of every person, event or situation that has hurt you as far back as you can recall to this present time. Once this list is complete, take every name on it and rewrite it in this format. “I your name fully forgive person, event or situation. I bless and release you to the highest good. You are free and I am free in peace and goodwill”. Now say each one aloud. When you are done dispose of this list in whatever manner you wish. Tear it up, burn it or whatever, just know that you are now clear. I have done this with people I would rather have chewed glass than to forgive but this is a spiritual biggie so go ahead. It will bring a dramatic blessing to your life experience.
4. GIVE YOURSELF ABSOLUTION
While we are in forgiveness mode, why not forgive ourselves too? Each of us has said and done things that we regret. These can be terrible burdens to bear that reinforce feelings of guilt and low self opinion. Remember “to err is human, to forgive divine”. Set yourself free now by knowing that you have already been forgiven.
Sit down and write a list of everything you have regret having said and done from your earliest recollection to this present moment. Take the list and rewrite it in this format “I your name am sorry that I whatever it is. I your name forgive myself for whatever it is. I am fully forgiven for whatever it is”. As with the last action, say them aloud and then get rid the list.
When you have completed these four actions, pause for a moment to pat yourself on the back. Congratulations! You have just broken the bonds of past ideas, feelings and circumstances. You are now ready to move forward and to create every good desire of your heart.
5. HOPES, WISHES AND DREAMS
Do you know that we live in an abundant universe with an endless supply of love, health, prosperity, peace and well being that can and will easily meet all of our needs? Did you also know that it is part of each of our destinies to have those needs met with ease and joy? The only problem is that we often forget to ask or we feel unworthy of receiving. Well here is your chance at bat, so go ahead and hit a couple of home runs!
Sit down and write a list of everything you would like to see manifest in your life. Anything and everything should be placed on this list because anything and everything is possible. Would you like more peace of mind? More confidence? A new relationship or job? A more prosperous business? Release from pain or illness? More creativity? A new car or house? You get the gist. The sky is the limit so shoot for the stars. Take your time with this and have fun. When you are finished, keep this list someplace special and then move on to the next.
There is an old saying that “before you can receive you must believe”. This step is designed to open all of the channels for you to be receptive to your good. A great way to do this is to give thanks as though you have already been granted your wishes.
Take the list that you made in the last step and re-write it in this format. “I your name give thanks that I have received whatever your desire. Now say each one aloud. Keep these two lists and move on to the next and final step.
7. LET GO IN FAITH AND TRUST
Faith and trust are two of the greatest gifts that we as human beings have been given. They are key elements in most all belief systems. Once we ask for something, magic wheels are set in motion to bring us what we need. We don’t have to do anything to make these things happen. In fact, holding tightly to them can slow the process down, so don’t fret and worry. Simply relax in the knowledge that they shall come to pass and keep yourself open as opportunities present themselves. Remember that divine timing and our timing may not coincide but know that they will come, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. They may also come in ways and forms that are even better than we imagined so stay open, aware and receptive.
Take both your wish and thanksgiving lists in your hands and infuse them with all of the love and joy that you can. Envision them coming true for you and imagine how happy you will feel when they come to pass. Then tuck them away in a special and secret place and know that they are in good hands.