Practicing the 3 R’s- Reflection, Releasing, & Redirection are important all the time but especially in a time of transition. Today is the last day of 2019- the end of a decade. There is no better time then now to practice the 3 R's.
Reflection- looking back- we reflect in order to see. Reflection allows us to acknowledge areas of patterns, growth, and change. You can use the following questions for the last year or decade. What was the single best thing that happened this past year (decade)?
What was your biggest obstacle over the last year (decade)?
What was an unexpected joy this past year (decade)?
What was the biggest waste of your time over the last year (decade)?
What accomplishment (big or small) are you the most proud of? What was a failure and how did it change you? What did you learn from it? What emotional growth have you experienced over the last year (decade)? How have you changed physically over the past year (decade)? What spiritual growth have you experienced over the last year (decade)? How would you describe the health of your relationships? In what ways have they grown?
Do you recognize any unhealthy patterns over the last year (decade)? What are you the most grateful for over the past year (decade)?
Release- let go- we release whatever is holding us back in order to move forward. As we let go (release), we create space for the things we want/need/desire. Most of us know what we need to let go of- the issue is the application. We usually hold on to things out of fear. Fear causes us to cling to things we know are not good for us. Fear is real and it can be paralyzing. There are many reasons we are afraid to let go; the unknown, rejection, abandonment, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of change. When you bravely sit with your fear, acknowledging the root feeling attached to the fear, you can move through it. (Learn more about FEAR here.)
If you need help to identify what you need to let go of ask yourself these questions- What are you clinging to? Attached to? What is holding you back?
What drains you energy, time, finances? This can be an activity, habit, and/or relationship. What makes you feel bad about yourself? What moves you away from who you want to be? Again- This can be an activity, habit, and/or relationship. Once you have identified what you need to let go of there might be some work you need to do in order to release what is holding you back. What mindset (way of thinking) is attached to whatever you are clinging to? We often develop mindsets around unhealthy areas of our life. You need to identify the thoughts surrounded with the thing you need to let go of. For example, you might not think you deserve anything better which could point you to a mindset associated with lack or a victim mentality. When you think about letting it go of what is holding you back, what feelings come up? (Learn more about emotions/feelings here).
Once you identify underlying emotions you can begin to trace the root cause of those feelings; which can help point you to the work that needs to be done. Usually, when you are unable to let go of something there is some work (soul-work) you need to do in order to release whatever it is- forgiveness, releasing judgments, understanding the lie you are in agreement with, shifting your mindset, and fear? Is there someone you need to forgive? Do you need to forgive yourself? What judgements have you made about yourself, others, and/or the world in relation to the emotions you are feeling, the mindset you have created, and/or the thing you are clinging to? What lie do you believe about yourself and/or the world? What mindset has been created around the lie(s), judgments, unforgiveness, and fear? Once you have identified what you need to let go of, done the work surrounding the thing you are clinging to, you then get to CHOOSE you are READY and WILLING to let it go. Because I am on the dramatic side- I like to do something physical to represent the letting go. However, you can just say I am choosing to let ____ go today- and that is ENOUGH. If you are like me and want to see something to represent the LETTING GO- you can choose on of the following activities.
Letter writing can be a powerful way to empower you to let go. Start with a short meditation- tap into the pain, burden, or discontent you are feeling. Sit down and write a letter to yourself or to the person who is involved. Write it all down. Every ounce of it. Don’t be concerned with grammar or spelling- pour it all out on the page, including all the pain, the lessons learned, and any regrets. Once you have written the letter you might choose to go outside and light the letter on fire- watching it turn to ash, allowing yourself to feel (experience) the physical representation of the letting go. A less dramatic way might me to rip the letter up and throw it away.
Release in Nature
Write the thing (name, event, feeling) you are clinging to on a rock and go to a body of water. Hold the rock in your hand symbolizing the heaviness weighing you down. Spend a few minutes thinking about how you feel, then when you are ready- throw the rock into the water and watch it sink the bottom freeing yourself of the heaviness.
Sit with all your feelings and create something beautiful out of it. Write a poem, essay, story and/or song. Paint. Draw. Create a collage. Pour all your feelings into something- creating something beautiful out of your pain.
One more thing on RELEASING. Sometimes the thing you need to let go of is not bad. This happens a lot when you have already done a lot of personal growth work. Sometimes we need to let go of good things so better things can come into our lives. For me, these are the hardest things to let go of. You might find yourself being pulled into a new direction with your job or hobbies. Follow the breadcrumbs.
Sometimes we have to say no to things we like to make room for things we love.
Redirection- the action of assigning or directing something to a new or different place or purpose. We get to choose who we want to be in this world. When you decide who you want to be, take a personal inventory so you can see if the way you show up in the world matches the person you want to be. If there is a gap in who you want to be and how you move through life, you need REDIRECTION. Redirection will help you align with who you choose to be. Below are some questions to help you identify any gaps in who you want to be and your current state of being.
Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization. These guiding principles dictate behavior and can help people understand the difference between right and wrong. Core values also help people determine if they are on the right path and fulfilling their goals by creating an unwavering guide.
What are your three top core values? Mine are kindness, respect, and appreciation.
Would the people around you describe you in a way that reflects your core values? Take an honest inventory of your life, paying close attention to areas that do not reflect what your said values are. The gap in your actions and values is where you need some redirection.
In my example, after taking an honest look at my life I noticed areas that I could be better at expressing appreciation. I also realized I am not as respectful as I could be to a couple of people I treasure (it‘s easy to neglect people closest to you).
Redirection is nothing more than creating a plan to help you be the person you chose to be.
My hope for you (and me) in this upcoming year (& decade) is for us all to do more of what we love while making time for the people most important to us. I hope you take the time to practice the 3 R’s on a regular basis.