Releasing Burdens, Snowballs, & Seashells


Happy New Year, Spiritual Friends and Family!

Well, it’s that time of year.  You know the one.  When you ask yourself, “Can I stop saying Happy New Year when I greet people yet?”  I trust I am still in the acceptable window even though we have just about wrapped up the first week of 2016.  How has it been for you?  If it hasn’t gone the way you would like, don’t worry.  You don’t have to wait until December 31 to hit the reset button.  You can do it today!  I didn’t hit the reset button until January 2 this year.  For the past several years I have attended a burning bowl ceremony at a Unity church, or had my own private ceremony wherever I was living.  If you aren’t familiar with this ritual, it’s a gathering where everyone is invited to write down on small slips of paper the things they would like to release and not carry into the New Year.  Then each person burns their paper in a bowl where it (and their burdens) are literally transformed into ashes.  Circumstances did not allow me to do this on New Year’s Eve, but I made it a point to do it the next night.  

I woke up on January 1 feeling tired and heavy.  No, I wasn’t hungover.  I drank only water the night before, but perhaps it was a spiritual hangover.  My morning beach walk and a nap didn’t seem to help, so I decided to try another tactic.  It was time to clean house both externally and internally.  I took down my tiny Christmas Tree and put away all the decorations.  With the windows open to let in fresh air, I gave my apartment a thorough cleaning.  Then I smudged the entire space with a cedar wood stick.  Once that was done, I took a shower to clear my own energy.  During my shower, I made a mental list of all the things that felt heavy in my heart.  Anything that was weighing me down or keeping me stuck went on that list.  When I got out of the shower, I wrote those things down on small slips of paper.  Then I took the slips of paper, a lit candle, and a few sage leaves behind my apartment building to burn and transform them in a small fire.  I do this often with the papers from Family Constellations workshops to symbolically transform the energy of those people, places, and things that were represented.  I wonder if my neighbors suspect me of witchcraft or illegal drug use when they see me disappear behind the building with a lighter, small slips of paper, and a candle.  In any case, after all the activity of that day, I was exhausted.  Sleep came easily and early that night.  

I’m happy to report that I woke up on January 2 feeling much lighter and ready to receive the blessings of 2016.  I’m so glad I followed my inspiration to do those rituals.  It may seem silly to some, but rituals provide our body with something tangible to do, which then sends our unconscious mind a powerful message that something has changed.  Since the mind controls our experience, that’s where we need to start for lasting change to occur.  If you haven’t already, I highly recommend doing your own burning bowl ceremony.  If that seems complicated or isn’t possible, there are other options.  You can find a stone somewhere outside, hold it to your heart, and feel all the heavy thoughts pour into it.  Then toss that stone in a flower bed, river, lake, stream, or pond.  If stones in your area are covered in snow, make a snowball, hold it to your heart, and then toss it in a snowbank.  Whatever the climate, Mother Nature will gladly take this energy for you.  If you happen to live close to the ocean like I do, you can do this with one or more seashells.  Hold each one to your heart before tossing them into the waves.  You can also write words or symbols that represent what you want to release in the sand, then watch the waves wash them away for you.

If something comes up in your day that tries to take away your inner peace, you don’t have to run for a candle or a seashell.  Try this simple prayer based on the teachings of A Course in Miracles:

“Holy Spirit, thank you for helping me forgive myself for using ____________  to attack myself and separate from your Love.”  

Fill in the blank with whatever is upsetting you or making you feel heavy. Feel free to replace “Holy Spirit” with words that work for you.  It amazes me how fast this prayer works every time I use it!

Of course, for those persistent issues and challenges, it might be time to ask for some assistance.  I would be honored to help you release any thoughts or beliefs that you know are no longer serving you.  Family Constellations is a great way to do this.  It works in a group or one-on-one session.  Life Coaching is another great gift you can give yourself to help make 2016 different than the rest.  Sometimes we just need a little push and some new tools to get us past our current obstacles.  Please visit my website for more information.  

Until next time, remember that you have the power to hit the reset button anytime, anywhere, just by taking a slow deep breath.  

New Year Blessings!

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