I’ve been in contemplation mode these last few days, and the word that has come up twice for me when trying to put my thoughts into action-oriented words is RENEWAL.
Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Renewal as: the state of being made new, fresh, or strong again.
So, I choose to step forward into 2017 with the action of Renewal.
As I consider more fully what Renewal means to me, I also think about the concept of Samskara, living our same patterns in a subconscious way –physical, psychoemotional and spiritual. Samskara, an ancient Hindu term and concept often defined as individual impressions, ideas or actions – all taken together make up our conditioning. Repeating Samskaras reinforces them, creating a groove that is difficult to resist – whether positive or negative in their actions. It is our Samskaras that hold us back from our true essential nature, that hinder our positive evolution.
With this in mind, I am contemplating my own Renewal, and with it the release of my held negative Samskaras. I once again go back to what the ancient yogi’s had to say about changing unhealthy patterns. Patanjali, credited with writing the yoga sutras at least 2,500 years ago, and for which we have many translations, discusses way to explore more deeply why we choose certain actions. As well, the Yoga Sutras give us tools to clear these patterns, replacing them with consciously created bhavana or visualized goals. Yoga Sutra (II.16) states, “Heyam duhkham anagatam,” or “Future suffering is to be avoided.” Awareness is key, as well as striving towards conscious action.
With these ancient guidelines and other tools I’ve gleaned over the years I share with you a set of steps to consider in moving forward with such important Renewal.
RENEWAL IS THE TOPIC
Revelation – Is our beginning point. Revelation is a term that tells me I can dig a little deeper, go to my core, reveal more fully and seek to understand the reasons I react and act in certain ways. This awareness creates greater choice. Some tools I might use here are: slowing down in both mind and body in order to more fully become my own Observer; daily body scan to note the areas inside of me asking for greater attention; greater focus on my exhales – the place where magical awareness can occur; inner focus and meditation, taking walks in naturewith a friend, journaling, counseling with a trusted professional.
Refresh and Rejuvenate – These terms encompass the concept of using skillful tools as a means to begin the shift. My “go-to” tools here include: increasing my daily practice of meditation, affirmation, Yoga Nidra; as well as massage bodywork, conscious movement, and a simple diet.
Most important, true refreshment blooms with loving kindness to myself and to others.
Release – Is an integral step in creating the spaciousness needed to consciously re-direct our precious lives. As I approach my true nature more fully, aspects of core negative beliefs will crop up, and my goal is to find clear ways to let them go. Along the way, I plan to express my gratitude to these shadows of my life; because I know that at some point, those behaviors may have had real worth in my life.
Reclaim and Reunite – are actions that bring to mind strength, courage, fortitude, vigor and determination; all needed in the steps of moving forward. As I reunite my actions with my true nature, I feel more alive, more ready to step forward, and certainly a greater edge of Renewal. For me, touching base with old acquaintances, seeking to understand other’s points of view, finding the commonality that exists between all of us. Finding my own voice, my true voice of self-expression and from here shining my light.
Rejoice – Along the way, and as we begin to see the new light of positive change, it’s always important to take time for gratitude. Miracles occur every day; and we often fail to notice them. Rejoice brings with it a way to look at life in a more effervescent way. Keep a miracle journal, as a good friend of mine recommends. Before the end of each day, write down some miracles you witnessed occurring that day. Let yourself experience the wonder and pleasure of this act of Rejoicing.
Relish – Such a juicy term, and so important to remember. Why are we doing this – seeking Renewal? Nothing short of healthy mind, body and soul is the goal. Living on this planet with greater awareness and positive intention is certainly very juicy and to be relished. Pat yourself on the back, enjoy a self-hug, love yourself fully you’re on the path, to your true and unlimited nature.
Every year presents a new set of opportunities. These little windows of potential can become grand openings in making our lives and the lives of others better. Take this New Year and look through eyes of Renewal. Find positive ways to shift yourself personally, to serve others, and to create global renewal.
I’ll meet you there.