Get Primed for a Peaceful, Playful New Chapter
The world is starting to turn a corner. We’re setting our gaze on new days outside of the heavy veil of grief and loss the pandemic ushered in a year ago.
The United States in averaging 2 million vaccines administered per day. Almost one quarter of our population has been vaccinated. We are seeing signs of a new era in which people are hopeful again.
What about you? Are you feeling a sense of possibility again?
Don’t worry if you aren’t! This has been an unprecedented and intense period of grief, isolation and anxiety. Many of us have felt like life as we knew it was pulled out from under us. It stands to reason that we may feel somewhat lost and unsure of where to begin again when new roads open to us.
How do we know which way to go? After hunkering down for so long, how can we make choices about where to put our time, energy and resources?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this and have a few simple steps to help us start thinking in new ways – to jump start possibility, playfulness and peace again.
- Pause to feel and reflect
The first place to begin any new chapter is always with a pause. It is the power of slowing down and breathing into a quiet space. Let yourself take some time to plant your feet exactly where you are and get a sense for where that is! Maybe you could take a long walk in the woods, up a hill, or by the water. Getting outside gives us a chance for perspective. The fresh air helps us feel more clearly. Moving our bodies gets our energy going. Your pause could also be an actual one – sitting in meditation or lying on the couch, simply being. What you want to do is know where you are, so you can start here!
- Peel back the layers
Next, allow yourself to feel anything that is currently going on for you. Most of us try to rush past our feelings so we can get to something better. But as Robert Frost said, “The only way out is through.” If we try to ignore things that are difficult for us, if we try to push them down, they will weigh us down. They’ll try to pull us down. It’s best to take some time right now and work through things. Journaling is great for this, so is talking with close friends or immersing in your spiritual practices. This is the time to work through anything that doesn’t feel playful or peaceful so you can let it go. (See next step!)
- Pack up old stories
Once you’ve let yourself feel what’s going on for you, it is time to pack up (and toss out!) any old stories about who you are or what your life is like. Just like spring cleaning, we want to get rid of anything that we’ve used up, that no longer works or that is simply taking up space. How do you know if something doesn’t belong anymore? If it makes you feel small, bad or doubtful, it isn’t serving you. Make room for the new! How do we do this? We need to pay close attention so when we hear ourselves telling the same-ole, same-ole, we nip that in the bud and turn our attention to who we want to be and who we choose to be next.
- Paint fresh colors
You know how good it feels to surround yourself with new items of décor or a fresh coat of paint on the walls. That’s exactly what you want to do for the inner walls of your life and your self! Pay attention to what calls to you and start to take tiny steps toward bringing those things into your daily life. Maybe you want to learn how to knit. Will you buy yourself some needles and yarn and allow yourself time to watch some tutorial videos? If you get a nudge to read a certain book, follow a certain teacher, learn an instrument, go down a street…do it! The key to creating new possibilities is following your intuition about what it is that wants to blossom in you. Remember, it may start out as a tiny seed so you might have to look (and feel) carefully! When you follow these tiny seeds of intuition you’ll start to notice a sense of renewed energy and zest!
- Participate in new ways
One of the best expressions I ever heard was, “if you want to belong, start to participate.” This final step in starting a new playful, possible chapter is to find a way to join in new things. Look for clubs or gatherings (sure, virtual ones count!) that might help you step into a slightly different way of being. Don’t wait to participate until you feel comfortable. It works the other way around! Sure, it might feel a little awkward or uncomfortable at first; but just like a new pair of shoes, you have to walk around in your new self for a while until it really starts to fit! Remind yourself that when you join new groups, you have the chance to reinvent yourself. You can choose what stories you lead with, what clothes you wear, how you present yourself. It really is a chance for a brand-new start! Putting ourselves in new situations helps us grow and also creates that sense of peace and play we’ve been wanting.
Now, step into it and enjoy the feeling of a brand-new you! (And just in time for Spring!)
*** I’m offering a free 5-day challenge that is colorful, playful and simple. I hope you’ll join me! It is called “Olly Olly Oxen Free: Permission and Belonging.” (Olly Olly Oxen Free is something we yelled as children when playing Hide-and-Seek. Whenever that phrase was yelled, it meant that it was safe to come out of hiding and come to home base. That’s what we are doing together – coming out of hiding and coming home to ourselves!)
The link to join is in my bio below! See you there, where we all get to live our best lives — the lives truest to who we really are! ***