Checking in with yourself

I have never really been one for new years resolutions mostly because whenever I try to cut out chocolate it never works!  So now I don’t make traditional resolutions, instead I continue with my gratitude lists and do a mental recap of what happened over the year. I look at both the difficult stuff as well as the wonderful parts that I am thankful for. I find that helps me to take inventory and move forward in a way that feels a bit more spacious and open to possibility.

One of my favourites - the lotus grows through the muck to blossom in the sun

One of my favourites mantras- the lotus flower grows from and through the mud up towards the sun. Transformation through suffering to peace. (thanks Thich Nhat Hahn)

The reason I look at the difficult stuff in my ‘personal mental recap of the year’ is because it needs attention too. You can’t have light without dark and you can’t face your fears without first acknowledging what they are. As tempting as it is to stick my head in the sand and not think about things ( and sometimes I do that if really needed) I feel better when I give the difficult emotions some of my time and attention. It lessens their power, softens their  edges and sometimes even helps them to resolve. I don’t dwell on them , I just hold them and feel them out. I notice what reaction my body has to them and I try and breathe through it. Then I give permission for it to be there as long as it needs to, but also to let go if it when I need to.

The rebound effect seems to be that I feel even more gratitude for the good that has happened and don’t feel so anxious and overwhelmed about the bad stuff. 

Some ways to help check in with yourself and be in the moment:

  • Meditation – you can do this for as little as 2 minutes a day or as long as you want to. It’s an ideal way to just sit with your emotions without judging them, or trying to fix them. Just let them be and observe.
  • Journaling – can be done on its own anytime or even after meditation to write down any insights that may have come up.
  • Going for a long walk in nature – stopping to sit along the way to think about your year and breathe through whatever comes up
  • Give yourself permission to let go of anything you are carrying around that longer serves a purpose in your life

Being present with how you are feeling also helps you to become aware of where you might be depleted energetically. It helps you see if it’s time to “fill up your well”.  Self care is different for everyone but a good way to replenish your energy is to take some time doing things that nourish your soul and bring you joy. They can be little things or big things. That is up to you.

Happy 2016 – may it be a good one!




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