FREE TO BE YOU, FREE TO BE ME...
Well, this is definitely where the rubber meets the road. This is the moment - the dawn of a brand new, fresh, clean, never-before-touched, wide open year. And it’s all yours. No dye has been cast; no promises have been made - or broken. Absolutely anything’s possible. And it’s all yours for the taking, for the creating. So if it were really, really good...what would that look like? I’m not talking a year that’s "not all that bad," or one that’s “at least better than last year.” I mean one that goes down in your history book as great. I know - when you start thinking that boldly, that grandly, a funny thing happens: You hear those voices. “Nothin’that good’s going to happen. Not this year..” Or, “They’ll never let me.” Or, “Hey, I’m good but I’m not that good. I mean, get real.”
So what do we do? We let go. We let go of absolutely anything - emotional or physical - that would drag us down, hold us back, make us feel heavy or depressed or just plain inadequate. And I mean anything. And just to be consistent, I’m asking - as I do at the dawn of every year - that you throw out fifty things. More’s okay, too. (Remember what Miss Piggy says: “More is more...”) And for the record, the objective of this little exercise is not to be voted "most neat and tidy” - it’s to befree.Free to be 100% you, not some weak, watered down version.
And the really good news is that the whole process of letting go of the stuff of the past - is anything but exhausting. In fact, it’s energizing... Here are a few of my favorite New Year's "Free Yourself Up Throw Out’s:"
1. Anything - from a too tight sweater to a too-small view of yourself; from mismatched socks to a mismatched relationship. Seriously, this is the perfect time to let go of those people who remember only the bad times, not the good. You know who they are. Keep your distance...
2. The fear that if you let go of (give away, donate or sell...) the memorabilia you’ve collected over the decades - your mom’s china, your great aunt’s oriental rug - you’ll lose the memories. You won’t. The memories are in your heart, not in the stuff. Let it go. Someone else could use those things right this minute. And wouldn’t that be a good thing?
3. The stuff in the medicine cabinet, like your old makeup...from your old look. And what about old meds from your old illnesses. Why are you keeping that stuff around? Are you waiting for the “bad” thing to come back and get you? Get rid of it. You’re free of the illness now. Don’t invite it back.
4. Assuming the worst. Okay, “they” haven’t answered your email, returned your call or looked at you kind of funny. Don’t make “not knowing” into “not getting.” Assume the best from people, from yourself, from life in general. If you do, you’re much more likely to get it. Studies prove this to be true, btw.
5. Negative typecasting - yourself and others. You know: “I’m just not the type to stand up in front of people and speak" I hear that all the time from the people I work with. (But not for long...) Or, “I’m just not the type to stick to a workout routine, a diet, a budget...or my New Year’s Resolutions.” Who made that up? You did. It wasn’t written on your birth certificate, was it? No. And it’s just not true. Let it go.
6. Asking that wretched question that seems to have taken over the country: “How bad could it get?” And start asking, “How good could I make it?” If you can do just that one thing, you’ll have a terrific year. I’m not kidding.
Look we’ll have to wait 12 more months for another chance like this: to start over, to reinvent, todecide to be free - free of anything that diminishes us or causes us to play small. Finally and once and for all free of that self-imposed straightjacket we've put on every day.Free. To be you, to be me.
Check out my interview with Michel Martin on NPR, January 4thhttp://www.npr.org/programs/tell-me-more/ it’s about how “letting go” can bring freedom...and peace in the New Year.
Gail Blanke’s Lifedesigns©2012 All Rights Reserved