Endings and beginnings…..this is what this time of year often represents. Windows and doors: letting go and starting anew. Recently this has been on my mind a lot and I assume maybe it’s been on yours as well which is why I bring it to you for tea time. Today I’m sitting in Pete’s Coffee in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA watching the snow fall and the busy crowds all a buzz. Lately some of our weekend tea chats have been held here. I find myself with urges to come back each weekend to a place that reminds me of youthful wonder. When I was a teenager I used to take the bus in from a nearby town to hang out with one of my friends and pretend to be all grown up. When I am at my most present while spending time here, I can still feel like that young girl who was so awestruck by everything and everyone around her. This place, like many others, makes me feel all cozy and warm. You know that feeling right? Places or people that remind you of a time in your life when there were many more years ahead than behind and you felt like the world was your oyster. I mention this as we discuss what goes and what stays. It’s a perfect time of year to begin to take stock over what is working and what is not. Recently I have been going through this myself. Beginning to take a look at certain things that need the heave hoe and other things I want to bring in during 2014. But it runs much deeper than this. New Years Intentions are not just about getting rid of things or manifesting new things but they are also about embracing what is working and what has been lost along your path that you want to bring reignite. When I moved into the area I didn’t have the intention of reliving my youth but most recently after living in the area for 14 years, it has felt like the glove that was lost along the way that was then found. A place that brings ease of being into my mind, body and soul. In our hectic externally focused lifestyle it’s no surprise that this awareness didn’t come up to the surface at this level until just recently. We tend to be so focused on the doing side of living that we lose sight along the way of the being. We do what we do because we do it not really thinking much about whether it feels good or whether it’s working for us. This may be in part due to the fact that changing anything can seem so overwhelming both mentally and emotionally that it’s far easier to stay asleep than to wake up.
In Buddhist philosophy they speak about enlightenment as being a place where you are able to see your truth. In therapy we speak about it as insight. Either way, in the end it is what you do with what you learn that is key. Having insight into something does not bring about change. It make mean that the proverbial light bulb goes on but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we are ready to walk towards the light. It’s the actions we take with what we learn about ourselves that create the new path we are walking down. There is much talk about increasing motivation in the therapeutic world. A theory that is meant to help guide people towards the light was created and has become all the buzz in the US. There are many reasons why this has become so widely spoken about and integrated into treatments, some of which don’t have much to do with helping a person in getting better. After working within this theory in hospitals over time I must say that while a therapist can help in pointing to windows and doors, it is ultimately the person themselves that needs that chooses whether to walk through them or not. We are the vehicles of our own change. I always have told my clients that I do not possess fairy dust or any magical wand. It is within all of us to take the steps forward when we are ready towards a new and brighter life. Within this process of change we are not on the path to becoming a new person, we are in the process of becoming the person we have always been. Kinda like how I have learned over time that the wanderlust I had as a young girl is still truly who I am at the core. I am a soul that loves to wander and would probably do best with more wandering and less static fear based living. I didn’t figure this out about myself until I confronted my fears and allowed myself to fully embrace my wandering soul. This is a part of my soul I would like to explore more in 2014. I am ever so grateful to all the guides that have come into my life. I also know that I needed to be ready to shift so I am most grateful for the patience of those that have assisted. As we transform, we become like a flower that never fully blooms but instead just continues to open up to expose more beauty over time.
With all that may be coming up for you this time of year, what have you begun to think about letting go of, manifesting and embracing? As you take stock of the year, are there things that you would love to embrace more of and things that you would like to work towards leaving behind? Use this time to be slow, mindful, peaceful and loving as you begin to move forward towards embracing the parts of yourself that have been hidden like the glove i found recently. Allow yourself to wake up and begin again.