Releasing Our Past to Create Space for the New
We are five days into the final quarter of this DECADE and for some reason that's sitting really heavy with me. Maybe it's because so much has happened in the last ten years and I haven't always been in the driver's seat. Maybe it’s because it makes me aware of how elusive time is and how easily it slips through my grasp.
Earlier this week, I was diving into some teachings from Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School and she asked a powerful question that stopped me in my tracks:
"Are you living out the effect of your past decisions or are you making decisions for your future?"
Life today looks so different from my life a decade ago, as I'm sure it does for most of you.
Ten years ago, I was entering the peak of my professional ski career, but I didn't know it then. I felt like my career was just beginning, that I was just starting to realize my potential. I didn't realize how quickly things would change. I didn’t know I'd have numerous crashes and injuries that would shift my perspective of the sport. That friends would pass away. That I'd fall just short of my Olympic dreams. That my dad would get diagnosed with Leukemia and succumb to the disease. I didn’t know I'd retire from the sport I loved just five short years after that peak.
I didn’t know a decade ago that I’d meet my husband. Get a 9-5 job. Start a business. Compete on the Amazing Race. Build a second house. Quit my 9-5 job. Or get pregnant. So much has changed and while many of these changes were deliberate, this question made me acutely aware that I’m still at the effect of some old patterned thinking.
Fall is a season for letting go of what no longer serves us and creating space for something new.
We see this unfold in nature as the leaves start changing color. Branches release their grasp to gravity and leaves fall to the earth. The trees stand tall, unafraid, allowing the crisp cold wind to strip them of their past. The leaves decay & create a more fertile soil. Barren & naked, the trees endure the winter months and, come spring, new buds begin to form.
Our past beliefs, perspectives, goals, dreams & values are much like these changing leaves. They were created by our former selves. Yet, unlike the trees, we cling to these beliefs even if they’ve run their course. We cling to them because we know them. We cling to their familiarity because, to an unexamined mind, they’re safe.
But, unlike the trees, we deny the changing colors and we fight the wind. We see the leaves’ departure as a death unto itself, a finality that detracts from our life. We have no faith in winter. No faith, in the space, the stillness, or the silence that’s created. We want our cups to be constantly runneth over.
And soon enough, we’re living out the effect of our past. Decisions we made a decade ago are still directing the course of our lives. We can’t create what we want for our futures when we’re unwilling to let go of our past. And we fail to see that our past doesn’t entirely disappear. It brought us here. It’s our foundation and its release becomes the fertile soil in which our new dreams will grow.
So, what is it that you want to create? What do you want that future of yours to look like?
Our new year’s (and new decade’s) resolutions begin now. They start with a thorough purge of what is no longer leading us toward our desired future. By examining key areas of our lives: relationships, health, career, finance, and lifestyle, and we can reveal what thoughts we have that keep us producing the same results over & over again. As they say, “if you change nothing, nothing will change.”
How To Release Your Past & Create Space for Something New:
Choose one of these five life areas to begin: relationships, health, career, finance, and lifestyle.
Write down what you currently believe is possible for yourself in that chosen area.
(Do not filter yourself. The more honest you can be about your beliefs the more you will be able to take your power back to create a desired result. Put actual pen to paper for this.)
Then, for each thought ask yourself these three questions from Brook Castillo:
Do I want this?
Does this serve me?
Is this dated?
If the answer is “NO” to any of the above, it’s time to say goodbye.
Thank each thought for what it has given you, how it has served you, how it has kept you safe (or tried to keep you safe), and for where it has led you.
Now, write down your desires for this area of your life.
Then, ask yourself what you need to BELIEVE in order to create this outcome.
Practice that thought daily.
Repeat as you see fit with the other areas of your life.
Let me know how this goes for you! I’m always here to answer any questions & support your dreams.