I was out walking my dogs among the pecan tree grove you see in the picture above, and I couldn't get over how beautiful the bare trees looked to me. Stripped of all their leaves, leaving nothing but bare branches. Their unique shapes standing tall, strong, and naked.
It was a reminder of how much power there is in letting go of things that don't serve us, such as thoughts and feelings that weigh us down causing anxiety, depression and host of other emotional dis-ease.
The Thought Loop
I am one of those people who get locked on a thought that creates a continuous loop in my head. It starts with a single thought and then branches out into other thoughts that cause such a stir of emotions that I can't sleep - the rabbit hole of hell.
Often these thoughts involve unresolved feelings about a person in my life who hurt me in some way, and I didn't speak up about it at the time. I tend to stay quiet and let the feelings fester until either I explode or allow the unsaid conversation to hijack my mind leaving no room to experience joy. Everything feels harder and heavier.
Shedding Through Mindfulness
This recently happened to me with someone very close to me. I used my yoga and meditation practice to help me get clear on what I was thinking and feeling. I didn't try to shut it out. I allowed my thoughts to flourish as I observed from a non-judging place. I tapped into my very soul and realized through these practices that the power these thoughts had over me, and that I needed to release them. But how?
Your Brave Heart
I have found that the best way to release unwanted thoughts and feelings, particularly involving another person, is to talk to that person. Open up your Brave Heart and let them in. So, I did. Scary as it was, I told this person everything that was on my mind - the good, bad, and the ugly. She listened intently, opened her Brave Heart to me, and now we are closer than ever. Not only do I feel relieved to have let go of those menacing thoughts, but I have a level of trust in her that I didn't feel before.
Strip Down to Your Soul
So for this new year of 2022, make a pact with yourself to tell people how you feel. Strip down to your soul, and say what's on your mind. Don't just let bygones be bygones and simply push your feelings under the rug. Speak up! But do it carefully. Just because you're hurt, doesn't mean you should hurt someone else. Use the "I" word instead of "you," to generate compassion from the person with whom you're speaking (i.e., Say, "I am hurt because" ...NOT... "You hurt me!") Open up your Brave Heart, and invite them to do the same.
I'm not saying that conflicts will always be resolved in one conversation, but it's a start. You are worthy of your feelings, and in order for you to grow, as well as the other person, you need to show your bare bones, and be confident that you'll be ok. No matter how it ends.
Just like trees that shed their leaves in winter to make room to blossom again in the Spring, you should too. Bring in the new year with greater ease. Shed the thoughts and feelings that bind you, and make 2022 your year to Awaken the Light Within You.
To help you get clear on what you need to shed from your life, join us for our 4-day virtual yoga/meditation retreat Awaken the Light Within You starting January 17th. Click HERE to learn more and register.
Also, begin your journey to Awaken the Light Within You, with our gift to you - an audio meditation recording guided by Live Free Yoga's Co-founder and meditation master, Tida Chambers, taken straight from our virtual yoga/meditation retreat in October. Get a taste of the power of what you'll experience. Just click the link below to download.
Author, Phyllis Smith, is the Co-founder of Live Free Yoga, which provides yoga and mindfulness programs for youth and adults who serve them. She is also the co-creator of Lighter Being, a transformative mindfulness video series to help you find more balance, self-love, and a lighter state of being.
Photo by Kathy Tran