It is always a good time to reflect back over the past year as well as looking forward to determine what lies ahead and what new directions we desire to pursue. In order to manifest the changes or shifts we wish to create in the year ahead, it may be time to take a deep and honest look at who we truly are and who we truly desire to be. What pieces of our authentic selves are we burying under the covers?
When we are living authentically, we give ourselves permission to be and love ourselves. We live free from the expectations of others, we can fully express who we are, and we make choices from a place of internal alignment. Often this inner voice of our authentic souls is buried by years of hiding, years of making choices and living based on expectations and external perspectives. Our authentic selves are buried beneath the covers of our past.
There are three places we can journey to uncover our authentic soul: acknowledgment, acceptance, and taking inventory. Acknowledgment is a willingness to be honest with ourselves and requires us to look deep inside. There are a series of questions we can ask, which include: Where am I trying to please others?, Where am I living from a place of “should” rather than from my desire?, What choices am I making over and over again that make me unhappy or uncomfortable?, and What feelings or truths about myself do I hide?
Once we have gifted ourselves the space and freedom to seek the answers to these questions, we move into the realm of acceptance and forgiveness: accepting where we are today, forgiving our selves and others, and being willing to openly acknowledge exactly where we are today. We can accept where we are in this and every moment with the knowledge that we do have the innate gift and power to move forward in a new way, a way that is true to our hearts.
And finally we create the space to take a deep inventory and examine our priorities, our values, and our passions. We can ask ourselves what is truly important to us and what we are really passionate about, and we can look for the gaps between what we hold as valuable versus the choices we are making in our lives every day.
The process of acknowledgment, acceptance, and taking inventory is a journey—there is no endpoint, no absolute destination. But in this process, you can begin to lift off the covers, to climb out from underneath, and practice the full expression of your authentic soul. Welcome to 2017.
- Acknowledgment. Examine your answers to the “acknowledgment” questions above from a place of self-love and acceptance. In addition, positive acknowledgment of ourselves is necessary. Answer the following questions: What do I love about myself? What skills or expertise do I bring the world? What is awesome and working in my life right now?
- Acceptance. Practice accepting, trusting, and loving yourself. For the next five days, use one of the positive acceptance statements of Marianne Williamson (below) as your daily mantra. Repeat the mantra in your meditation, or write it twenty-five times.
• I was given my identity when I was born and that cannot be taken away.
• I have infinite potential and that cannot be taken away.
• I have the opportunity to change my thinking and that cannot be taken away.
• I have the capacity to love and that cannot be taken away.
• I have the power to live in abundance and gratitude and that cannot be taken away.
- Take inventory. Write about each of the questions below for twenty minutes. Do not think or monitor what comes up. After completing each question, make a list of your top five priorities, top four values, and top three things in life you are most passionate about. Examine where the gaps are between what you have written and the choices you make each day.
• What are the MUST HAVEs in my life?
• What are the MUST NOT HAVEs in my life?
• What are the activities I most enjoy doing in my life? What values do these activities reflect?
• Recall a “peak experience” in your life—a time when you felt totally in the flow of the experience. What was important to you about this experience, and what values does this experience reflect?