I have chosen RELEASE as my 2020 Word-of-the-Year. For me a WOTY is my focus area for the year. In past year’s my words included JOY (which helped me embrace practicing positivity), SOAR (which stood for Savoring, Optimistic, Activating, and Resilient and, while complicated, was a strong word for the year I was fighting cancer and learning to live my retirement life vision), and last year’s JOURNEY (which is best captured in the phrase “Create the Vision. Plan the Path. Live the Journey.”) As I worked on living in the moment in 2019, I’ve realized I have a number of mental obstructions including self-limiting beliefs and resentments. To kick off this new decade, I feel a need to release.
RELEASE so I can be the true me – active, connected, creative, contemplative.
As I delved into RELEASE, I realized this was THE growth I needed at this point in my life:
Release the Past. Embrace the Now.
Release self-limiting beliefs. Create self-empowering beliefs.
Release resentments & grudges. Forgive and accept.
Release ego-driven behaviors of judgment, approval seeking, & comparison.
Become more compassionate and non-judgmental – of myself and others.
Release the need for perfection & perceived expectations.
Accept myself. Appreciate myself.
Release Chakra energy blockage. Embrace my body, my sensuality & my creativity.
Release muscle tension. Relieve the pain
As I was exploring what RELEASE means to me, especially reading about Chakra Blockage release, there were a number of activities recommended in various sources. So I have created a 20 for 2020 to aid in my year of RELEASE.
20 for 2020 – Release the Past. Grow Self-Acceptance. Live in the Now.
- Daily Gratitude Journaling
- Do specific Release Activities – Release Workbook, Release Art Project(s), Release Meditation.
- Get in contact with water – bathe, swim, walk by the ocean/lake, waxing moon evening walk by the water, Epson bath (get the jet tub fixed!)
- Dance in the moonlight under a full moon
- Make contact to earth with bare feet
- Be playful – do kids craft kits, origami, wine tastings, try pole dancing (?), use the hula hoop(?)
- Add in the color Orange – clothing/scarf, bowl of oranges, orange gemstones
- Use scented oils or candles. Use new Incense holder.
- Explore Reiki
- Play the drums; rhythmic music; attend Sunset Music (Monday’s in FL)
- Feng Shui new home
- Cultivate Florida friendships
- Listen to Bach or Vivaldi
- Be aware of new moon and full moon – full moon shelling, new moon rituals; watch more sunsets.
- Cook creatively – one new recipe a week?
- Create list “what am I curious about?” – follow the threads; Where does my curiosity want to take me? Learn to play chess, write memoir, new recipes to cook, bird-watching. Keep tracking new things! (Target 101 again.)
- Keep a dream journal.
- Be frivolous – do what?!
- Bring hiking back into my life.
- Continue Self Care – eat healthy, drink more water, movement, strength training, sleep, massage
I’ve crafted two different release activities based on researching different therapeutic approaches to shifting self-limiting beliefs and releasing resentment. I’ve turned them into a Personal Release Workbook, but the basic approaches are below.
Releasing Self-limiting Beliefs
Henry Ford said, “Think you can, think you can’t; either way you’ll be right.”
- Write down the self-limiting belief in detail – when did it start, what emotions it elicits, how is it holding me back, what value do I gain from my holding onto it (feeling of specialness, avoidance of failure & judgment)
- Acknowledge it is a belief and not a truth – identify life experiences when it was not true, any validity in others minds (people tell you it’s not true), any facts from experts
- Affirmation: I choose not to believe this anymore. It is not true.
- Create corresponding Self-Empowering Belief – write it down, imagine how life would change if I believed this, benefits of new belief, how new belief will make me feel
- Daily affirmations of the new Empowering Belief. Recognize voices challenging new beliefs and claim ”I am responsible for the change – the power to change rests in my hands”.
- Create actions, behaviors, and goals to prove new Empowering Belief is true. Example, if I really believe I eat healthy, what am I buying at grocery store? Do I need new language? Do I need to be aware of trigger responses?
- Be persistent. Repeat steps 4-6.
Releasing Resentments – Resentments are deep-seated negative feelings of real or perceived past injustices that create mental bondage/blockage today. Shifting from resentment to acceptance opens space for more positivity.
- Face it – Vent it out – write it down and what happened, all the details of what happened to cause resentment, be honest, it does not need to “make sense”.
- Feel it – How did it make you feel then and now, how did it impact your life – your identity, your feeling of worth, your fears, your dreams, changed behaviors, avoidance of things. Feelings of abandonment or lack of support?
- Deal with it – Recognize the injustice. Show compassion towards the individuals involved. They most likely did their best or they were dealing with their own issues. How did I contribute to the situation? How has it helped me in life?
- Accept it – Choose to release the resentment. Recognize you cannot change the past. You could not control the other person’s actions. Articulate your forgiveness. Stop indulging in ruminating about it. You need to forgive yourself – for holding onto the resentment! “It is what it is.”
- Release it – Visualize the release. Articulate the release. Focus on the heart chakra as you release resentment towards specific individuals. Consider burning all the pages you’ve written. Consider “wiping it out” with an art project. Consider expressing the anger physically – punch a pillow, scream out-loud. Practice gratitude: Release is a gift to myself. It opens space in my mind, my body, and my spirit.
I am looking forward to 2020, working through my RELEASE activities, and learning to better accept myself and live in the now.
If you choose one, what’s your WOTY?