Right now (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) we are ever so slowly beginning to turn outward after weeks and months of inner reflection.
If we look back on the Wheel of the Year, we recall that fall was the season of letting go. Like the leaves falling from the trees, we identified what we needed to let go of in order to grow and change. Then, as we turned toward winter, the time of resting and manifesting, new dreams and ideas was born within us. And, like the birth of a new sun at the Winter Solstice, the potential for a new you was also born.
These last few months have all been about inner work—inner reflection and inner growth. Now, as the wheel begins turning outward again, this is where we take all the things we've been dreaming of out into the real world.
And this can feel reallllly uncomfortable.
But we need this discomfort; we need to leave what is safe behind. We need to challenge ourselves in order to evolve.
Can you shed the layers you need to shed in order to grow? The choice is entirely up to you. Here are three ways to embrace the changes happening right now and move forward into the fresh air of spring with confidence.
1. Take a risk.
Our subconscious minds can get lazy, and they like to categorize in order to file things away quickly and easily. That's why when you do the same things over and over again, your subconscious runs the same scripts that you have repeated to yourself for years: "Oh, I see that you're sitting down to write. Remember, you're not a very good writer. Nobody is interested in what you have to say."
Your mind often forgets that you have grown so it tries to keep you in the same box. So...let's shake that up! Give your subconscious a jolt by sending it new experiences it doesn't recognize. Take a chance and do something totally not "you"—something that scares the bajeezus out of you.
Explore that curiosity about belly-dancing despite the nerves that come up when you think about baring your tummy. Sign yourself up for a half marathon this spring, despite never having been much of a runner. Take singing lessons, even though you've always thought your voice was terrible. You will walk away feeling so proud of yourself, and your subconscious mind will have to start running new scripts about you. Maybe ones more along the line of, "Hmm…I'm actually really brave. How else can I surprise myself?!"
2. Give something up.
What is something you know in your heart is holding you back? What is something you just know would be really good for you to let go of? Perhaps you need to take a social media detox for a while. Maybe you've been meaning to stop eating meat, or maybe you need to quit smoking.
Whatever it is, find something that really challenges you, something that will shake things up and make you feel uncomfortable. Set a length of time for yourself—I recommend at least one month—and pledge to try your darnedest to give that up.
3. Write yourself a letter.
In order to truly grow and evolve to the depths that you desire, sometimes you reach a point where you simply cannot move forward with the same version of yourself that you've been carrying with you. There are parts of yourself that you absolutely have to let go of in order to enact real change. It may sound harsh, but this winter, write a letter to that Old You telling her she can't come with you.
Go deep—like the scenes in the movies when someone is trying to set an animal free that they've raised and love dearly. You love that Old You dearly, but you really need to say goodbye.
This might feel really, really sad. It is sad. You've been through a lot with that old version of you. And she protected you. Even though she often manifested as a fear voice, everything she said was to protect you. But she cannot come with you where you want to go.
As you write the letter, repeat the mantra Loving myself means letting go.