We’re at the beginning of the year and if you’re anything like me you’ve got your intentions all set and raring to go! But, sometimes the “new year new you” vibe can create too many expectations that can weigh heavily on you especially if you haven’t put closure on last year!
Imagine that you stepped into the new year still dragging along a big bag of invisible stuff you don’t actually want, nor is even vaguely good for you Yet here you are trying to jump up and down with glee about all things new however your jump up is so lame and everything feels so slow and heavy? It’s like you’ve taken a detour in your mind and you find yourself all wrapped up about a future outcome that can’t make lift off! This can leave you feeling like you are fending off negativity at every turn. Or maybe your mind has run willy-nilly to a past hurt as if it just happened? Or, perhaps you are wandering in the potentials that seem so far away from where you are now, that you get confused as to how anything could happen to move you forward? It’s a big ol’ New year Hairball!
While obviously and physically here right now, many people barely visit the present moment because they are rushing from past regrets and the potential of future trauma. The human mind has the incredible capacity to draw you back into the past and/or propel you into the future, all while you go about your day-to-day life.
Just like you, I love to relive old memories and dream about the future, in fact, daydreaming and visualizing your desired outcome is advised. What you want to watch for is repetitive cycles of self-defeating thought.
As I describe in my best selling book, The Map: Finding the Magic and Meaning in Your Life, you are living out a narrative of your life. Some argue once they take a closer look at the stories they are actually running in the back of their mind, they would not ever tell their story this way! Maybe heartbreak has crossed your path. Maybe you are in a life or career challenge that you didn’t see coming. What story will you tell about it?
In the book, I lead you through a profound process to discover the inner landscapes you inhabit on your path—the unseen patterns, hidden motivations, and family legacies—and show you how to break free of whatever is holding you back from the super amazing and meaningful life that is your birthright.
If your thoughts are stuck and you can’t see the next logical step, you might be doing a little ‘Time Wandering’–living “some-when” other than the present moment.
Here’s a short quiz to find out “when” you’re often living:
1, Have you ever found yourself back in frustrating situations that are eerily similar to your past and make you feel powerless?
2. Does your mind often wander to past relationships or old frustrations or “failures”?
3. Do you ever run scenarios in your mind about conversations you’ve had with someone or are about to have with them, taking your attention off, say, driving your car?
4. Have you ever found yourself sitting in a meeting and running through scenarios that have nothing to do with your surroundings?
5. Do you sometimes find yourself anticipating the worst to happen, just like it once did in your past experience? (i.e. thinking He/She will leave me, just like the others.)
6. When you’re frustrated with something in your life, do you tend to focus on your past or future rather than deal with your current emotions and experience?
If you answered yes to any of these questions (and I don’t have to be psychic to suspect you had at least one yes!), it’s a sign of being “some-when else.” And, when you’re some-when other than the present, you are never in the now.
Right now is where all your power is! In this moment alone is where you access the magic wand to direct your life. Of course, there’s absolutely no shame in having slipped back into an old landscape or in getting caught up in anticipating a future event, we are all story-telling beings, after all.
You see that you have the power to choose your perceptions about whatever you’ve experienced.
Stop and go back. Read that again. You can learn to change your perceptions about your past. You must choose it.
Here’s an exercise to help you get started:
1. Close your eyes as you focus on your breath.
2. Let all your thoughts fade away and then ask yourself: Where am I? Allow your inner awareness to show you where you are and this features of this place.
3. Then, in your journal, take some time to describe the landscape you were just pointed.
4. Answer the following questions:
Have you been here before?
Are you in the future or past?
How do you feel here?
What lessons are to be learned here?
Have you been here before?
If so, does it feel like you keep coming back for a reason?
How can the experience of being in this particular landscape help you today?
What place would you choose to inhabit today and what would it feel like to be there?
Remember, now is where all your power is to shape your Map—past, present and future! You always choose the story.