Letting Go of the Past and Embrace Your Bright Future

honest self-analysis to gain clarity

I am dedicating this post to my acupuncturist, Lara Dilkes at PDX Acupuncture. I was getting my left shoulder worked on. A remark was made that the muscles in my right shoulder just wouldn’t let go. Acupuncture tends to put me into a pretty deep state of reflection. What came up for me is, what am I hanging onto? What do I need to let go of in order to live the fullest life I can. A massive flood of things came to mind and since then I have integrated this into my daily journaling practice.

I have found that in order to embrace the new that awaits us, one must release the old. A trapeze artist can not swing from one bar to another without letting go. An important part of moving forward is to review the past, release it and learn from it.

To go where we wish to go and be who we wish to be, we need to know where we are and who we are. An honest self-analysis is always helpful to gain clarity. Considering all that happened over the few years, it seems particularly fitting to devote some time to reflect on the past and where we find ourselves right here, right now and in the dawn of the future that lies ahead of us.

The following questions should stimulate your thinking for this process. I use this as a catalyst for my journaling. I hope that you take time out of your busy schedule to ponder where you are and where you’ve been. Talk about it with people you care about. Write out your thoughts and feelings. Do some journaling.

Reflect upon what you did, how you felt, what you liked, what you didn’t and what you learned. Try to look at yourself and your experience with as much objectivity as you can-much like a biographer would.

Here are some suggestions to get you started in mulling over the past year and perhaps even the last decade. Feel free to add your own.

  1. What did I learn? (skills, knowledge, awareness, etc.)
  2. What did I accomplish? A list of my wins and achievements.
  3. What would I have done differently? Why?
  4. What did I complete or release? What still feels incomplete to me?
  5. What were the most significant events of the year past? List the top three.
  6. What did I do right? What do I feel especially good about? What was my greatest contribution?
  7. What were the fun things I did? What were the not-so-fun?
  8. What were my biggest challenges/roadblocks/difficulties?
  9. How am I different this year than last?
  10. For what am I particularly grateful?

Extra Credit: Consider listing all the things in your life of which you’d like to let go and anything you no longer want. Be thankful for what they’ve brought you in terms of learning, growth and usefulness and then burn the list. It’s a symbolic gesture to help you release the old and be open to the new. The next step is to list what you want in regard to experiences, knowledge, material things, relationships, healing or whatever.

Read your list on a weekly basis and you will be amazed how these new desired experiences and desires will manifest. It is real magic.

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