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My New Year's Wish For You


I found myself feeling really down the week between Christmas and New Year’s. (I’m not sure exactly why – could be many reasons.) I was having intensely “undesirable” emotions and sensations in my body along with negative thoughts. My knee jerk response was resistance and fear.


I would have thoughts like…


“I don’t want to be experiencing this.”

“Something must be wrong – oh no! what do I need to do to change this? Make it better? Make it go away?”


And the worst, “This is going to be like this forever!”


And then I remembered my intention to be present with what is. Not resist. What would happen if I allowed everything to be as it is in this moment?


Well, I cried.


I had uncomfortable sensations in my body.

I noticed the incessant thoughts.


And I won’t lie – it wasn’t easy.

But then something really amazing happened. One afternoon the dark cloud magically disappeared and in place of it was this newfound wonder and awe. It was like I could see my family for the first time. I appreciated them in a new way. I no longer worried that the negative feelings would “last forever.”


At this time of year everyone is talking about new year’s resolutions. It’s traditionally a time to reset and with awareness set our intentions for the upcoming year. I thought – “I don’t want to resist what I’m experiencing in any given moment.” But that is negative. How to make that positive – something to do rather than avoid. What’s the opposite of resist. Allow. That’s it. I want to allow.


Allow what? Our inner response to what is happening. Our thoughts, sensations, feelings even the uncomfortable and "bad" ones.


If we allow the “bad” we also are allowing the “good.”

(Note: I’m not implying that we allow negative or dangerous situations. Of course, get yourself out of any negative situation. But it is our response to life’s situations that I am suggesting we allow.)


Allowing is also incredibly helpful in getting out of chronic pain.


Why? Because if you can allow what is – a sensation, emotion, thought, then the brain knows it is safe. When the brain feels safe it is less likely to interpret a sensation as pain. If we are constantly trying to avoid what is, then our brains think – “oh that (feeling, sensation, thought) must be dangerous. I’d better be on high alert.” And when the brain is on high alert it is more likely to interpret a sensation as pain.


My New Year’s wish for you this year is to strengthen your ability to allow.


My steps to building your “allowing” muscle:

1. Notice when you are feeling or thinking something that you perceive to be “bad” and that you want to move away from.


2. Try to sit with it for a little bit.


3. Be curious - What are you feeling? Where is it in your body? What are you thinking?


4. Be compassionate. Say to yourself “Wow this is really uncomfortable. I’m so sorry you are going through. this.” Maybe put your hand on your chest to offer physical comfort.


5. If it gets too intense to be with go ahead and do something to distract and comfort yourself telling yourself “this is temporary. This will pass. I am doing the best thing to take care of myself in this moment.”


By opening up to the “bad” we are setting ourselves up to really experience the “good” in a much deeper way.


I wish you all a very Happy New Year!

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