Moving Forward in the New Year

“The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go.”
~ Steve Maraboli

Many years ago, I took a painting class with a wonderful woman named Kate Appel.

The class wasn’t about creating a product. It was about process.

We were given big pieces of paper plastered to the wall, and luxurious high quality tempura paint that made our big brushes slide smoothly across the paper like glass.

I loved this class. For three glorious hours I painted to my heart’s content.

One day, Kate came up to me and said she noticed that I often went back over my strokes before continuing my lines forward.

A simple comment. Nothing more.

Ever since then, however, I have noticed what a habit this is in other areas of my life too. How we do one thing is often how we do most things.

Perhaps you know what I mean.

Retracing our steps can take many forms.

We might think again and again about mistakes or choices we’ve made that we wish we’d done differently.

We might keep trying to perfect something that no longer brings us passion or joy, like revising a creation, doing the same old thing or routine, or continually polishing a now less-lovable possession, business or idea.

We might relive grudges, hurts, or grievances against others rather than mentally letting them go and walking away into our future.

The thing is, when things haven’t gone perfectly, it’s a sign that we were doing some really juicy living.

When we take risks, sometimes we stumble or fall.

When we open ourselves up, sometimes people disappoint us.

When we try, sometimes we succeed, sometimes we don’t.

Learning from the Past

One of the things I have found that can help in finally, once and for all, letting go of all those imperfect “things” is claiming what I have learned from the experiences.

Once we face the fact that we are changing everyday and allow ourselves to fully integrate what we now know and who we are currently becoming (instead of who we were), we discover new pathways forward rather than feeling the compulsion to retrace our steps.

At the heart of that shift is not just freedom, it’s also self-compassion and self-confidence.

In what ways are we now smarter, more compassionate and understanding?

What nugget of wisdom do we now have as a result of that experience?

What was the gift?

Becoming the New “You”

Rather than turning our rememberings into regrets, if-onlys or do-overs, we can instead choose to invite our life lessons into our entire beings on a deep, cellular level, and view life a constant, non-stop adventure.

We can let each life experience, however profound or seemingly insignificant, expand us.

We can allow our new insights to become part of us and the way we live.

And then we can walk away, moving forward rather than going back.

Because the good always stays with us, and there is more good to come.

We are always growing and changing. When we accept whom we are becoming, in this moment, as a result of our incredible experiences, it’s pretty awesome.

Life constantly gives us new opportunities to experiment, play and do our thing.

As I’ve started playing with moving forward with real gumption (including letting go of all the times I don’t let go! :-), it’s amazing how light I feel, how much more quickly I am making decisions, and how much more I have been able to create.

May this New Year stretch you, expand your soul, and keep enticing you to take healthy risks, including continually responding to the creative calls of your own Self, whatever these may be.

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. …This will miraculously transform your whole life.”
~ Eckart Tolle

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What helps you with letting go and moving forward?

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Copyright © 2020 Laurie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photo credit:Koretskyi/Shutterstock

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