How to Release Old Patterns of Thought

Time to changeIt is the first day of autumn officially where I live.  For me, this time always reflects change.  Letting go of things.  Making room for growth.  All before the end of the year.  I know that I have lofty goals, but there’s something about watching the trees shed their leaves that really reminds me of the work I have to do on the inside to stay healthy on the outside as well.

In order to find balance, we have to be ready to do the work.  We have been holding onto fears, worries and troubles from our past for far too long.

You leave old habits behind by starting out with the thought, ‘I release the need for this in my life’. ~Wayne Dyer

I have done quiet a bit of research on pain…both physical and mental pain.  I know that we carry quite a bit of pain around with us from past experiences if we have not yet released it and let it go.  This is evidenced by the fact that when preparing to speak on something once, I could not get through a certain part.  Everything else I could practice just fine, but this one part always got stuck in my throat and my eyes welled up with tears.  It was time for me to be okay with that part of my story.

How did I start releasing what was not serving me?

The first step was to continue speaking it out loud.  You don’t have to tell a room full of people; however, a trusted friend, therapist or counselor will work.  I had to put a name to the emotion I was feeling and that feeling was still grief.  After all these years.  It was time to let go just a little, and step into healing.  So as you begin to let go of this feeling, remember that whatever it was meant to teach you at the time, is long gone by now and we don’t have to stay in that place forever.

The second step for me is to write it down.  It can be in your journal, or as a letter to the universe.  It can be a prayer, or it can be on slips of paper you burn.  Whatever you feel called to do, but write the truth.  I know someone who once said to me that this was the hardest part of her healing journey.  So close your eyes and think of the people, events, setting, or whatever it is that you are trying to release.  Write down the feelings that are caught up in this thing.  Then let it go.  Don’t think on it any longer after you have gotten it out.  If you are afraid you will dwell on it, burn it!  You know, in a safe way that doesn’t catch anything on fire.

The last step is wiping the slate clean.  A nice clean chalkboard.  As a teacher, I would make sure there was not a hint of old chalk from yesterday as I wrote the next day’s lesson on the board.  I loved a clean board.  Visualize that whatever pain you had is truly released and washed away.  Here is where I want to point out that if you are blaming others for something, let it go.

My lesson is on releasing the people who I have clearly seen lying.  Apparently, I am really supposed to let this one go.  I learned people are definitely covering up for something when they lie, but it has nothing to do with me.  I decided to shift my perspective to one of gratitude.  I am thankful I don’t have to lie about who I am to feel satisfied in my life.  I am thankful I don’t have to lie to my husband, or my friends to feel liked.  I see no purpose in it, but clearly it is a defense mechanism for others.

By transforming old patterns of my mind, and bringing my attention to the present moment, I am letting go of things I don’t want to carry forward with me into the next season.

End Your Day With Mindfulness

This one is actually quite difficult for most people to do, but put the phones away.  Turn them off.  Hide them if you must.  Sit at the table and practice eating mindfully.  As we connect to slowing down from our day, take a moment to notice the food.  The taste.  The color.  The time it took to prepare.  Be present as you sit and eat; furthermore, see if you can engage the senses as you bite, smell, and savor the taste.  Be present in your thoughts as you end the day.  Let go of anything you don’t want to take with you for the next day.  Continue this practice daily and you will see an improvement in your mood as well.

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Camp Granddaddy Long Legs…

Packed up the car on Friday afternoon and headed…right down the street.  To be fair, it did take us about 45 minutes to get there.  My youngest daughter said all she wanted for her birthday was to go camping, so how could I deny her that right of passage.  How did it take me nine years to realize that the tent we bought about six years ago never got used.  Seriously.  Where does the time go?  The point is, it was long overdue.

When we arrived, the check-in cabin was hopping.  They were piping in some fife and drum music and it looked like Colonial Williamsburg paid them to decorate the shop.  To be fair, I was technically in Williamsburg.  I just didn’t expect the place to look so touristy.  The birthday girl was having fun picking up various items and we got the key to our cabin.  A nice man chatted with me and told me he had 19 grandchildren.  Wow.  Seriously.  No wonder you have an RV parked outside.

The girls were super excited as we passed some rainbow Technicolor jumping mat.  What in the world is that?  I think I have to try it out.  We pulled onto a gravel road and found our “Kabin”.  How cute.  It had a roof, and a light inside with bunks.  Now, technically, this is not true camping, so don’t criticize me yet.  I went camping from the time I was tiny until I was in college.  I can “rough” it.  I just thought this would be different.  Plus I had talked our friends into getting the one next to us and we had a fire pit near us to cook on.

As dusk was drawing near, our friends arrived and we got out the makings for hotdogs and s’mores over the fire.  Ahhh, fire.  I love a big fire under the night sky.  The first thing my tiny one did was drop her hot dog off her stick into the fire.  I couldn’t stop laughing.  I got it out and she wanted another one.  Ha.  Then we moved onto the marshmallow roasting phase and hers caught on fire.  I was laughing again.  She only likes things to be a tiny bit crispy, not black.  She was having so much fun.  She then decided to make me eat the burnt ones.  I couldn’t tell her that I also preferred the “tan” marks on my marshmallow, so I ate it.  Pretty good.  This is family togetherness.

There were quite a few pholcidae or granddaddy long legs around the camp.  They were in the cabin, the trees, and the bathroom area.  The second night, we were busy roasting things again over the fire.  My daughter told me she was “getting the hang of it” and her pioneer skills were kicking in.  She was doing a better job of slowly turning the food.  My friend and I decided to make packets of salmon and throw them over the hot coals much to the dismay of her husband.  He is wilderness man, and thought we would ruin the fish.  The fish turned out perfectly.  We were feeling pretty happy with ourselves and took the girls to the bathroom area.  We got inside, and I went to look at myself for the first time in quite some time.  I was in the process of saying how lovely we looked when I turned around to look at my friend’s hair and started laughing.  She was immediately suspicious of me, and then turned to the mirror.  There was a granddaddy long legs perched precariously on top of her hair.  I grabbed it and set it free outside.  What you don’t know is that my friend had been talking to them the whole time.  It was just one of those funny things.  Life is like that. 

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”  ~George Eliot