When thinking about my guiding word for the new year, I usually go with a feeling I want to invite or experience more often.
But a word that kept spontaneously coming up for me was - less.
And the longer I sat with it, the more it spoke to me.
Less of what?
Less commitments that create busyness but leave me feeling exhausted and unfulfilled.
Less things that fill up my space, but don’t bring me joy. Less obligations that fill up my calendar but make me feel drained.
When we approach personal growth from a place of shame and self-judgment, we move further away from its intention and the whole process may start feeling like a self-punishment and a never-ending quest for “improvement.”
Here are a few things to remember:
1. Be patient - there is no place of arrival
2. Find a way to truly enjoy the process
3. Don’t measure your progress by where someone else is
4. A part of you may not want to change - try to understand why
5. You can get to the same place by motivating or criticizing yourself
When we engage in therapy, we are encouraged to open up and share our thoughts and feelings.
However, there are moments when we struggle to find the right words or fear the vulnerability that comes with sharing certain experiences.
Sometimes, our silence stems from a fear of judgment or rejection. We may hesitate to voice our true thoughts because we worry about the consequences or how others might perceive us.
Check in with yourself:
A big part of life is recognizing when it's time to let go of certain things so we can let in something new, more fulfilling to take its place.
A journaling prompt I love (particularly when I feel weighed down) is "What do I want to let go of?" or "What is weighing me down?"
Think about the things, beliefs, opinions, feelings, memories, regrets, experiences, people, habits, etc. that feel heavy, burdensome, and unnecessary.
Let yourself write until nothing else comes to mind.
Notice how you feel after putting those burdens down.
Let yourself be in this lighter state, and from that place ask yourself, "What do I want to let in?" or "What do I want more of?"
Let all the things, beliefs, opinions, feelings, memories, regrets, experiences, people, habits, you would love to let in come to you. You don't need to force answers, rather let them arise from this unburdened state you're in.
Notice how it feels to let in all that goodness.