There’s something about a new year that feels like the slate of life has been wiped clean. It’s as though all the promise we hold for our life is lit by the brightest light of possibility. We hold hope, and we hold ourselves in esteem to live as our best version. We feel renewed vigor to obtain our goals and desires.
I think we also get a smaller glimpse of this reset button every Monday morning, with a new week ahead of us. The weekend tasks completed, the house spruced up, our to-do list a little shorter, and some good ole rest and relaxation to refresh our spirit.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we allowed ourselves this hard reset at any moment of any day, as many times as needed? I call it the magic eraser. It can be easy to feel like, “Well, I’ve already eaten poorly today, so I might as well just finish this off and start fresh tomorrow.” There is a lot of guilt in that thinking; a lack of self-forgiveness, and it can quickly take us off course from our desires. Whatever guilt-creating, self-loathing, reactive action that is written across our mental chalkboard, the magic eraser can wipe the slate clean at any time.
So, how do I find my magic eraser? As I see it, you are strengthening your magic eraser, to overcome all obstacles, every time you shunt the harsh self-judgment that often plagues our thoughts, and replace it with self-love. “Ah, I overate again. I’m never going to reach my goal. I am such a failure.” Replace it with. “I’m so frustrated that I overate again. Why do I keep doing this? I’m going to give myself a few minutes to hone in on what it is that I really feel. Am I hiding from an emotion that I am burying with food? Am I afraid that reaching that weight will bring challenges into my life? Am I truly hungry? And after I’ve given myself some time, I might recognize that I have taken on too much, and that I am eating to de-stress. I might say to myself, “Well, I survived, but it is clear I need to make some changes in my life if I am really going to reach my goals. I am proud of myself for recognizing my breaking point, but I need a new way to decompress. I’m going to start right now, taking five minutes to just breathe. That will get me going again, because I am worth it, and I know I can do this.”
The only way we reach our goals is by acknowledging our limitations. By recognizing our limitations we can find the tools we need to expand those internal boundaries we have set for ourselves to actually allow for growth and change. One of my favorite Rumi poems speaks to this so beautifully; “Be crumbled. So wild flowers will come up where you are. You have been strong for too many years. Try something different. Surrender.”
So much of our stress and anxiety comes from our need to create a perceived safety by controlling situations. Have you ever heard yourself start to complain about something using the words, “should of/have.” This is because so often we hold our way as the way; the one and only way. We have a preconceived idea of how things should be, and when they are not, we go into stress mode. Finding the tools to expand our outlook allows us to relax the limitations of our ‘should’s’ so that we are able to release control and trust in life. There are many ways to have an incredible life, so don’t let your ‘should’s’ fool you into thinking you know the one and only way. Allow yourself to be expanded, to acknowledge a new possibility, and to be humbled. I’ve found in my life that the more I open, I allow myself to be, the more that is able to come in. And, the more space I give myself from a situation, the more choice I have in my reactions to it. If we are always living tightly in our thoughts, we are missing the expansive breath of creativity that is available in every moment.
When the time comes, I encourage you to call on your magic eraser to help clear your path forward towards your desires. And remember, it’s not all or nothing. So, if you are only able to partially clear your mind’s overwhelmed chalkboard, that’s still a very different place than where you started, so be proud of yourself. Certainly take a moment and recognize how amazing and strong you are for allowing these tools into your life.