Stuck in 2020?

“Boy, what a year! I don’t want to do that again.”

Looking back . . .

Stuck in 2020? The challenges and fears were heartbreaking. Long held holiday traditions disrupted. Travel plans postponed. And postponed again. Everything seemed to be out of control. There’s a part of the brain which works like Teflon for bad experiences, and it seemed to be working overtime. But the year was also filled with love, friendship, adventure, lessons, and reflection. Here’s a simple process to help remember what was, be it positive or negative, and how to stop being stuck in 2020.

For the best results, take some time to review this past year, with all its lessons. Sometimes a good old kitchen calendar is the best way to recall earlier months, for important lessons can often be lost in a haze of “busyness.” Or a feeling of being without purpose. Or simply floating through life.

Sit down and write out all the things you have accomplished in 2020. Recall the memorable things, the heart-warming times, and yes, even the struggles and the tears. Think of the positive experiences as well as the negative, for the hard times have their lessons too.

Be grateful

Next, list what you are grateful for, from the largest to even the smallest of things. The love of a puppy. Clean air. Good water. Plentiful food. A roof over your head. The shoes on your feet. A warm jacket. Flexibility. The ability to learn. Being able to read. A child’s smile. The Internet. Rolling with the daily changes. Zoom. A breathtaking sunrise. What a list it is.

I had the motivation and energy (at the same time!) to clear out a storage unit during 2020. As I rummaged through my “treasures,” I was grateful to have a life with such abundance. The lessons I learned? To be more selective in what I stored. To revel in the happy memories that were stirred up. To donate more often.

I am also grateful for accomplishing more in 2020 than I initially remembered. If you follow through this process, you may discover, as I did, a warm feeling of well being and a sense of satisfaction.

Gather up your burning bowl

On a separate piece of paper, write all the things you want to let go of from 2020. This list can include objects (clearing out that “physical closet” of things that make you feel negative when you see, hear or touch them), habits (ones that no longer serve you), and limiting beliefs (“I’ll never be able to…”). Toxic relationships might also be part of this list.

When you’re finished with this inventory, crumple up the paper and place it in a ceramic bowl or pot. As you strike the match and touch the flame to the paper, clearly declare out loud, “I release these experiences in peace and retain all the positive learnings from each one.”

My wish for you

Make 2021 a year of promise, both for you and those around you. May you have stimulating adventures, a light heart and an attitude of curiosity as you anticipate the new year to come. Wishing you courage, joy, and laughter to experience a year filled with flexibility, growth and friendship.

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