(This is an excerpt of the upcoming book “New Beginnings.”)
What would you like to do with the rest of your life?
Would you like to find a perfect job or the love of your life? Would you like to write a book, move to Tahiti or buy your first home?
Really? What would you like to do?
People worldwide have rituals to make their dream come true precisely on January 1st. In Italy, people throw old furniture out of the window to make space for new things. In Brazil, people wear white, go to the beach and jump three waves for blessings. In Portugal, they eat 12 grapes exactly at midnight for good luck.
In Columbia, people carry empty suitcases at midnight in order to travel in the new year and hold money for prosperity. In Denmark, people smash old dishes to keep harmful spirits away. The Greeks hang onions at the door for new beginnings.
Many of us would call any of these traditions’ superstitions or a bunch of nonsense. However, if we do so, we may as well call our New Year’s resolutions the same. Although we don’t smash things or carry empty suitcases at midnight, our new year’s resolutions to lose weight, stop smoking, or change jobs may fit in well in the nonsense we call the rituals for new beginnings. Our ways are probably not the best.
We make a wish in our heads, some of us may write them down. And that’s is a ritual. According to research, we start our resolutions on January 1st, and by the second week in February, 80% of the new year’s resolutions fall out of the wagon.
If this describes you last year, don’t beat yourself up. Most of us never really learned how to intentionally create our lives. We were told that someone in the sky decides who gets and who doesn’t base on many rules that didn’t make any sense. We were also told that we must work really hard and we will be compensated well.
If you tried the new year resolution last year and didn’t get through March successfully, try what I am suggesting today. You have nothing to lose since your way didn’t work.
Before I begin, let’s set the seed in your mindset:
If you feel that these steps are too easy to work, they will not work. If you feel you are too lazy to write things down, you will be right. If you feel your goals are too big for this simple process, they will be.
You see, to begin this process, you only need the curiosity of a child. To achieve your desires, you must believe in your own magic. At one point or another in your life, you knew you could do anything. You felt it inside and heard it over and over. Today, let’s wake up that feeling because taking actions are good, but they don’t carry the energy to make things happen. Your feelings do.
The science behind your magic
Your brain works like a scanner. It looks for things that match your thinking. Many people’s thinking acts as an anti-scanner. They think in ways of “lacking, missing and what’s wrong. This type of thinking causes unhappy emotions. Then your brain confirms your thinking by showing you “more lack, misses and wrongs.” When we see what we don’t want, we feel even worse and begin to complain and assume that what we want is hard, impossible, or doesn’t exist.
When we think about these thoughts, we can’t see the opportunities, even if they are right in front of us.
When you feel good, your brain pays attention. When you feel bad, your brain also pays attention. Since our brains are paying attention, we must feel good feelings, so what we want can be visible to us.
To start a new beginning either on New Year’s Day, birthday, or any time of the year when you feel you need to push the reset bottom, you will need to complete two steps:
Step One: Close the Past
Step Two: Answer Five Questions
Step One – Close the Past
Part A: Acknowledge the Setbacks
We tend to live in the past. We remember the bad and the ugly so well, and occasionally we recall the good. It’s a habit. We tend to recall the painful things that happened to us because they are charged with emotions. Imagine that hurt on the day it happened. It’s the size of a small pile of sand on the beach. A few years later, after recalling and remembering, and sharing with others what happened to us, the small pile of sand had become a sand dune. Every time we recall the past, we add more sand to the wound. Remembering the past wouldn’t matter if we remembered the good things that happened to us.
To close the past, you need just a pen, paper and some quiet time. The goal is to end of past mentally, physically, and spiritually on whatever day you choose.
Begin by taking three deep breaths, stay centered by focusing on your heart center for at least three minutes. Breathe slowly.
On paper, write down all the setbacks you had in the past 12 months. Write everything that upset you, made you cry, worry, angry, or overwhelmed. Write about any disease, even if it showed up much earlier in life. Write about the people who didn’t meet your expectations, the financial struggles, the problems at work, the lack of recognition, creativity, and love. Write everything down.
Part B. Celebrate your Successes.
Once you are done complaining, and there is no other negative thought that comes to mind about the past year, now it’s time to find gratitude for the successes. Because our brain may be conditioned to find fault in life, this may take more time than you expect. Your goal is to find more successes than problems. If you found 15 setbacks, you need to find at least 16 wins.
Please do not remove any item from your setback list. You cannot fool your brain. Just take the time to find grace in your life. For example, money was short, but you didn’t run out of money, that’s a win. Perhaps your uncle Bob lent you cash; that’s another win. Another example could be you ended a long-term relationship that wasn’t working for you, but you now have more time to do the things you want to do.
The state of appreciation you feel when celebrating your past successes will help you be open and flow smoothly in step two.
Step Two: Answer the Five Questions.
The Five questions will unveil your true desires and your willingness level to see your intentions through. They are designed to open your mind, feel it in your body, and set your spirit free to trust your path.
Answer the five questions in order. Do not skip them. Take the time you need to do it.
Today is the new beginning. Now is the exact moment to begin a new phase of your life. Feel what it is like to be between the past and the future. It’s now. You already released the past, and you are about to create the future. You have a white canvas. Your mind is pure and open, and your energy is the magic brush.
I would like for you to stay away from the word GOAL. Yes, intentions are goals, but not all goals are intentions. The goal is our practical mind, and intention is deeper; it’s our heart expressed. If your goal is to earn $100,000, your intention could be to have financial freedom, which is more expansive. Having a broader goal or true intentions open yourself to more possibilities. You may earn more than $100,000, reduce your expenses drastically, or receive a home as an inheritance. Focus on the broader aspect of life.
My experience has been that when I asked this question, the first thought in my mind is something I have been meaning to give up but have not been able to do it yet. If this happens to you, please know that the process is not to punish you but to help you be clear. Before you go into that hole, look into the mindset that you need to give up. The typical mindsets that trip people up are “I’m too old,” “I don’t have time,” I don’t know how,” “I don’t have the money,” “People won’t approve it.” If you have any of these mindsets and cannot release them, check out the Truth Exercise on my website’s resources. http://www.ana-barreto.com
If your intention is to be healthy (notice that I didn’t say lose weight, although losing weight may help you be healthy), to start, you don’t have to give up sweets for good, but maybe reduce the consumption. Perhaps you want to write a book, and you may have to realign your time and watch less TV instead of giving it all up.
Sometimes, you make a decision to change, it may impact the people around you. It doesn’t mean that you will change your mind, only that you need to communicate with anyone affected by your decisions. Suppose your intention is to complete your education. In that case, it will take time and resources from your family, and they need to know that this is important to you. Instead of enrolling online at a university and then communicating, communicate your intentions, and then register.
If you decided to change jobs, move or end a relationship, making amends doesn’t mean apologizing for what you want to do. Making amends is about sharing the understanding that others will be impacted by your need to create your life.
Courage is a heart word. It’s only present when we feel fear. If your intention doesn’t scare you a little, you may not have the right intention for the path you signed up for. It’s okay to take a safer road, but that little dream of yours will be showing up every month. You can silence the voice temporarily, but it becomes louder and louder with time. It’s okay to be scared and have doubts. We are only humans. But courage exists inside of everyone.
There are ways to build your courage. It works like a muscle. Each day you will become more courageous when you practice any of these suggestions. The plan here is to pick one and practice.
Suggestion one: Meditate. Start any meditation with the intention of building your courage. You can meditate on the word courage by feeling the energy of the word. Words have power.
Suggestion two: Remember a day when you or someone close to you showed courage. Relive that moment over and over for at least 67 seconds several times a day. This action rewires your brain for courage.
Suggestion Three: Write the word courage on your body with a pen or marker. The word “Courage” has energy and will influence your energy. You don’t need to get a tattoo.
Suggestion Four: Every morning, when you wake up and every evening before bed, close your eyes and visualize yourself experiencing your intention. See yourself happy with your intention already achieved. Milk that feeling. A good and easy way to start the visualization is by asking yourself: What would it feel like when I reach this intention? Feel the feeling.
Question Five tend to cause all sorts of anxiety when people begin this process, but it doesn’t have to. You are looking for one action, not the entire journey. There is no need to see the entire 50 steps a year away, just the first.
Refrain from making long lists, even if in your head. When your energy is aligned with your intentions, you will take inspired actions. You will have days that many steps will unfold in your lap and others that nothing will happen. All you need to do is trust. By trusting, I don’t mean to go back to watch TV all day, forget your intentions or believe your old mindsets.
The answer to the question “what is the next step” will show up every time you ask when you are committed to creating the life you envision.
Somedays, the answer will be for you to wait. And you wait. This trust to wait for the next step is priceless. It’s helping build your courage and cushioning the ride for you.
My dear friend, I hope this helps you to awaken your magic and create a new beginning just the way you envision.