Search

Arrow Tip #36: Bury the Dead and Celebrate Life



As I write this it's New Year's Eve. I've never been one for New Year's Resolutions. I think if you're going to do something....just do it. But I'm big on metaphorical ceremonies. Every year I pick a word that embodies what I want to focus on for the following year. My word for 2022.....LIFE.


One of the things I try to help people do is create a new version of themselves. (See Arrow Tip #25). But in order to embody a new version of you, you must die to the old version. That means no longer giving energy or life to the YOU that you want to leave behind. Rather, you need to bury it.


In practical application, we keep things alive by giving energy to them when we continue to think about what we don't like, want, or wish would change. We give life to the old self by worrying, ruminating, or gossiping. We wish things would get better all the while talking about how bad things ARE. Things can't change unless we stop focusing on what's NOT working and focus on what we want to create. The only time we should pay any attention to what we DON'T WANT is when we use it as a launching pad for change. But that's it. Don't stay there. If the focus remains there then there's no movement forward, just more of the same. Stop telling the same unproductive stories of what is and what has been. (See Arrow Tip #5). Stop complaining about what's not working for you. Let the old version die by no longer breathing life into it. This is how change takes place.


Give energy to the new and improved version of you and your life that you desire. Every Arrow Tip has action steps to direct you. It may be helpful to reread some of these tips for specifics, but one of the best ways to do this is by focusing on what you want AS IF you already have it. This is not delusional thinking. This is staying true to a prototype that exists in your mind first, thus allowing the brain to find previously unseen opportunities and ways to achieve your goal. Start celebrating the life you want by being grateful for things you have now and things you are focused on having.


So, today I'm sharing my little New Year's ceremony that can be done ANY day of the year or any time you want to make a grand statement to your mind that you're ready for things to change. I symbolically bury the dead (the old version of me or parts of my life I want to change) and I celebrate my improved self/life I'm working on embodying for the new year.


 

MY CEREMONY:


I printed out a recent picture of myself. All around the photo, I wrote the things I want to let go of from my life for 2022.....things I want to change.....things I wish were not part of me or my life anymore. Next, I burned the paper......ashes to ashes and dust to dust. I told myself this version of me and my life is now dead and gone. I thanked that version for helping me to grow. All the things that felt hard and difficult helped me become better. I'm grateful. But I don't need them anymore. I took the ashes and I buried them in the ground next to one of my favorite trees. Then I chose an item as a symbol (a small stone...but you can choose anything) that represents the 2022 version of me. I put it where I would see it every day. It's meant to remind me to celebrate the new life that I'm in the process of creating. It will continue to grow daily as I feed and breathe life into it by focusing on it.


I know there will be times I may revert back and give attention to the old version/story that I'm in the habit of telling and feeding. But all I have to do is remind myself that I buried that story on Dec. 31st. Eventually, without any air, that thing will give up. The old self will be dead and the new self will gain momentum and more life.


Out with the old and in with the new! Don't wait for New Year's to do this. Do it with any old stories you're tired of. Write a new script for you and your LIFE.


 

ACTION STEPS:

  1. Print a photo of yourself.

  2. Write down all the things you want to change.

  3. Burn the picture/paper and thank that old version for allowing you to grow and see what needed to be changed.

  4. Bury the ashes and consider this dead and GONE.

  5. When that version tries to resuscitate itself, remind yourself it's already buried. Don't dig it up.

  6. Start breathing life into the version of you and your life that you desire to be, have, and do.

  7. Remember this is a process. The bigger the body the harder it may be to bury. But when it's dead...it's dead. Only YOU can bring it back to life. DON'T.


*Remember: YOU ARE UNSTOPPABLE.