Letting Go of the Past

Letting Go of the Past.

From Sally Kempton…

I have often celebrated the New Year by making a list of my intentions for the year to come—writing down what I want for myself, using affirmative language, and—of course—making it all sound yogically kosher: “In the year to come, I’ll serve my students with joy. I’ll experience abundance in my spiritual, emotional, and material life.” Stuff like that.

The reason for such an exercise is simple: Making an intention is like taking aim or pointing your arrow at a target. If your intention is clear enough, it gives a focused direction to everything you do, and you find yourself making choices that naturally expedite the journey toward your goal.

But simply setting your intention isn’t a foolproof way to make your goals come true. If hidden reservations or unconscious agendas lurk under the surface of your psyche, they can sabotage the arrow of your intention. Then it won’t fly straight. That’s true whether your intention is to attract the perfect partner, to expand your business, or to go deeper in your yoga practice. So, at the beginning of an intentional process, it’s important to face your own reservations, feelings of not quite deserving what you think you want, or simply unprocessed emotions.

The key is a process called “recapitulation,” or a formal looking back at the greatest hits and flops of your recent past. In this process, you bring to mind any baggage you’re carrying and anything that could subtly stand in the way of your intention.