An Exercise For Your Self

Approaching the shortest day and the longest night at Winter Solstice, we need to be mindful of the dividing line between darkness and light, negative and positive, and, perhaps, even good or bad.

An effective time for reflection; the end of the calendar year allows us to look closely on what has, or hasn’t, happened over past months.

Now is an especially important time to make notes, or a list, that will help us focus on what has been done, and what needs to be done.

This is an exercise for your self.

Select a piece of writing paper and draw a distinctive line down the middle (either vertically or horizontally). Select one side as dark, the other as light

On the dark side, begin to jot down the secrets, sins, shortcomings and disappointments of the past year. It could be career ambitions that did not develop, financial fortunes fallen flat, goals and plans that never materialized, unresolved relationship issues, mistakes made, unexplained catastrophes, and those concerns that kept you awake at night.

Think, now, of even the minor events and inconsequential inconveniences. Write them down. Don’t prioritize or apply any weight to a specific event or error, just fill in this section of the page with all that has bothered (or has been bothering) you.

Spell out your troubles and leave them on the page. Be reminded, be respectful, but don’t be beholden to them. Leave them where they land.

On the other part of the page, the bright side, begin to list all things worthwhile in your life, yourself, and your surroundings

Celebrate even the smallest achievements or tiny steps forward. Recount feelings and emotions; remember what you have managed to pursue or accomplish despite all the negatives listed on the other side of the paper.

Take pride in the positive.

Then find an envelope, address it to yourself, and place a postage stamp in the corner.

Hold up the freshly-formed list and tear it in the middle, right down the line.

Separate the dark side from the light, distance yourself from all the negative crap you managed to dredge up, and don’t even bother looking at it. Simply crumble up the dark list or place it in the paper shredder. If you want to add a little drama, light a match and burn the words, turn the negative thoughts into ash.*

Now take the positive side of the list, date it, fold it, and tuck it into the envelope. Walk to the post box and send all those positive thoughts ahead to brighter days.

You don’t have to open the envelope when it arrives in your mailbox. Of course you can, but you might also want to tuck the letter into your journal and wait for one of those days when life lets you down and you could use a little positive reinforcement.

Leave the negative thoughts behind and enjoy the ever-increasing lightness as we step forward to a new year.

Solstice blessings.

*please be careful when using matches

© 2018 j.g. lewis

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