I started the year, as many people do, with thoughts of New Year’s Resolutions. I must admit that, for a variety of reasons, I am not a fan of these lists. For one thing, life is constantly changing — things happen, priorities shift — and I don’t see how a list of resolutions made in January could possibly remain relevant past February. And for another thing, I think that our Inner Critics use these lists like a weapon to beat the self-esteem right out of us.
My first resolution of the year was to find a better way to set New Year’s Resolutions.
In a fit of what I am calling ‘genius,’ I hit upon the idea that chakras were a way to do this (bear with me here). In the human body, we have seven energy centers called chakras. Top to bottom, they are:
- Crown Chakra (violet; spirit) — connected to consciousness, the bliss of divine wisdom, enlightenment, and the integration of all the chakras.
- Third Eye Chakra (indigo; light) — connected to intuition, knowingness, wisdom and imagination, spiritual vision, forgiveness, compassion, and related to our sixth sense.
- Throat Chakra (light blue; ether) — connected to communication, creativity, sound, self-expression, the inner voice, diplomacy, inter-connectedness, and the speaking and hearing of truth.
- Heart Chakra (green/pink; air) — connected to compassion, love, the desire for self-acceptance, the balance of emotions, harmony, spiritual growth, and the bridge between aspects of self.
- Solar Plexus Chakra (yellow; fire) — connected to will, power, joy, motivation, self-esteem, identity, vitality, individuality, the distribution of physical energy, and the power for creativity.
- Sacral Chakra (orange; water) — connected to relationships, sexuality, empathy, pleasure, well-being, family, polarity, and change.
- Root Chakra (red; earth) — connected to survival, groundedness, stability, trust, root support, innocence, and the desire to be in the physical world.
Looking at that list, it struck me that I could set goals for the year that aligned with each of those areas or aspects of my life. For instance, I set the goal of “Get Stronger” in line with the Solar Plexus Chakra. I may lift a weight here and there this year, but that goal is about getting stronger in all ways — standing up to bullies, fighting for what I believe, healing past hurts to increase vitality, and taking risks in order to push past limits.
For the Crown Chakra, I set the goal of “Organize File Cabinets.” I have successfully avoided this project for decades, but the time has come for me to take on my “filing system” and integrate it into my actual life. I spend an inordinate amount of time looking for things, and this seems a very un-enlightened way to live. I assigned this goal to the Crown Chakra, as I thought wisdom would come from exploring the contents of all those files AND I would really like to be given an actual crown or tiara for completing this task. You see, “taking it on” entails going through 10 file cabinet drawers and 5 banker’s boxes, shredding the papers that are no longer wanted or needed, and organizing the rest into 8 — less if I can manage it — file cabinet drawers.
A friend casually mentioned that the Swiss have traditions around this, centered on the idea that you should prepare your belongings for their eventual inheritance by your descendants. I found the idea of leaving this mess to my sons horrifying (and motivating), so I dubbed my Fun With File Cabinets project the “Death Sort.”
It occurred to me that this is the very sort of thing (pun intended) that I talk to dead people about all the time. Hanging onto things that no longer serve you is encumbering and keeps your spirit from ascending. Once you die, your spirit must let go of possessions, grudges, guilt, and shame in order to be ready to ascend. Holding onto these things keeps your spirit tethered in an Earth-bound state. Letting them go, on the other hand, not only releases the things, the process liberates you — in a big way. Burden-less and ascended, your spirit is no longer stuck lurking about people’s basements, but is free to roam the universe. In an ascended state, your spirit is also more powerful and dynamic, able to influence and protect those you love by acting as guardian and guide.
For the plethora of un-ascended spirits I have encountered in my work as a psychic medium, the most common (and I think, most ridiculous) thing they hold onto is houses. What purpose does a house serve for a spirit? Spirits don’t cook, don’t sleep, don’t wash their clothes, don’t use the bathroom — what do they need a house for? I cannot count how many spirits I have had to tell the obvious: attachments to people endure; attachments to houses do not.
For me, the most ridiculous drawer in my Fun With File Cabinets project (so far, at least….) was the one filled with medical records. Only, the papers filling the files weren’t medical records, they were medical bills — for everything under the sun, including a teeth cleaning at the dentist fifteen years ago. Yes, a few of the papers in each of the annual files were important, and I kept those. But now, what was a drawer full of ridiculous is four files of important: two medical archive files (10 years each) and two “active” files for last year and this.
I must admit that the farther along I get with this project, the freer I feel. I have gone through the 10 file cabinet drawers plus one of the banker’s boxes, and am on track to fit everything in my 8 drawer target with a bit of wiggle room to spare. And I feel better. Lighter. More in control and command of my papers than ever before. The files and file drawers are labeled for my inheritors (no longer in shorthand codes that only I understand….), and I feel like that tiara is almost mine.
It has taken a long time for me to come to terms with the fact that hanging onto too much stuff keeps us from being our best selves — in this life AND in the afterlife. From a place in the midst of my own project, I can say that a “Death Sort” is a good and necessary thing. It is good to visit one’s past and to let go of the stuff that is no longer wanted or needed — both physically and emotionally — and to be able to find the good and the needed without searching everywhere for it.