“Cleaning the slate” or “wiping the slate clean” is a term used to start things anew and to create the opportunity to start over without any judgments or prejudice. This idiom is very appropriate for the ending of a tumultuous 2016 with many twists, turns, and unexpected outcomes, and for just winding down in preparation for the upcoming 2017 New Year.
The importance of cleaning your slate is to recognize that what has occurred cannot be changed. Reflecting and recognizing that every experience is just that, an experience; not better or worse, will free you from the past and open you up to embracing the future. Because your future decisions and behavioral patterns depend largely on your perception of what you experienced, if you perceived your experience as difficult or a hardship, then this can lead to ingrained patterns of avoidance in the future. On the flipside, if your perceived experience is of success and happiness, this will lead to the desire of more pleasurable experiences.
The importance of cleaning your slate is to reset your mental and emotional state. Just like how your “breath” helps to reset your frame of mind by bringing you back into the present moment; making a conscious choice to clean your slate and start afresh builds resilience.
The less time it takes for you to regain balance after experiencing some disturbing news or situation enhances your resiliency in dealing with the changes of life and any stress that comes your way. Know that you always have the choice to stay “stuck in the muck” and maintain your position or take ownership of your circumstances and trust that the choices you make are inner driven. The ability to hold your position and trust in what you believe to be true even in the face of adversity or the disapproval of a perceived higher authority is essential to owning your truth.
The one thing that you have control of is how you think, feel, and act in stressful as well as calm situations. Being able to tune in to your body and know its signals of what is good or bad goes a long way in building a trusting relationship with your body and enhancing your intuition.
Right now take a deep breath in and feel if your breath is expansive or limiting. Fill up your lungs and then breathe out through your mouth. Do this a few times and allow yourself to be present and see what thoughts come through. By taking this moment to breathe, you are giving yourself the opportunity to just “be” and get settled. By taking time to breathe in moments when you are not stressed or feel the need to do something, helps you to establish a baseline from a place of balanced knowing. Establish this set point so that when life throws you curve balls, you know exactly where you are at and how much you have been pushed out of your space of ease. That way you can address what is currently going on in your life in order to get back to an equilibrated space or equanimity.
Take this time now to reflect on 2016 and decide if you want to clean your slate or not. The choice is always yours, but know that by doing so, you place a greater trust in yourself and your willingness to experience all the wonders the new year has yet to unfold. Trust your breath and body’s signals, and say with the power of your own resilency: “Look out 2017, here I come!”