LET GO OF THE PAST
With the festivities of the new year behind us, are you returning to old habits? In his New Year, New Start meditation on Equinox+, HeadStrong creator Michael Gervais suggests a mental “fire ceremony” in which you visualize yourself leaving behind the parts of 2021, and even parts of yourself, that no longer serve you. Here, he walks us through how to build a transformative fire inside—to ignite, purify, and release.
- Get comfortable and close your eyes.
- Visualize a tiny flame burning just below the navel.
- Place your hands under the navel so you can feel this ball of fire and warmth burning.
- Now, add a little bit of oxygen to this fire by breathing deep into the belly, filling up, and exhaling, letting the belly fall back toward the spine.
- Keep that deep breath going for a few more rounds, stoking this transformative blaze.
- Next, bring to mind something that you want to leave behind. In your mind, write that thing down on a piece of paper.
- Feeling the weight of that slip of paper, visualize yourself passing it into the flame. Watch as it catches fire and begins to ignite.
- As this former part of you burns, see if you can notice a bit of smoke coming up out of the fire. Visualize that smoke revealing the image of something new you might be bringing into the new year, something that you have just made space for.
- Continue this exercise with anything else you want to release as we leave this year behind.
BE TRULY PRESENT
“As you head into a clean slate filled with potential, remember: To live a life of presence is to live a life of contentment,” says Katey Lewis in her Be Here This Year HeadStrong meditation on Equinox+. “This meditation is less about achieving and accomplishing, and more about the moment we're actually living now. This year, let's be here.”
- Close your eyes and become aware of the sensations of breath flowing through your body.
- Spend a few moments observing your physical body. Sense fabric against your skin, the temperature of the air that surrounds you and the sound of your breath.
- Within this space you've created, invite an older, wiser version of yourself to come forward. This version of you has lived a full life. They have experienced great wins and losses, they have made mistakes and recovered and learned from every one of them.
- Allow them to offer you some wisdom on what really matters most in this life. What might this older version of you tell yourself, right now? What is truly important? Take a few moments to listen for whatever you might need to know as we begin to navigate this new cycle.
- Thank this wise version of you for sharing their wisdom.
- See this image dissolve as you return your awareness to your body, your breath, and the space that you're in.
LOOK (MINDFULLY) TO THE FUTURE
“One of the pitfalls of making New Year's resolutions is the externalization of it,” says Gervais. Resolutions are often things outside of ourselves, like losing weight or finding the perfect partner. Instead, he encourages harnessing the brain’s process of selective filtering by generating and maintaining the feeling you’d get if you already achieved your goal or possessed your desire for the upcoming year.
This is distinct from manifestation which may be oversimplified, Gervais notes. “By marinating in the sensation of how you want to feel, you’re telling your brain ‘this is what I want to achieve. This is the feeling that I want to prioritize.’ With all the noise and all the choices that we could make, this helps your brain start to understand and highlight the choices that will take you closer to that feeling.”
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