If you've followed me for the last few years, you've heard me talk about "recapitulation" - the practice of going into your past to retrieve and heal your energy. Remembering the progress and highlights of 2019 is a wonderful tool, for sure. But, recapitulation is a bit different than just reflecting. Retrieving and healing your energy that you inadvertently left in the past helps you bring your whole self with all your power, into the the present moment. If you feel energetically tied to past mistakes, relationships, worries, and events, you've left a part of yourself there and you're missing the powerfulness of the present moment of today.
See if this resonates...have you ever experienced a new relationship where it starts off fresh and exciting and then turns into a replay of your last one? Or maybe you've said yes to a challenging new job but you keep replaying old memories of how life was at your last workplace? You may even experience this attachment to the past in less eventful ways. For example, you decide not to make changes to your routine, diet, or daily habits because you remember not following through the last time you tried making changes. It felt too challenging or not satisfying. Why go through that again?
Taking time for a yearly recapitulation practice can help press reset to your brain and make you feel fully present in your powerful self. How do you do it? There are many ways, depending on which tradition you follow. Here's just one way I found that works for me.
1. Set aside 30-60 minutes of quiet time. Have your calendar, planner, or whatever you use to keep track of things. Use a journal to take notes.
2. Look over the month of January 2019. Write down the experiences that you had. If you days were filled with work meetings, simply jot down - work meetings. But if some of those included meeting someone new or getting inspired by a new idea, write that down too. Did you connect with friends, carve out time for yourself, or continue a personal practice? Write those down.
The key is to look for all types of experiences, not just the biggies. Those large moments are important to remember but our energy tends to be sucked into everyday experiences. We forget to learn from smaller moments and reclaim our power from them. Continue doing this for each month. This will take about 20 minutes.
3. Now, under each month's list, ask yourself what feelings do you remember. We experience a range of emotions every day, but the flavor of each month shows us where we got stuck, or where we thrived, or where we forgot to celebrate and acknowledge our growth.
Maybe you chalked up your winter months to feeling lonely, but after looking at your list, you remember how many opportunities there were to feel connected. The lonely memory might be your default mode. It's time to train your emotional body to experience a range of emotions. We can start by using visualization.
4. Close your eyes and see yourself moving from one month to the next as if you were flying over your experiences. Feel the energy that you brought into each month. You're not fixated on what happened. Simply stay gratefully open to the energy and momentum that each month generated. Let your personal power and energy build as you move through each month until you arrive at January 1, 2020.
Gratitude builds powerful connections in your brain so you can feel it more often. Be grateful that you had the ability to feel all of your feelings this year. Allow all those emotions to become talismans of strength, compassion, and wisdom.
5. Open your eyes and write down whatever comes to mind. It may be a message to yourself for 2020; an intention; or a feeling you want to align with this year. If nothing comes to you when you open your eyes, don't force it. Trust in the process you just practiced. You called your power back and you are here now.
It's 2020. Welcome to the present moment!
Need more guidance with this practice? Send me a message or come to one of my classes at Breath by Breath Yoga.