I have just finished reading (ok, technically listening to) The Legend of the First Empire Series. https://firstempireseries.com. This was a great read. I love a good fantasy book that makes me do some inner searching because it has pointed out a real life issue that could only be viewed differently in a context other than reality. Did that make sense? What I mean is through fictional situations in the book that the character has to deal with which then brings to light a way of looking at a real world issue that I have in my life.
We are nearing the end of the year 2020. I have been starting to reflect on this last year and also thinking of the plans I have for 2021. I take a day and do some life planning for the next year in the major domains of my life. Checkout https://livingforwardbook.com if you’re interested in more of that practice.
The combination of this book series and my life planning have got me thinking more of limiting beliefs and what they are in my life. For example, one limiting belief I had in 2019 is that, “I am not a runner.” So in 2020 I made a goal to run 2-3 times a week and to run a half marathon. I tried the outside-in approach of Atomic Habits to commit to doing something and eventually my thought process would change from “I am not a runner” to “I am a runner.” In essence changing who I am by what I am doing. It has worked. I still struggle to run, but I am no longer scared of it or think I am an imposter. I am a runner.
“Improvements are only temporary until they become part of who you are.
-The goal is not to read a book, the goal is to become a reader.
-The goal is not to run a marathon, the goal is to become a runner.
-The goal is not to learn an instrument, the goal is to become a musician.
This year, focus on the identity you want to build.”
James Clear, Atomic Habits
So where does that First Empire Series fit in? In Sullivan’s world there are three levels of the afterlife. In the lowest level some of the characters are burdened in the realm and every step is hard and strenuous. Yet for other characters, they are able to not only walk with ease, but are even lighter and stronger than they were in real life. You find out that the reason the characters who are weighed down is a direct correlation to their negative (limiting) beliefs. To free themselves they have to do some shadow boxing. They must address revenge, hate, fear, regret, guilt, etc. Even some things that have helped shape who they have become needed to be let go.
This has inspired me as we head into 2021 to live a life free of those burdens. To do that we must first do some self evaluating and identify them. Then we can do the hard work of letting those burdens go…forgiving others, asking for forgiveness, and even forgiving ourselves. We are not stuck the way we are. We have the agency to change.
You are where you are (don’t beat yourself up since you are giving up regret 🙂 ) and you have the ability to change course. This year I plan on “Making Room” in my physical, emotional, social, and spiritual realms to be lighter. To free me up to things I might not have had the opportunity or energy to do before.
How about you? What would be your heaviest burden? Are you ready to ditch it? What would your life look like without it?