Navigating your late 20s, Part 2: clearing the slate

I’m officially on maternity leave and in honor of the up-coming birth, and to make life a little easier, I’m reposting some of my old material here.  I originally ran this post back in 2010, but many of you may not have seen it.  I think its worth another look!

This article is part two of a three part series on Saturn return: the period of transition between the ages 27-30. Click here to read part one, and learn more about what your Saturn return means. In this article we will talk about the process of clearing away things that you’ve out-grown, or that are no longer good for you. Since the Saturn return is a turning point, it is necessary to clear some of the old stuff away, before you can be ready for new things in your life.

If you are in your Saturn return, the process of clearing out old stuff has probably already been happening on it’s own. The most obvious way it might be showing up in the feeling that things aren’t working anymore. Your standard methods for coping, and getting your needs met, seem to stop working for you. Maybe its a job crisis, and you find yourself sick of working the same dead-end jobs you have been surviving on since your early 20s. Maybe you find yourself in what is supposed to be a good career, but totally burnt-out and uninspired. Maybe the techniques you have used to cope with the emotional scars of your childhood are finally catching up with you. Maybe your relationships and friendships all seem to end in the same way. Whatever the reason, life just doesn’t seem to work anymore. You can keep trying the same old methods, and chances are you’ll keep getting the same results, or you can use this time to re-evaluate and take stock of your life.

Ask yourself what isn’t working. You don’t have to know what you are going to do about it yet, you just need to know what isn’t working. In fact, often not knowing how to change something is what keeps us from being ready to let it go. But here is the secret, you don’t have to know what is coming next in order to aknowlege you are ready to let something go. It might be a good idea to get some good perspective on this part, either from a counselor or a trusted friend. Often, others can help us identify what our repeated patterns are, and what we might need to get rid of. We might be too close to the issue to be able to see it clearly.

Let go of your limits: What are the stories that you tell yourself about what is not possible? What hopes and dreams do you carry that you tell yourself you just can’t have? There are lots of reasons we tell ourselves that things can’t work: money, fear, or the fact that we’ve never seen it work before. Chances are, that a lot of the limitations that you carry with you came from your childhood. During this transition you have two choices: take these limiting ideas with you, or let them go. I’m not saying it is easy, but think about it this way: the universe is handing you a tremendous opportunity to reinvent yourself, what kind of person do you want to become: someone who is daring, courageous and able to live out their dreams, or someone who is scared and stuck by the limitations in their own minds?

Let go of old ideas you hold about yourself that aren’t true anymore. We all have stories around about who we are. Some of them were given to us by our family, some we invented ourselves. Make a list of all the things you often tell other people about yourself. It can include serious things or silly things. Then go through the list and really examine the things that aren’t true about you anymore. Write down a new list of things you are ready to let go of about yourself, and release it using one of the ideas listed below. Keep a record of what you released to review later, (we will come back to this idea of self-concept in part 3 of this series.)

My tried and tested way of releasing old patterns is to set my intention, and use ritual. A simple way to do this is to write down what you want to release, find some quite private space, and safely burn your list. You can be creative, and make up your own ritual by releasing something into flowing water, burying it, or letting the wind take it away. (Please remember to make sure anything you release into nature is biodegradable) It sounds too simple, but intention setting can be a powerful way to send a strong message to your subconscious that you are ready to move on. Before you do it, be sure that you are really ready to let something go. I always recommend waiting a few days between writing the list and burning it. Get some perspective on how this pattern/relationship has helped you in the past. Its always easier to let something go with an feeling of gratitude rather than anger. You adopted this way of being in the world to get you to where you are today. Even though it doesn’t work for you anymore, there was still a time when it was helpful to you. Letting things go with gratitude is a way of practicing self-acceptance and forgiveness, this makes the transition into something new much smoother and easier.

I’ll say it again, it is not easy, but you can do it. Start with what isn’t working, and get rid of it. Dealing with issues from your past that are too much for you to handle alone? You may need some help:

Counseling can be an excellent way to change emotional patterns that aren’t working anymore. See the links section of this website for some great counselors in Portland.

Acupuncture:
In Five Element acupuncture we have several treatments geared specifically towards releasing old patterns. These are called Dragon Treatments. They were used in the past to deal with what was once termed ‘possession’. When we talk about it today it sounds mideval and antiquated, but think about if you’ve ever felt so affected by something that it seems to be ‘haunting’ you. These are the types of situations that Dragon treatments can be most effective for. You can be haunted by an event, a relationship, something from your childhood, or simply an emotion like anxeity that you can’t seem to get rid of. Dragon treatments are a combination of 7 p0ints on either the back or the front of the body that help to clear the way so that you can begin moving-on from past events. They are not miracle treatments, often when an event is that significant it takes time, thought, and real work to heal from it. Dragon treatments can be the first step towards that healing, and I often think of them as getting the door open, so that we can clean out the rubbish.

Whatever your method, clearing the slate can be a great way to get you through your Saturn Return. In part 3 we will talk about setting intentions to build the kind of life you want to see yourself living in the future.

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Allison Carr

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