By Jasmine Marie. Photography By Deun Ivory.
As we begin to look forward to all that 2019 can bring, there may be some of us still grappling with the mental, emotional and physical baggage of experienced disappointments in 2018. As every season doesn't come bearing the ripest fruit - how do we detach from those narratives and subconscious fears that have formed from doing the work -i.e. setting the intentions and taking necessary steps - and navigate the disappointment and baggage of intentions not going as planned?
When it comes to manifestation and intention-setting, I'm a firm believer in these tactics. I'm quick to rationalize what comes from things not working out the way in which I've planned them. Didn't get that client? Well something better is on the way! Had to let go of that relationship that no longer fits what I want and where I am in my journey? Well this empty space can provide the container I need to hone in and cultivate new gifts and a better relationship with myself and others! And so on.
And yes — I totally agree all these things are true.
But what about the more heavier things that didn't go as planned? After investing the time, energy, and resources into that business that left you with debt and baggage about taking leaps of faith?
Dealing with that miscarriage that initially provided you with such hope and joy and now has you navigating a heavy path filled with grief?
There's no easy consolation one can express after someone has had those experiences. I truly think it goes into the bigger bucket of uncertainty and the reality that when it comes to reasoning why…at times, no one really knows.
Do I believe that it all adds up to the bigger picture? Yes, I do. But that fact doesn't take away from the very real and human experiences we feel after dealing with such disappointments.
So how can we navigate these realities with more compassion and understanding and move forward in 2019 with the space to begin again?
As an "only preaching what I'm practicing" believer, below are a few ways that have helped me see the infinite possibilities again.
Acknowledge the intentions you set and the actions you took. Regardless of the outcome, it took a lot of courage to act on your idea, intuition, or desire. The fact that you did means you can trust yourself that you are capable of doing it again. You can begin to acknowledge that because you've once held the feeling of and acted on hope in your body —it’s possible to experience it again.
2. Give yourself space to experience the disappointment. Grieve. You know that example of debt coming from a business I used earlier? Yep — that's me. A year and half of sewing my resources and hoping and believing led to me closing the doors and carrying some debt from my 2nd business (which held a bigger weight coming off the success of my 1st business). However, it opened a path into my current spiritual-based practice, exposed me to new gifts and strengthened the ones I was already aware of. So affirm that it sucks. Yes, this didn't go as I wanted it to and it doesn't feel good right now. When we acknowledge the feelings in our body that crave attention, they naturally start to shift and flow on their own. But we can't experience that relief until we acknowledge and grieve first.
3. Release yourself from the chains of figuring out what the lesson is early on. Building upon point #2, often when undesirable outcomes happen, we're immediately pushed to try to uncover the bigger picture. I'm a firm believer that the lesson will naturally unfold as it's meant. Right now, your responsibility could very well be tending to your emotions and what your body needs in order to gain the strength and courage to move forward again. Staying present with whatever surfaces will carry you right where you need to be.
4. Match any upcoming fears when embarking out on faith again with a countering fact. One of the biggest mental hurdles has been shedding the memories of disappointments when walking in faith again. I could feel the push to step out with my third business even more heavily when "safer routes" began to collapse from under me. Though the fears brought evidence of past "did not go as planned" events - a friend reminded me to confront each specific fear and respond to it with a corresponding fact. "Yes — that business did not turn out as I intended but now I have all this knowledge to do it again - smarter and with more clarity on my direction and next steps. I am not at the same place I was in the past." Often times we're encouraged to ignore our fears but when we inspect closer, they're just popping up to keep us safe. We can thank them for trying to "protect us" then remind ourselves of our truth in the moment.
In general, this life we live comes with its share of ebbs and flows, detours and surprises. Being mindful is more about showing up to the present moment with compassion and a listening ear vs. "being positive" and trying to conjure an emotion deemed so when it's just not there. Showing ourselves more kindness and compassion with the journey we had in 2018 will make more space for all that we wish to experience in 2019.
Wishing you a fruitful, aligned new year filled with so much ease!
With love and gratitude,
Jasmine Marie is a breathworker, mindfulness practitioner and founder of ‘black girls breathing’ and ‘adulting with ease.’ She's passionate about making wellness practical and accessible, especially for black womxn. You can follow her / her work on IG: @thatgirl_jmarie and @blackgirlsbreathing and Twitter: @thatgirl_jmarie.