How Do You Let Go of the Past?

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  • I watched with great interest the various shows commemorating of the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of our 35th President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Having only been 2 years old at the time, I’m a little fascinated that it feels like it means so much to me. I’m sure it has to do with the impact on everyone around me at that time, that as an energetic being, I absorbed, without even knowing what it was I was feeling.

    I know my family was devastated. My brother and I stayed with my Grandmother while my parents made the pilgrimage to see Kennedy lying in state, which Mom later captured in my baby book.

    The line was miles long and they didn’t make it to the rotunda before the casket was removed.

    I have also loved history my whole life. The story-telling, the old photos, the impact, the wisdom gained. I have traveled to more than 20 countries and the things I focus on seeing are the antiquities. Yet, I know that being too rooted in the past doesn’t serve our experiences of the now. Isn’t it interesting, in a Divine way of course, that I am passionate about helping people understand how their present realities are rooted in their past experiences.

    As energetic beings, we are always picking up signals, and as thinking beings, we are always creating meanings from them.  Many times, this process is going on in the background, under the surface of our conscious awareness. Things get lodged somewhere in our psyches, and until we consciously choose to alter the perception and meanings attached to them, those little bits of energetic experiences are silently, sub-consciously the cause to our effect.  In other words, they can control us, without us even being aware.

    Do you know what these are for you? In what ways are you being, in the present moment, something that is really rooted in a remnant of your past experiences? You can find them in your knee-jerk reactions, your auto-pilot answers, and your status quos. They can hide in your beliefs, habits, and values. If you were to do an inventory, what would you find? My clients and I have found all kinds of negative conditioning from sometimes, tiny experiences that happened when we were youngsters. Many of them were innocent and insignificant in the real scheme of things going on at that time, but the imprint was enlarged through our interpretation.

    The reprimand given in love to protect a child from harm could be interpreted by that child to mean they are weak, incapable, stupid or many other ideas. Then there are more serious situations involving trauma and loss that leave a deep groove of fear, inadequacy, unworthiness or unlovability. Over time, as that interpretation stays rooted below the surface, the child begins to sub-consciously reflect that inner idea through outer actions. And if the roots grow undisturbed, they continue to anchor the child in beliefs about him/herself from the past.

    Your best living is best done in the present. Allowing yourself to be fully in your NOW, giving awareness and engagement to who you’re being and what you’re creating, is the way to have the most fulfilling experiences you possibly can. So how do you let go of the past?  Here are the steps that are working for me, and that I teach:

    1. Know who you really are – meaning go below the surface of how you always do things and discover how those things were established as your “you-ness.” Many of us are repeating our parents’ preferences rather than pursuing our true desires. Especially find the lack and limitation thinking, the small ideas of you, the aspects that feel like they are contracting your life, or dampening your own light in your life. You can observe yourself in motion, and as things come up, go deeper into them using journaling, interviewing family and friends, or working with a coach to understand them better.
    2. Make peace with your past, first by feeling the real emotions that go with the stories. We have to be willing to heal, which requires experiencing our inner expressions of pain, shame, sadness, anger, hurt and fear. Feeling the emotions allows them to dissipate and gets them out of our energetic vibration. This is the peaceful feeling that emerges after a good cry. Then you are ready to offer forgiveness to the entire situation. Among other practices, I have incorporated the Hawaiian Ho’Oponopono prayer into my forgiveness work.
    3. Create a truer version of the story of who you are as yourself and in your life. Tell the story from the perspective of your Divine Soul Being Self – the integrated Spiritual-Human person. Align with the Essence of you to be able to transcend the ideas of the past that would hold you back or keep you down. Access the Unconditional Love that is your essential nature and freely give that to yourself and others.
    4. Keep the practices going. Make knowing, accepting, and loving you primary in your life. Let the past be the past and step into a new way of expressing and experiencing Divine Freedom.

    There are many historical events that touch our collective consciousness, and there are hundreds of perspectives on the meanings and significance of those happenings. The goal of the retrospective analysis is so society can be from free of their cause and effect in the future.  We should be as interested and active individually to reflect on our own personal histories, put things in context, and release what no longer serves us to have better experiences in the present. Let this be your call-to-action to step into your Freedom now.


    Valerie Sheppard

    Valerie Sheppard is passionate about helping people experience more happiness, success and fulfillment. Using the 4-step process she created from her own journey of personal transformation, her clients are healing past wounds, overcoming obstacles, and empowering themselves to create more vibrant lives and thriving businesses. Valerie has a diverse coaching background spanning more than 25 years, including working with teens and adults, individuals and groups. She is a certified Sacred Contracts coach and Laughter Yoga leader, and has been trained in compassionate communication, spiritual direction and HeartMath. Valerie is a 2012 nominee for both the Orange County Business Journal’s Women in Business Award, and the 2012 National Association of Female Executives Rising Star Award. She is a national best-selling author with Greg S. Reid of Everything is Subject to Change, has been published in award-winning 11:11™ Magazine, Ezine, Divine Caroline™, and The Natural You™.  Her latest book, The Happy to Be ME! Handbook, is due out in 2014.

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