The short answer is that I’d wager it has taken much longer than a year to build up the stressful patterns that affect you on a regular (or occasional) basis. Stress and stuff doesn’t grow overnight, and releasing it takes time: time to rewire the brain that goes into fight-or-flight; time to soften resistances; time to grow new habits that feel really good and create lasting change.
Taking one year to gently tend to our physical, mental, and emotional attachments (and discover the spacious goodies that are hiding beneath them all) seems like a small price to pay for what we gain in return. The benefits of taking one minute to support and nourish ourselves – consciously and daily – are beyond measure.
The longer answer (best summed up in my Preface copied below) is that A Year to Clear comes field-tested. And it works.
A Year to Clear was an audacious idea that began as a series of questions: Is a yearlong approach to clearing (our stress and our stuff) too long? Will readers be open to the concept of clearing as a journey, like a hero’s journey or a pilgrimage that guides them through the peaks and valleys of their homes and hearts? Is it possible to make a difference in the interior space of human being in just sixty seconds?
In a culture of short attention spans and quick fixes, I had no idea if a book like that would, or could, succeed. Would my slow drip method be too light to create significant and discernible traction? Would readers lose focus, peter out, and wonder, in the words of Gertrude Stein, is there a there there?
So I tried it online as an experiment: I created a 365-day course called “A Year to Clear What’s Holding You Back!” that launched on DailyOM on December 31, 2013. Participants would receive an inspirational message in their inbox every day for 365 days. Now, nearly 3,000 people signed up to go on this journey with me.
As the year progressed, I was encouraged by what people were sharing in the comments section. Unsolicited postings like these made me think that my idea wasn’t so crazy:
“I have stuck with this for 40 days and, for once, have not burned myself out with go-go-go. Just drip-drip-drip. Nice!”
“Not a whole lot . . . YET . . . has changed in the house, but OMG!!! I so know stuff has changed INSIDE ME! I can feel it, sense it, realize all that I am doing that I’ve not done before . . . Not frantically, but steadily moving in a FLOW.”
“Someplace along in the 80s lessons, I started to clear and things are just flying out of my house.”
“I am loving your daily writings; it gentles me in an enlightening way.”
“Am I still resisting? God, yes! But the attitude about clearing has noticeably changed from ‘I HAVE to clear this ALL up or I’ll feel lousy’ to ‘I DESERVE to live in a peaceful place’ to ‘Hey, I think I’ll create a delicious feeling of calm and order for myself.’ . . . The Joy is in the Journey!”
“I have been charting my blood pressure for some time and was concerned because it was often higher than 130. The last two weeks it has been around 120. Am I clearing the Stuff? I know that I am going more slowly . . .”
“[This] has blown to smithereens the cliché “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!” I feel the walls of my OLD self crumbling down in a new way.”
“Stephanie, I have gained so much from this over the past 11 months that I am going to be lost without you in the New Year. I’ve loved your Slow Drip method that has actually worn its way into my consciousness day by day.”
“At the beginning of the experience, I didn’t know how this could work. [Now,] I am about 10 lbs lighter. The lessons made it easier for me to try small changes that let me slide into new ways of being . . . [and] I’d never have remembered all those feelings and thoughts without the journal.”
“I am starting this over not because I didn’t get it. I totally did . . .I can’t imagine a life without checking in. This can’t be the end!!!”
Testimonials like these put to rest any question that nourishing ourselves on a daily basis is powerful stuff—and the unexpected benefits continue to reveal themselves in wondrous ways long after the changes have been made!
Many participants were thrilled to learn that I was creating this book, which, in case you were wondering, is not a carbon copy of the course. Thanks to that experience, and your comments and feedback, the program has morphed and expanded. The book has many more features than the daily emails, including personal stories, practical tools, and inspirational wisdom—double the content from last year’s course.
While there’s more content, the spirit that infuses these 365 messages remains the same, summarized by my five S’s: slow down, simplify, sense, surrender, and self-care.
I love this book, and I hope you’ll love it too. Together, we’ll learn what it means to clear at a deep level, where spacious detachment rules and awareness changes everything. Enjoy the ride!
Stephanie Bennett Vogt
–Excerpted from the Preface of A Year to Clear
Hierophant Publishing © 2015 – All Rights Reserved
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