Recapitulation – Clearing Your Mental Clutter

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come."

Joseph Campbell

My first experience of recapitulation was going to confession after I made first communion. I enjoyed the process of going to a priest and telling him what was bothering me so he could absolve me of my pain. The spiritual placebo effect of letting go made me feel lighter and less burdened. Whether you use the process described below or any other spiritual practice, we all benefit from creating a new pattern for our mind. And as our mind grows calm, our hearts feel safer to expand into new beginnings.

Create a New Pattern for Your Mind

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Recite Mantras

  • "I offer everything that happened, positive and negative, to the sacred fire. May all that was accomplished bear good fruit. May all my mistakes be forgiven. May the old karmas be dissolved." - Sally Kempton
  • I am clearing all that I do not need out of my life.

Do Your Self-Work

  1. On small pieces of paper write out every major disturbance that is holding you back. Be specific, use names, and describe situations and feelings.
  2. Repeat a mantra above repeatedly. Commit yourself to letting go.
  3. Burn these papers. What's done is done.
  4. Remain quiet for a while and enjoy a clear heart.
  5. Go out and celebrate a new beginning!

This recapitulation ritual helps us clear the mental clutter. We all have stories about ourselves, many of which are untrue and disempowering. Letting go of these thoughts and seeing them literally transform from a piece of paper to ash moves us forward more quickly. The process of cleansing the old that no longer serves you creates space to reprogram a healthier way forward.

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

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Compassionate_Calm, posted on August 25, 2015

Our community holds a 'Burning Basket' ceremony on the beach each fall. For a few weeks prior to the ceremony, a local artist selects a theme (hope, creativity, inspiration...) and designs a large basket which the community helps build. Everyone is encouraged to write messages of hope or healing or thankfulness on slips of paper and weave them into the basket. During the fall equinox, an important time here in Alaska, the basket is lit and a beautiful and cleansing fire prepares us for winter.

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