Clean Slate

First published in the Northsider, January 2015

crapI don’t know about you, but there are many times when I would like to have a do-over and wipe my slate clean. One of my teachers, Ruthy Alon, the creator of Bones for Life and Walk for Life, calls it erasing the prejudices of our body and mind to restore a state of innocence. Mmmm. I like the sound of that—a state of innocence.

Having some way to do this regularly is vastly important. This is what we are all hoping for at midnight on December 31st: the clock strikes and the dawn of a new year equals the dawn of a new day in our lives. Unfortunately, most of us continue to carry our past around as a personal cross to bear.

Here are 5 ways you can restore your innocence and start anew.

  • Letting Go Ritual. One that I like, adapted from the Inca tradition, is the burning of a death arrow. Select a stick and place into that stick, through intention or decoration, all the past junk that you are ready to release. Build a fire outdoors or in your fireplace. Reflect on the past and when you are ready, place the death arrow in the fire. Use your hands to cleanse your body with the smoke. Smudging is a very old clearing technique in many native traditions. Of course the original Inca ritual is more detailed, but make it your own.
  • Schedule a massage just for the purpose of erasing the history of last year (or month). Tell your massage therapist that it is your intention that the old will just slide off onto the floor so you can leave it behind. He/she will be very pleased to help you.
  • Energetic session. There are many forms of energetic sessions available these days: Reiki, craniosacral, Healing Touch and more. They all differ but have the same goal of restoring your natural energy flow. These deeply relaxing sessions also provide a deep reset.
  • No surprise here. This is a favorite of mine, having chosen movement as my field of expertise. More precisely, my field is about helping the brain and body release the history of past challenges or traumas and truly learn a new way of being in the world. What might that be like? I have recorded a movement lesson that you can do at home. All you need is computer access. So check it out at
  • Creative process.Our innate capacity to change our outlook through coloring, drawing, sculpting or making a collage is often overlooked. You can overcome your art-related fears by grabbing a glue stick, some magazines and a piece of poster board. Start by finding images/words that evoke the challenges of the past year. Tear them out and paste them on. Give yourself about 20 minutes maximum for this part of the process. Then look for images of what you want to bring into your life. Rearrange and glue these over top of that which you are letting go of. Put on some upbeat music, dance around a little while you do it and watch your attitude do a 360.

Voila, you are ready for 2015!


About the Author


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Cynthia is a certified Feldenkrais practitioner, a Senior Trainer in Movement Intelligence, and a co-creator of Integral Human Gait theory. By day, she helps children and adults find easier ways to navigate life challenges and thrive. By night, she is dreaming up new options for how we can all become more fully human through awareness, curiosity, elegance and action.

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