Updated: Jan 1
As we move through a new month, we say goodbye to over half the year and we get an opportunity to refresh ourselves again. We may have a spring in our step to create, to achieve and to motivate ourselves to make healthy decisions. The past few weeks we have been exploring practices to ground us, postures that strengthen the legs, postures that allow us to become still amongst the chaos of life. Grounding brings us into a strong place of presence, we acknowledge that everything we need is within us, our environment is supportive and we feel safe enough within ourselves to be 'ourselves'.
From grounding in the Muladhara Chakra we now begin to move into the spacious, free spirited and fluid part of our live's and with that comes the art of letting go.
'Letting go' can feel like a strange concept to grasp as we often move through life with the mindset of 'work, work, work, get this, have this, more, more, more'. We then find ourselves surrounded by things that we don't need, things that don't fulfil us and we may find ourselves moaning that "Everything is just too much", yet we don't seem to do anything to change or break the cycle. Life has its moments where it gets busier, more manic, more stresses appear and we keep going around in this cycle of 'more is better'. We have all heard the quote, "Less is more" by the architect Mies van der Rohe, which strips back the layers to simple form and allows us to enjoy them for what they are. Nothing complicated.
Now wouldn't it be wonderful to life a simple life, with less stress and the ability to cope with everything. Well, Im here to let you know you can, it may take a while, even years to find the flow of simplicity but all we need to explore are the tools and philosophies to get there.
LETTING GO IS NOT SELFISH
First things first the concept of letting go is not selfish, it is necessary. Many times we are taught to let go of things in life, a comfort toy as a child, a lost shoe, a job we didn't get, the loss of a loved one, relationships, clothes that no longer fit! There are so many things we have all let go of over the years, somethings we feel strongly attached to, something we don't even bat an eyelid at! The sooner we accept its healthy to let go of things in life its easier to enjoy things without judgement or attachment.\
“People, chained by monotony, afraid to think, clinging to certainties… they live like ants.” — Bela Lugosi
ITS OKAY TO FEEL
When we feel emotional about things in life we are on the tipping scales, if you feel you're in need of letting go why is this? Freely feel your emotions and allow them to be your guiding path. Do you feel angry? Resentful? Betrayed? You felt as if you failed at something? Regret? There are many things that may hold us back from letting go, but give yourself the chance to feel and understand why.
Acknowledge everything, leave NO stone unturned, acknowledge your emotions, your physical body, your hang ups, your relationships, your job, your home, your goals in life. By paying attention to every factor of your life it will help you to create positive changes but also face discomforts and things you may need to let go of in order to move forward.
WRITE IT DOWN
More often than not our minds can feel very busy and thoughts, to do lists, memories and those things we are still clinging onto just end up bouncing around. One of the easiest ways to help us release things is by physically getting it out there, where you can see it. I always used to write things down, journalling is a great way of allowing you to have a good old rant, to let your mind unravel and sometimes reading it back can bring clarity. When we see things as an observer the answer is sometimes very clear, that why it's always easier to give someone advice (even if it hurts) if they're going through a hard time, because you see it as an observer. I to have had lots of advice over the years, sometimes helpful, sometimes harsh but it was all right.
Fear plays one of the largest roles in life...if we allow it to. From a young age we have the influences of parents, piers, guardians, friends, family, teachers etc telling us things that we cannot do, shouldn't do, wont achieve and highlight many things in life that a fear bound.
Fear in life is important, its a natural part of survival! BUT fear stops us from living a full life, it prevents us from reaching our full potential because we miss opportunities in order to remain safe. One of the best books I have read that helped me make a life changing decision was 'Feel the fear and do it anyway' by Susan Jeffers. Honestly, go read it.
“Taking responsibility means never blaming anyone else for anything you are being, doing, having, or feeling.”
― Susan Jeffers
FEEL INTO YOUR BODY
Our physical bodies are powerful, not only do they carry us from day to day activities but they carry (and store) stress and emotional trauma. Holding onto anger, anxiety, worry, regret and negative emotions wreak havoc on your immune system, your sleep patterns and degrade our health. Aches and pains, headaches, shallow breathing, fatigue may be little signals you're a little burnt out. Take time to rest, breathe deep and truly feel into your body. Are you carrying stresses that you no longer need to carry?
THERES NO RUSH
Although we are in the mindset and pace of life that everything has to be done in an instant, allowing yourself through the process of letting go doesn't and shouldn't be rushed. Essentially you're taking a step back from your busy life to acknowledge the things that aren't working, aren't helpful or healthy and do need gentle and quiet time to manifest the ability to create change. Remember, we ALL live life at our own paces, not one person is on the same wave length, you will know when the time is the right time and only YOU can make the next step.
So, what does it all mean? Letting go enables us to feel more in control of our life, lighter within our bodies and minds and it also allows us to be truly present within the moment. We sometimes feel over burdened with all the things we have to do just on a day to day basis, we cant even focus to reply to a text message. Then we find our minds recycling things from the past and right now, even in this moment i'll ask you to remember something that hurt you, made you feel sad, made you angry and made you heart broken... could you answer them? I bet it took seconds for you to take your mind back and for some of you, if you close your eyes you can literally relive the moment. Can you see how easy it is for us to revisit and recycle things in our mind, even from years ago? Letting go allows us to move forwards with clarity, ease. It allows us to reflect on experiences in life, to learn from them and to create positive change.
LETTING GO DOESN'T MEAN FORGETTING
Letting go doesn't mean forgetting, it just means you're creating the change you need to move forward in your life. We move through the journey of life with the ability to accept, to feel, to change and to grow.
To "let go" does not mean to stop caring,
it means I can't do it for someone else.
To "let go" is not to cut myself off,
it's the realization I can't control another.
To "let go" is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To "let go" is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To "let go" is not to try to change or blame another,
it's to make the most of myself.
To "let go" is not to care for,
but to care about.
To "let go" is not to fix,
but to be supportive.
To "let go" is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.
To "let go" is not to be in the middle arranging the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own destinies.
To "let go" is not to be protective,
it's to permit another to face reality.
To "let go" is not to deny,
but to accept.
To "let go" it not to nag, scold or argue,
but instead to search out my own shortcomings, and correct them.
To "let go" is not to adjust everything to my desires
but to take each day as it comes,
and cherish myself in it.
To "let go" is not to criticise and regulate anybody