Letting go is one of those concepts that gets tossed around a lot in spiritual and personal growth circles but it can be a little elusive, right? So, in my post today, I want to share with you some personal insights I’ve gained about letting go and share some tips for letting go with you.
About a year ago, I had some health issues progress to a level that made everyday life challenging. My energy became very limited and I quickly realized that I had to start getting even clearer about what was really important to me. I needed to create more sustainability in my personal and business life. My body was no longer letting me be all things to everyone, which is something I tried to do for most of my life.
The health issues, essentially, forced me to look even closer at my patterns of people pleasing and what it means to be enough.
It’s been a deep dive into my values, a reckoning with my daily choices, and a dismantling of unhelpful (mostly cultural) beliefs.
I’ve been letting go of the stories, the habits, and even the clutter that just doesn’t match anymore.
To say that it has been a great adventure would be the understatement of the year. It’s been like hell on wheels meets magic carpet ride.
There have been a lot of ups, downs, and everything in between. I’ve often felt like I’m bulldozing down the house of my heart with no plans for what would be rebuilt. Like I was stripped down to my very core and left only with open land, a wing, and a prayer. Like I washed away years of grime and gunk that filled every crevice of my being. Like I let go of things I previously thought were mine forever.
And to say that is has been hard would another understatement of the year. it was hard is an understatement.
When it comes down to it, looking honestly at our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, habits, shadows, and beliefs is hard. It’s scary and it isn’t for the faint of heart.
But, the benefits outweigh the risk every single time.
Because when we do that work for ourselves, when we look ourselves right in the eyes, we find freedom from the bonds of should, supposed to, and must. We heal from the traumas of the lie of enoughness.
And in that healing, we see ourselves as whole and sovereign. We gain confidence and courage. And the tenacity to prioritize our own integrity over being nice, or liked, or any of those other social blankets that smother the life out of us.
As always, there is more work to do. Healthwise, I still have really challenging days and a long way to go. There is more fear to transmute into trust and more messiness to transmute into unconditional love.
Everything is a path to unconditional love and compassion, after all.
But, even knowing that there are still many steps ahead, I feel more connected to myself than ever. I feel a deeper knowledge of my energetic boundaries and what it means to fully express myself in this world. I am clearer about my needs, my values, and my desire and feel even more grounded in advocating for them.
So, yeah, it’s been messy and painful. But, it’s been worth it and I am really looking forward to what will transpire from here.
I’ve learned a lot along the way so I’ve put together some tips on Letting Go.
Letting Go of Things in the Way of What You Want
Whether its your old ideas about life, your visions of beating the Jones, your calendar and to-do list, your outdated and misguided definitions of Who You Are, your marriage that hasn’t worked in decades, the clothes that haven’t fit in years, or the shoes that make your toes bleed, here are some steps for letting go.
1. Begin with a mindset of experimentation.
When we become attached to certain outcomes or are tied to expectations, that really gets in the way of being able to flow and heal. So, as you begin, think of your life as a laboratory where you are a scientist conducting tests to see what works and what doesn’t.
Sometimes, your experiment will fail and you’ll have to start over from ground zero. But, eventually, they will pass with flying colors.
2. Choose an area of focus.
When the shit hits the fan of life, it can feel like you need to totally overhaul (and let go) of everything. It might feel like you need to burn every single thing down to the ground. And, in some cases, that might actually be true. But, in most cases, that will just overwhelm you. So, choose just one thing to focus on, like the way you schedule your calendar, your sock drawer, or your habit of checking social media first thing.
Whatever you choose, be sure that it requires you to play at the outside edge of your comfort zone. If you stay inside your comfort zone, you won’t grow at all. And if you step too far out, you’ll blow out your nervous system and give up before you’ve even begun. So, play at your edge here.
3. Create a vision of what you want.
Once you’ve decided where you are going to focus, set an intention and create a vision for what you want. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a vision board, it can be as simple as a statement about what you want. The important thing is to be clear. I recommend focusing on values-driven visions, instead of things or circumstances. The things and circumstances are a natural by-product of living your values.
4. Choose to live in integrity with your vision.
One of the things I see happen, time and time again, is people waiting until things are perfect or until they are “ready” to make their vision a reality.
The truth is, that if your visions are based on your values (like I mentioned in the previous step), you can have whatever you want, right now.
You don’t have to wait until circumstances change, you can CHOOSE to live in integrity with your vision in every moment of every day.
For example, let’s say that your values are vulnerability and equality.
You don’t need to wait for outside circumstances to change in order for you to be more vulnerable and to treat others as equals. You can do that RIGHT NOW.
And when you do, life will feel immediately satisfying, no waiting. You can BE the energy you want more of and choose it, again and again. As you do that, the “outer” circumstances will start to line up, automatically, without force.
5. Notice where you get triggered or find resistance.
As you go through your day-to-day life, choosing to live in integrity with your vision, you will get triggered, meet resistance, or even self-sabotage.
A lot of the women I encounter make this mean that they don’t deserve what they want or that it just isn’t meant to be for them.
But, it doesn’t actually mean any of that. When we set powerful soul-aligned intentions, the “stuff” that is in the way will automatically show up because you need to HEAL it to transform it. That’s how alchemy works.
If you have a strong value around minimalism, you may choose to create a capsule wardrobe so that you could get dressed without stress each day. As you set that intention, you will realize that you currently have three closets full of clothes (plus some in the attic). If you freak out and give up, you won’t be able to trim down your wardrobe.
Likewise, if you are filling your days with overworking and doing, doing, doing for others and you really want to spend more time devoted to your self love practice, then, you’ll need to be honest with yourself about why you put everyone else first. Is it because you are trying to earn your worthiness? In order to let that go, you’ve got to look at it first!
Seeing the reality of your “blocks” to what you want isn’t a reason to freak out; it’s a reason to celebrate because it’s mean the healing has really begun.
6. Work through the blocks that show up.
Undoubtedly, this is the hard part.
Allow the “sticky” places to guide you here. As I said in the previous step, the places that feel triggering or emotional are the very places to heal in order to move forward.
Letting go is really about working through the feelings of doubt, guilt, and shame. If you feel guilty about getting rid of clothes that you spent “good money” on, healing the guilt is how you let go with ease. If you feel shame about taking care of yourself because you think it’s selfish, then you’ll need to heal that shame.
Letting go isn’t about getting rid of those feelings. It’s about going into them and doing your shadow work so you can HEAL them.
Letting go is a natural by-product of doing that work.
7. Bring in the things and qualities that support your vision.
As you start letting go, you’ll also want to take a close look, and radically honest look, at what you need in order to make your vision a reality.
What systems do you need to put in place to support your vision?
If you are creating your capsule wardrobe, you’ll need to know what kind of clothes you actually need. Do you need one wardrobe for work and one for your personal life? Do you need to have a better way to store out of season clothing? What do you need in order for your new wardrobe to really work for you?
If it’s emotional clutter that you’re letting go of, do you have a non-judgmental support system in place as you work through it? Do you have a journal that helps you track your insights and patterns? (I recommend this one.) What do you need in order to feel fully supported in your vision?
The key here is to be REALLY honest with yourself.
This step may even reveal more “stuff” to let go of. So, for real, remember that getting triggered doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it. It means you have wounds that are ready to be healed.
8. Rinse + Repeat.
As you live in integrity with your vision, letting go of your blocks, and bring in more of what you want, the cycle will continue to repeat itself.
This can also get some folks down because they have this idea that they will one day reach a perfect place and life will be all roses and butterflies.
But really, life is a constant invitation to let go of the things that don’t match our vision. Life is an invitation to heal and heal some more. Just like peeling layers of an onion.
So, when you get to a new layer of your onion, please don’t beat yourself up. Be compassionate with yourself and remember that this is how things are “supposed to” happen.
It’s why you’re here in this adventure called life.