The Freedom in Letting Go

A beautiful passage to think about as you start your weekend……..

“To let go isn’t to forget, not to think about, or ignore.  It doesn’t leave feelings of anger, jealousy, or regret. 

Letting go isn’t about winning or losing.  It’s not about pride and it’s not about how you appear, and it’s not obsessing or dwelling on the past. 

Letting go isn’t blocking memories or thinking sad thoughts, and it doesn’t leave emptiness, hurt, or sadness.  It’s not about giving in or giving up.  It’s not about loss and it’s not about defeat. 

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To let go is to cherish the memories, but to overcome and move on.  It is having an open mind and confidence in the future. 

Letting go is learning and experiencing and growing. 

To let go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and made you grow.  It’s about all that you have, all that you had, and all that you will soon gain. 

Letting go is having the courage to accept change, and the strength to keep moving. 

Letting go is growing up.  It is realizing that the heart can sometimes be the most potent remedy.
To let go is to open a door, and to clear a path and set yourself free.” -ANONYMOUS

Have a Great Weekend!

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What are You Holding Onto?

We talked Monday about letting go and why we feel a need to hold on to things/people that don’t serve us.  I mentioned that I thought it’s partly a result of familiarity, obligation, and/or comfort.   We start identifying ourselves with the things/people to which we associate.  Here are some common hindrances to life that we need to let go:

1.  THE PAST.  This is probably the heaviest bag we carry around our lives.  The truth is that the past is gone.  It’s over.  Any desire to change the past is futile.  Bringing the past into the present robs you of your future.  Dr. Lawrence Wilson of the Center for Development states, “Your future will find you if you let go of your past”.      

2.  EXCUSES.  We need to take 100% responsibility for our own lives.  Excuses are just another way we deny ourselves the truth.  It’s easy  to blame everything and everyone on our circumstances.  Jack Canfield talks about a great formula that addresses this: Event + Response = Outcome.  Sometimes, you create the events that lead to an outcome, sometimes you don’t.  If you don’t like your outcome, change your response.  This is always in your control.  Let go of self-defeating responses.

3.  UNHEALTHY HABITS.  They may get you through life temporarily, but often they will lead to chaos.  Make a commitment to let go of the habits that get in the way of your life.  We all need different things.  Perhaps you trade in fast food for healthier options, maybe you enlist a buddy to work-out with, or talk with your doctor about smoking or alcohol cessation.  In order to live the life you want, you have to let go of habits that hinder you from moving forward.

4.  BELIEFS AND ATTITUDES.  We all know that our beliefs and attitudes dictate what we manifest in our lives.  When we fill our minds with thoughts like fear, resentment, judgment, or negativity, that is exactly what we bring to our actions.  It actually becomes an anchor that holds us back.  I find that it’s great to have a list of positive affirmations. These are positive action words or phrases you can repeat to yourself, like a mantra, or you can post them up as a visual reminder.  I do this a lot.  When you see and hear positive words often enough, they become interwoven in your brain. 

5.  PEOPLE.  To reiterate what we discussed on Monday, we have to be mindful of the people we allow into our worlds.  When we can be true to ourselves and honest about what healthy relationships feel like to us, we will become clear of those we need to let go.

The common thread of letting go is freedom and peace.  Although, it may be temporarily painful, it’s the only way for us to keep moving, growing, learning, and easing into life’s current.  There are opportunities waiting for you on the other side.

Tuning into Your Vibrational Frequency

Each human being brings to their life a certain type of energy.  It’s called your vibrational frequency, aura, or life force.  When we come into contact with people in our lives, our energies are transferred to one another.  We can either be in sync or we can be pulled in opposing directions.  There are those people in our lives that fuel our energy – those to whom we feel drawn, excited to be around, connected with on a deeper level.  There are also those people that slowly drain our energy by bringing us down, taking us for granted, or devaluing who we are.  Essentially, the people we allow into our lives can either fill up our wellness tank or drain it.

This past week, I made the conscious decision to let go of someone in my life.  I realized, and continue to realize, that energy from this person has been toxic to my wellbeing for some time now.  Oftentimes, we confuse the brief moments of gratification with long-term sustainence.  How many of you still associate with a friend that used to be supportive but who now brings your mood down each time you talk?  Are you subjecting yourself to spending time with a family member who is constantly critical toward you or life?  Are you still  in a relationship with someone that is no longer fulfilling and depleting the essense of who you are?  Why do we hold on? 

We hold on for three reasons that came to my mind:  familiarity, obligation, and/or comfort.  As I have said in previous posts, it is so much easier to deny yourself the truth.  It’s easier to hold onto something or someone tightly, pretend that the circumstances have not changed, and go through life with a depleted energy reserve.   

Your life is special.  Your life is unique.  It is yours to live with authenticity and value.  You choose who you invite into your world.  Do those who you invite support you and lift your spirit?  Do they fuel your energy?  Letting go of the people in your life that no longer serve your best interest can be difficult.  After all, at one time they may have held some purpose and meaning.  You may have connected with them, because they had something to teach you.  Perhaps, you have taken heed to the lesson and now the energy has shifted.  It doesn’t mean you stop caring.  It doesn’t mean you love any less. But it does mean that you value yourself and your wellbeing.  It means you are true to your heart and conscientious of where you put your time and energy.  I am still learning this, along with you.

Deepali’s Piece of Wellness:   As you think about the vibrational frequencies that surround you this week, think about what sort of energy you exude to those around you.  Are you tuning into a frequency you wish to emit?  Think about the people, things, or ideas you may need to let go in order to create a clearer picture for your life.

More on Letting Go Wednesday!

Top 20 Letting Go Quotes

I came across a great list of quotes to live by.  I know that I will think of these as I move forward in my journey.  My hope is that they will provide you freedom and peace!

Top 20 Letting Go Quotes, as per Edward K Hoo

1. “When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell

2. “We can never turn back the pages of time, though we may wish to relive a happy moment, or say goodbye just one last time, we never can, because the sands of time continue to fall, and we can’t turn the hourglass over.” – Unknown

3. “Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.” — Herman Hesse

4. “One problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us.” – Michael Cibenko

5. All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” – Havelock Ellis

6. “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” – Albert Schweitzer

7. “Change is never easy, you fight to hold on, and you fight to let go.” – The Wonder Years

8. “There’s no need to miss someone from your past- There’s a reason they didn’t make it to your future” – Unknown

9. “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” – Headstone

10. “Every exit is an entry somewhere.” –Tom Stoppard

11. “True love doesn’t have a happy ending, because true love never ends. Letting go is one way of saying I love you.” – Unknown

12. “There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.” – Unknown

13. “Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.” – Ann Landers

14. “We need in love to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily–we do not need to learn it.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

15. “Every breath is an opportunity to receive and let go. I receive love and I let go of pain.” – Brenda MacIntyre

16. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu

17. “Sometimes you have to let go to see if there was anything worth holding on to.” – Anonymous

18. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

19. “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

20. “The Tao Te Ching says, When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need. Have you ever struggled to find work or love, only to find them after you have given up? This is the paradox of letting go. Let go, in order to achieve. Letting go is God’s law.” – Mary Manin Morrissey

Sweet Surrender

Sometimes, a “sweet surrender is all I have to give”, as per Sarah McLachlan’s hit song.  It is oftentimes, the best gift to offer the universe.  For some reason, we all have this sense that if we hold on to an idea, a person, an emotion,  we will continue to move forward.  I’ve found that actually the reverse is true.  We have to ask ourselves, “what are we really holding onto anyway?”  Often, it is something that has occurred in the past that doesn’t serve us in the present. It is an anchor that holds us back.  I think it is one of the most difficult kriyas that we must implement in our lives in order to fuel our happiness and peace.

I struggle with this concept a lot myself.  It’s a need for control and avoidance of pain.  It’s so much easier to just hold on tightly to something, pretend that the circumstances have not changed, and continue to live in the past.  But the result is that you suck the life out of what you grip onto so tightly, and in that process, end up holding onto something that is long gone.  You say to yourself that you miss the potential of what was and what could have been in your life.  But truthfully, the “potential” of something is different than the “reality” of it.  In order to open yourself to the beauty that awaits you in your life, you must let go of the concepts and people that do not serve you.  There is a gift in remaining present in the moment.  There is a freedom there to go in any direction.  And only then, can all the good in life  come to you and through you.  Dr. Lawrence Wilson of the Center of Development states, “Your future will find you, if you let go of your past”.

Deepali’s piece of wellness: We may have control over our sails, but no control over the direction the wind blows.  Let go and see where it takes you.

Crossing the Finish Line

finish lineThere is an indescribable feeling you have when you set your mind to something and then achieve it.  Yesterday, I felt the ultimate rush as I crossed the finish line of my 1/2 marathon.  It was pure exhiliration followed by full exhalation…..a feeling of accomplishment, gratefulness, and love, coupled with the aftermath of delicious fatigue of the mind and body.  It is a journey of giving yourself fully and wholeheartedely and then being able to relish in the view from the other side. 

I did a lot of thinking during my 13.1 miles.  As I reflected upon the many challanges I have faced in my life (as we all have), I thought about running as being a metaphor for life.  There are times you feel great and at ease, while other times you are challenged to your full extent.  There are moments of confidence followed by fear and self-doubt.  And then there are those crucial minutes when all you can do is place one foot after the next  in hopes of moving foward one step at a time, one breath at a time. 

 I realized that so many of our wellness concepts were interwoven into this run.  I was, without a doubt, exercising my mind & body throughout.  I had to be present and mindful to allow myself to have the mental and physical stamina.  I had taken the risk and challenged myself to go the distance – in more ways than one.  I felt gratitude for my health – the muscles, bones, and organs that allowed me to perform this task.  Finally, in the end, it was truly about letting go and knowing that each step was guiding  me toward my destination.      

So……how do we do this latter part?  Let’s discuss some strategies this week on letting go and going with the flow.  After all, there are countless finish lines to cross in our lives.  And each can be just as exhilirating has finishing a 1/2 marathon, if you can allow yourself to let go.  Stay tuned!

Change IS the only constant

I’ve gotten back into watching Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday nights.  This has been a decent season.  There was one episode several weeks ago that I luckily had DVR’d.  I caught myself rewinding the last 2 minutes over and over again to hear Dr. Meredith Grey’s voiceover talk about  the concept of change.  I’ve included it below:

“When we say things like, ‘people don’t change’, it drives scientists crazy.  Because change is literally the only constant in all of science.  Energy, matter – it’s always changing……morphing……merging…….growing……dying.  It’s the way people try NOT to change that is unnatural – the way we cling to what things were instead of letting them be what they are; the way we cling to old memories instead of forming new ones; the way we insist on believing, despite every scientific indication, that anything in this lifetime is permanent.  Change IS constant.  How we experience change……..that’s up to us.  It can feel like death, or it can feel like a second chance at life.  If we open our fingers, loosen our grips, go with it, it can feel like pure adrenaline.  Like at any moment, we can have another chance at life…….like at any moment, we can be born all over again”.

I thought this was beautiful, and very true.  Why is it that we resist what IS?  I am guilty of this like 99% of the population.  But I do strive to go with the flow……to avoid fighting with myself and paddling upstream.  It’s so much easier to let go……but letting go, often DOES mean to let something in you die, in order to give birth to something else.  And, like Dr. Grey stated so eloquently, we can either keep focused on the death or feel the adrenaline from experiencing a new life.