The art of letting go – a fresh start to new year resolutions
I ask clients at the end of each year what they need to let go of to move forward. It’s something we don’t consider. We declutter and spring clean our homes, wardrobes, cars and makeup bags, yet we rarely think to declutter the most important space we own.
This year I decided to visit my plans for the year in a different format. I set goals daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly – well you get the picture – but the start of this year I felt the need to do something differently.
I decided I wanted to feel a certain way this year.
I sat down with this for a while and brainstormed. I walked with my dogs in my beautiful forest. I meditated a little. And the word that kept coming to me was abundance. I want to feel abundant.
Abundant in my energy. My passion. My relationships. My finances. My personal development. My travels. My nutrition. My body. And just about everything in between.
Often we are so busy in the doing, we forget about how we want to feel.
Photograph by Surachet Khaoropwongcai via Unsplash
Last year I worked hard at things. I worked hard in my business. I worked hard on my relationships. I worked hard in my workouts and nutrition. I worked hard to study and attend courses and events to learn and expand. I had a beautiful year, but I worked hard for it and as far as I was concerned, that’s the way it was ‘meant’ to be.
You have to work hard for what you want.
In a yoga practice over Christmas, I was moving through my practice when my teacher asked us to ‘soften’ into a particularly challenging posture. She asked us to be gentle and to remember to breathe. I’m less and less surprised these days how often I find answers to life’s questions in my yoga practice. In yoga when you fight hard to get into a posture your body fights back, resists, strains and fights the posture. You need to soften and breathe into it and let go of the need for it to be a certain way and honour where you are. In softening your body finds its way, like water through the rock. It doesn’t push, it flows.
For me to have an abundant year I needed to let go of the belief it had to be hard. To feel abundant I need to soften, breathe and let go. I need to flow.
And just like that, I let go.
“Often it’s the very act of letting go that allows us to expand, propel forward and ultimately get what we want”
It’s amazing, when you think about it, just how many things a woman can absorb. The need to maintain a home, a job and equilibrium within a friend and family group. Maintaining a beauty regime. Planning the shopping, collecting the shopping or booking home delivery. If you’re a mum, managing the kids and keeping them clean, tidy, fed, amused, entertained, healthy. We absorb worry, guilt, shame, regret, more worry and we wear it like a coat of armour.
Beyond the tasks we absorb, we also absorb ideas about what it is to be a woman. We build up a picture of the way we need to behave, speak, look, act – to be loved, to fit in, to succeed. Yet many of these tasks and ideas and beliefs we never think to challenge.
Often, no, almost always, these are the very things that hold us back.
What is it you need to let go of?
Photograph by Yoann Boyer via Unsplash
The fact you don’t lose weight isn’t because you don’t know what to do, of course you do. You need to eat a balanced diet, eat less, move more – it’s not rocket science (honest!). You know to be in a better financial position you need to spend less, save more, earn more or invest more wisely. Slightly more complicated in some ways, but again, not rocket science.
So what’s stopping us having all the things we want and set out to achieve?
It’s this – deep down we have a belief that contradicts what we want.
For example, an actress that suddenly earns lots of money might worry she’ll lose her friendship group because she’s no longer a ‘starving artist’ like her friends.
The woman whose friends go out and drink all the time and she’s scared her healthy eating plans mean she’ll lose her friends.
The woman who over-eats to create a physical barrier between her and potential suitors because she’s scared of being hurt again.
The woman who stays at her desk 20 hours a day because she believes hard work means hard work and that equals success and is a ticket to promotion.
The woman who is afraid a slice of pizza will make her fat and she’ll be alone forever.
We have hundreds of beliefs, complex ‘if this, then that’ scenarios, fears and unconscious concerns. They keep us stuck. They keep us repeating old, unhelpful patterns, they are the things that disrupt good intentions and cause us to trip on our way to achieving what we really want.
So instead of starting the new year pushing a boulder up the hill, setting yourself resolutions you know you won’t keep. Instead ask yourself this;
What do you need to let go of in order to truly get what your heart desires?
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