Someone once made me a t-shirt that says “Stage 5 Clinger”. As you can guess, letting go with ease happens for me as frequently as a four year old patiently unwrapping their birthday gifts.
So when I woke up in the middle of a dream where I was hanging out with my ex and his friends, I found myself feeling really uncomfortable. None of them are in my life anymore, and months ago I felt a lot of pain through that shift. I’ve had a lot of support processing those emotions and healing the pain of separation and loss. I don’t have the pangs of missing them these days, so my dream surprised me. I’m starting to feel solidly in my new life, so why now?
Life is always stretching and when we struggle with letting go, we get tied up in knots. Letting go can be one of the most powerful processes and rituals we can engage in. One of my favorite teachers often says that our exhale is representative of letting go. No shocker, I hold my breath a lot ;-).
Interestingly enough, I’ve been walking clients through a lot of letting go practices lately. I decided to engage in a little emotional cleansing myself.
Often, when we’re taking on new endeavors or relationships, we don’t realize we’re still holding on to old experiences. We try to use the data we’ve already collected. But holding onto the past emotions in our subconscious affects the choices we make in the present.
For example, let’s say you’re job searching for the next big gig. The kind that makes you tingle with excitement and a little nervousness. You suddenly remember two bosses ago and how toxic the team culture was, and how you languished in bed every morning. In response, you make listicles of all the ways you and your future boss/team should act so that you won’t have to experience that again.
There’s a tightness and a panic to that realization. Working with a coach to foster powerful realizations, owning your power, and partnering to practice negotiating for your new gig brings a lot of stability. And, if that panic comes up in the slightest, it’s a container to practice letting go.
Important Note: If you haven’t healed from the emotional residue of past experiences, then you’re not yet at the letting go stage. You have to go back and actually FEEL, process what comes up, and maybe even practice building stronger boundaries. This is an important step that can’t be skipped, because they trigger behavioral patterns. Skipping this step means still being attracted to similar situations and relationships because they are familiar and need resolution. The brain loves giving you opportunities to get to the roots and heal. Practice taking advantage of them by getting present with the residue so you can shift your inclinations.
Then trust that the important data has been logged and stored, and that you’re ready to cleanse and release.
Grab a sheet of paper.
Write down a list of what you’re letting go. Use the phrase, “I let go of….” or, “I release….” You might be surprised by what comes up for purging. The emotions, the circumstances, the memories, the grudges. Let it flow so you can let it go.
Call a friend, coach, therapist and read the items out loud. Don’t underestimate the power of being seen with what you are bringing to consciousness. There’s something deeply powerful about being seen + witnessed in our perceived brokenness. It allows us to honor our wholeness.
Yup. Emotion is energy in motion. There’s power is releasing, ripping, and breathing. Do all three.
Notice what it feels like to call them feels to the surface, share, rip and release. We don’t often give ourselves the same emotional cleanse that we do physically. Both are necessary for health + well being.
What are you releasing?
To the simple, sweet freedom of allowing ourselves to let go and come back to the present moment,