The day I understood everything, was the day I stopped trying to figure everything out.
The day I knew peace was the day I let everything go. ― C. JoyBell C.
When you think of the phrase ‘letting go’, it conjures up all sorts of images, thoughts and feelings don’t it?
Freedom, free falling, a sigh of relief, moving forwards, uncertainty – all kinds of things. Learning to know how and when to let go has been a big one for me. Letting go ultimately enables me to stress less, sleep more, feel free and just ‘be’. It also brings up fear and uncertainty but for me, that’s much better than the stress, angst, and anxiety of clinging on.
The thing about letting go is that in today’s society we’re not really conditioned to embrace it.
It’s all about being proactive and making stuff happen. Also, as someone building a business, there are many things I need to do and goals to achieve and ‘letting go’ doesn’t really support that notion of work, work, work until you succeed! However, what I have found – in all areas of life actually, is that by letting go you let in all the things that in some weird, mystical or mysterious way, work for you so that all that graft doesn’t feel quite so much like the ‘sweat, blood and tears’ we apparently need to endure to get things done.
…a lot of letting go to do
In the past few weeks, I’ve had a lot of letting go to do!
Firstly I’ve gone through a lot of stress with a past relationship ending. There have been recent repercussions and people getting involved that shouldn’t be involved – the usual dramas.
In the past, I know how all of this has led to sleepless nights, tears and stress with me endlessly trying to argue my point to no avail. So now, I need to let it go. Whether or not the drama continues, I just accept it and do nothing. Simple as that.
I experienced a truly awful date last week. It was so bad. It meant a journey to and from London for a painful hour and a half drink with a man who was arrogant, insulting and just all around unpleasant. Instead of getting wound up by it, I jumped on the tube laughing to myself. It was an experience. It’s a story. And……oh, actually, I can’t think of any other pros to that particular evening, but the moral of the story has I let it go!
I didn’t manage to do my full workout at the gym this evening because the roof was leaking and this meant there wasn’t as much space for my mat. Oh well, never mind. It was a slightly wasted journey workout wise, but I had a brilliant conversation with a fellow gym goer, which made up the time and led to the start of a new connection with someone.
I don’t really know what my future looks like, but that’s OK
I still sometimes worry that I’m nearly 32 and I don’t really know what my future looks like in terms of marriage and a family. But that’s ok because our wants, dreams, and goals are constantly evolving and changing. There isn’t one path and I’m merrily meandering my way down the ‘let go’ one in regards to this too.
I’ve also had to go a lot when it comes to building my business. Especially when it comes to comparing myself to other people in my industry doing amazing things. There are some incredible coaches out there with super shiny websites, growing email lists and snazzy programs that bring in revenue whilst they sleep.
It’s easy to get anxious about thinking I should be doing what they are doing because that obviously equals success, right? No. I had to let go of that because I want to be real, unique and build my business in a way that feels right and natural for me. I have to let go of thinking I should do ‘this’ and must do ‘that’.
My business is my passion and I want it to be my passion that drives it. I’m working hard and putting the time in absolutely! But I’m going with what feels good. I’m trying to reach out to an audience who gets me and wants what I offer and write what I feel compelled to write about. I’m letting go by giving myself permission to do this.
There are all sorts of both important and trivial things I’m learning to take the ‘let go’ approach to. The way I’m looking at it is if something has happened that didn’t go my way or as planned, it’s happened and there is absolutely nothing I can do about that.
Letting go isn’t about ignoring – it’s just not letting the stress take over and doing what needs to be done (or not done) to then make the best of that situation. To not let stress be the driving force behind the action or inaction.
The main thing I’ve learned…
I think the main thing I’ve learned is that by letting go, you actually get to the core of who you really are and what you want.
When you let go of what you think you should do or stop working so hard to force or manipulate a situation that just creates stress and anxiety, there’s a sense of feeling so free.
You’re making space for the right things, people and situations to come in. And honestly, sometimes doing nothing can be the best thing!
When you try to control things it can seem like an endless fight. I’m definitely not saying you should just sit and watch Netflix in bed all day every day and not do anything but this act of letting go of things that aren’t serving you or creating bad feeling really is the key to freedom and moving forwards.
I think a great quote by Thich Nhat Hanh, which beautifully summarizes this, is
“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.”
Photo by Lara Cores
Originally published: 10 June 2014.