Creating clear space in life is something monumentally important. I talk about it constantly. And I’m living it daily, now more than ever.
It’s not always as easy as it is simple, but it’s always rewarding in ways you can’t always see until you’re willing to take the leap and go through the process.
The great leap? Having faith that without the ways you’re used to living that you’ll still be OK.
We’re creatures of habit, and even bad habits are like a favorite blanket. They’re familiar. We see them and we know them, and even if we aren’t thrilled with them, they often rival the idea of the vast unknown that’s… unknown.
One thing that stops people in their tracks on the vast road of letting things go- myself included- is that the undefined and vast unknown is very scary to embrace.
Not wanting to face the unknown shows up in my experience over a decade (and a lifetime) as fear, confusion, regret, a refusal to detach from stuff, looking to the past for comfort… making excuses, holding onto the devils you know…
It also shows up as numbness, stuckness, over-thinking and feeling totally confined by circumstances…
I mean… if you let something go and nothing immediately shows up to fill that space… what if you’re sorry you did it? What if you live with regrets? What if you shouldn’t have made that move? What if those dresses can’t be replaced?
But… if you can get past this mess of attachment… everything becomes lighter, easier and more open. Really beautiful things come in when you decide to stop holding on too tightly to things, especially the things that are unbearably heavy and overwhelming.
Letting go is so vast and nebulous sometimes, taking so many forms. There’s a letting go of things you once thought defined you to make room for a new way to be. There’s a changing of priorities and neural (brain) pathways. It’s choosing to thrive versus choosing what you’re used to choosing that might not make you thrive. Clearing closets, clearing habits, clearing mental patterns, clearing emotional trauma…
There’s a clearing of the air energetically that can lighten up life so much the freedom can be disarming. Literally, I’ve seen a few people over the years burn sage and do some big energetic space clearing at home and feel so free that they freak out momentarily.
I mean, with all this freedom, do we have a place to hide, procrastinate, make up reasons why we can’t do things… ?
Nope. And that’s part of the reason why I’ve heard and observed that things can be comfortably stuck and numb.
As I’m finshing a personal opus of a “negativity detox” program that’s been burning in my mind for four years now, filled with all the progressive ways to let go and lighten up all of the life-negating stuff every one of us has in some way. There’s that one thing- one big theme- that comes up over and over again, something vital to letting things go that are toxic or just not needed:
Having faith that a great life is possible. A great life that you deserve.
Nothing’s perfect, nothing is without challenges, you know? But the harder it is to let go of the toxic stuff that ills us, the more I see the ways that this faith is lacking.
You can actually have a great- & free, love-filled, thriving, prosperous- life.
It might just take some letting go.
Recently, I went to do some massively progressive brain re-wiring, because, of course, it’s my job as well as a thrill ride to immerse myself in all these modalities of positive change. I get super-geeked-out to find a new process that works that I can share with my clients and friends. I went in to see a woman who was so highly recommended for her change-making processes with a set agenda. I wanted to “add” so many new beliefs to my brain in a powerful way: beliefs about the potential I have to make things, the ease of working in the ways that I work, the clear pictures of a future I envisioned. I had a list, I did the research, I felt so great about it all that I couldn’t get to her office soon enough.
And here’s what happened:
I ran in, ready to go. I was so open, so focused and so prepared. Smiling, beaming, ready to go.
As a very skilled, very wise, very adept practitioner of her craft, she wanted to talk to me first.
She sensed in my urgency that I was trying to skip over something. It’s the same feeling I get when a client wants to dramatically overturn a house and a life instantly, with no timeline but right this very second. I now understand viscerally why my clients can push back at me vehemently when I suggest we go slower. I begrugingly sat down to talk, sensing all the time I would lose in this talking…. Ugh. It wasn’t what I wanted but if we could get through this talk fast, I’d get the rest done.
She asked, very simply: “What do you need to let go of?”
I started crying.
Very few people ask the person who helps people let things go this question… and I sort of crumbled. Not at all what I expected.
Instead of doing “my agenda” of new stuff, we started by taking steps to let go of the things I needed to let go of.
For a week, I cried. And then more. And more.
I started to regret letting go of stuff and wondered if I could take it back and hold on and go backwards… And, instead, I just kept crying.
When the tears stopped, I understood that it’s a universal condition to not want to let go of things. I read articles about women and men both spiralling into deep depressions because they couldn’t let go of broken relationships, people stuck in grief that isn’t completed of loved ones that got stuffed away and masked with addictions, artists who couldn’t let go of the self-destructive ways they thought they had to work in order to be brilliant…
Letting go can feel like giving up your life.
It did for me. It was scary. The light part didn’t seem to come very fast.
But, soon enough, it started to feel like a much more clear world greeted me every morning. Almost like I got new glasses. It was an adjustment period- just like new glasses- to see things freshly. It takes time, often more time than self-imposed timelines suggest that it takes.
There’s some grief involved very often if you’ve really needed to create space to thrive. It doesn’t mean you’ve made a mistake in letting go.
We attach outselves to things, ideas and people in ways that may seem beautiful but often haze over things too painful and confusing to address.
That’s the best stuff to let go. That’s the life-changing stuff. It’s also the toughest stuff.
There are ways to make that grief easier- or at least bearable- if it hits you. You can find groups, councelling, keeping journals, taking walks and experimenting with nutrition all a great help. Crying is a great help. Staying productive is a great help. Sleeping is some of the best help I’ve found because it literally helps your brain and energy systems recharge and rebuild.
There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution to this except… surrender.
Remind yourself even if you don’t fully believe it’s true yet that you deserve a great life, and that means that you deserve to live without junk, mess, clutter, abuse, self-abuse or anything less than a great life. It might be a huge road to let go of stuff. And it’s so worth it in the end, no matter what it takes to get to the other side.
You can do it. You are worth it.
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