How Do You Let Go?

joseph campbell quoteI’ve never been good at letting go. When I was young and someone called out for me, I would respond, “Hold On.” I never knew it would mean literally.

I still have memory boxes from childhood that my mom is convinced are filled with gum wrappers. Okay, in my defense they were really funny bubble gum wrappers (you remember the ones with the joke?) that were a gift and are now like retro…. Nuff said.

Recently at the Salvation Army, while dropping off some awesome things that had been in my trunk far longer than necessary, I stood there, pondering if it was really best to let them go… I mean, of course I need 3 pairs of Uggs. As if needing a healthy shove from an angel in overalls, a guy called out, “When you left your house it felt like a good idea. Don’t turn back. Now just go out and get more stuff.” Tail between my legs, I hugged my Uggs goodbye. #HugsforUggs

I’ve mastered the art of the long goodbye, watching my family until they disappear around the corner, soaking in every last essence of their aura, knowing that someday it will be the last time. Pretty morbid sure but it’s a coping mechanism I’ve adopted, and call me superstitious, I ain’t changing now.

I’ve lost family before, tragically and suddenly. It’s excruciating. Not just in losing the ones we’ve lost, but how it changes those left behind.

That kind of letting go is forced upon us, and can lead to patterns of abandonment, thereby shaping how we see the world whether we are aware of it or not.

Sometimes letting go is a choice we have to make, even if we don’t want to. It can feel like we are losing so much, and yet if we stay, we’ll be betraying ourselves far worse by not going for what we truly long for…. We hold onto friendships, relationships, jobs, careers, homes, basically anything that is no longer serving or resonating with us….Because well, change is scary, familiar is comfortable and ‘easy,’ and we believe somehow life will be better ‘with’ than ‘without.’

We fear making the wrong decision, that we won’t be okay/safe, that we’ll leave others behind and they won’t be okay, that we’ll be alone or left abandoned. It seems dramatic, but depending on our wounds, the fear will materialize to us in very real ways. Or it feels that way at least.

If you’re anything like me, you can create a whole world of Worst Case Scenario. Thinking that if somehow we can control the outcome, it couldn’t possibly be any worse than what we imagine it to be. Then we won’t be caught off guard. We’ll be prepared. Because that gut punch of shock is what lives on in our cells until we learn how to truly let that go too.

Many of us, whether consciously or not, are governed by fear and put off lifelong dreams thinking “there’s still time, one day.” We don’t realize those excuses are just resistance to living our boldness, shining our light and being “all we came here to be.”

As Sonia Choquette says, “If I weren’t afraid I would: ______.”

Fill in the blank space.

Do it for yourself and see what comes up for you. You might be surprised at what you still long to see, be, do, feel and conquer.

As we conclude an uber powerful lunar cycle in the earth’s energies (that began with the new moon, super moon, solar eclipse on March 20th) – culminating in the full moon/lunar eclipse tonight, all during Saturn Retrograde (which is about our life purpose), we can no longer sit idle by and hide behind our fears and what ifs. We are being forced to choose the life we want and actually go for our dreams. Not just talk about it. It’s time to take action.

If we don’t take the leap of faith, and walk away from that which no longer serves, so we can embrace that which does, chances are we will be left to simmer in our own regret and resentment, until it manifests in another (more physical) form.

It’s not to look at what we are losing – but what we are choosing, and will eventually gain. For there is no end without a new beginning. The proof is all around us. After every long, cold, lonely winter, the fiery phoenix must rise from the ashes to welcome spring and life anew. It all starts over again.

For all the days I’ve been collapsed on my floor in the fetal position… there are the nights I’ve spent dancing on tables. We are beyond resilient. And with enough time and space between the moment of impact, it becomes just a fading imprint in the sand. The pain washes away. The hurts heal. And we wonder why we made such a big deal about it anyway.

And on the more mystical scale, no one is ever gone. They just change form. And all those sacred memories we’ve shared, remain tucked in that special lockbox in our hearts where they live on forever.

Inside all of us is this tiny voice that is whispering at us to listen and trust, urging us in the direction of our dreams. And as silly as they sometimes seem, they are valid. And whether we are being nudged or shoved, we must move forward. Because even if we’re terrified, preferring to cling to something that isn’t working than step out into the unknown, that small voice will always say, you can’t go back.

You can do it.   You will get through this. You are going to be more than okay. You just gotta have a little faith.

Now go follow that inner lingering longing for it’s guiding you to your destiny.

From an expert at holding on, here are tips I’m learning on how to let go:

  1. I go inward. I remember the divine spark that shines within you and me, and I take it as an opportunity to heal the deeper wounds at play. I call on my guides, family, and go-to intuitive healers to get to the root cause and find clarity and healing.
  1. I surrender. As I was reminded in yoga recently, I breathe in love. I breathe out everything else. There are no coincidences in life. We are always exactly where we are supposed to be, learning exactly what we need to learn, to rise to that next level of awareness and consciousness, so be easy on ourselves.
  1. I write…. Emotional draino is a key to self-discovery. Getting clear on what you’re feeling and thereby releasing the pent up emotions by expressing it to the comfort of the page is extraordinarily healing. (You can also tear up what you write and burn or bury it as another form of release. #TETO – To Each Their Own.)
  1. I physically purge. I get rid of old belongings, as hard as it is for me, sometimes even those gum wrappers. I clean out my closet of anything that no longer resonates and I give it away. That opens me back up to the flow, which makes it easier to let go of the big things…. It’s one of the laws of the universe. When ye gives, ye shall receive, or something like that.
  1. I love myself. When I’m feeling rejected, afraid, unsafe, disempowered, lost, sad, a victim to life’s woes…. I remind myself, dang I am powerful for creating this experience to grow… Then I stop and give myself some good ol’ fashioned self-love. I say out loud until I truly feel it, “I love you Kirsten.” Say it with me… I love you Kirsten….okay, okay, you can say your name instead.
  1. I nurture my soul and I feed it by doing the things I love to do such as dancing in the streets, hiking in nature, creative activities, watching my shows, hot epsom salt baths, yoga, swimming, spending time with those I love…and then I drink my soy chai tea latte at Starbucks and write some more.
  1. I get out of my head and into my heart….and keep walking one foot in front of the other. No matter what, there will be a new beginning. It may not always come in the form I thought it would be or tried to control it to be…. But I am always taken care of. And with some perspective, the loss feels less and less like a loss and more and more like moments to be grateful for… and then I realize how good it feels to release the old and get excited about all the amazing things on the horizon.

Or you could just come home after a month away to find a beautiful poem on your fridge from a blond angel (aka your plant sitter sister), who somehow knew exactly the words you needed to hear to nudge you forward and publish this blog post that’s been sitting on your desktop for nearly 2 months. (See poem below)… Okay I get it…

It’s time to let go.

These are some things that seem to work for me, the poem below offers another perspective… I would love to hear from you… What are you holding onto? And how do you let go?

Loving you and your gum wrappers,

Kirsten cropped Final Logo white background-name-blue

She let go.

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.

She let go of the judgments.

She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.

Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice.

She didn’t read a book on how to let go.

She didn’t search the scriptures.

She just let go.

She let go of all of the memories that held her back.

She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go.

She didn’t journal about it.

She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.

She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.

She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.

She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.

She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.

She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.

She didn’t call the prayer line.

She didn’t utter one word.

She just let go.

No one was around when it happened.

There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her.

No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort.

There was no struggle.

It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.

It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face.

A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…

~ Rev. Safire Rose

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