Hello, sweetpea, I hope that these words find you with a smile in your heart.
I shared the first part of this piece last week, you can read that by clicking right here.
Now, as we’re diving into the second part, I want to start off with this question:
What is stopping you from letting your stuff go?
A brief sidenote: “Stuff” is also known as shit, crap, mess, baggage, issues, etc. Furthermore I’m defining “stuff” quite loosely – it’s the friendships or relationships that aren’t serving you, the beliefs that cause your heart and soul harm, the self-doubt or negative self-talk that keeps cropping up when you least (and most) expect it. It’s the cards and notes and reminders from the past that you don’t throw away. It’s the clothes and books and things you keep because of what they represent, whether it’s a golden time, a dark time or it’s the action of letting those possessions define you. It could be any or all or none of these things, but the definition will be uniquely yours.
However you define it, whatever it means to you, be gentle with yourself: We’ve all got stuff, we’re all working through things together.
So, with all of that being said, let’s go back to the question: What is preventing you from just letting your stuff go?
Is it an old pattern or behavior? Is it because you’re just used to having these things around, because it’s familiar? Is it because you’re scared, because you don’t know what would happen if you let it go?
Is it because you don’t know what would be there if you let it all go? Are you afraid it would feel empty or harsh or jagged inside of you? Is it because if you let it go, it means that things are actually over? Is it because you don’t want to say goodbye?
Or is it because you don’t know how to begin to let it go?
I saw this photograph on Flickr the other day. In my mind and heart, it represents how it would feel inside of each of us if we let go of all the mess we carry around – peaceful, vast, open.
You’re standing on one side of that window and looking out, you can see how beautiful it would be to live a life where you aren’t hanging on to hurt feelings or old frustrations or words someone threw at you years, days or minutes ago.
The one where you aren’t keeping boxes of old letters or clothes shoved in the back of a closet, where you aren’t clinging to the idea of what or who you’re supposed to be and instead live in a way that feels natural and easy and True to you.
You can create space and ease and room to breathe. You can see how much space there would be and is inside of you to fill with love and hope and forgiveness and light, joy and peace and radiance and happiness.
What I’m learning, again and again, is that you get to choose what you carry around in your heart, mind and soul. You get to choose what you place there and you get to choose to let it go.
Ways to Begin the Work of Letting Go
- Commit to it. Declare that you are ready to start doing the work now, today, this moment.
- Write a letter to the person/fear/thought/feeling that you are letting go.
- Share how you are feeling. If it’s an old hurt or frustration you’re letting go of, talking to the other party involved can be incredibly healing (for both sides.) One important thing to remember with this: take care with your language. The intention for this is to let it go, not stir things up. Last week, I talked with someone I used to be good friends with and I know I fumbled at times, but in the end, it turned out well.
- Find your Power Symbol. Right now, I’m carrying around a picture of the Velveteen Rabbit to remind myself that I’m always and already real and whole. It’s something small and fun and silly, looking at it makes me smile.
- Practice stillness or meditate. Know that you are enough.
- Picture whatever it is you’re letting go of and breathe the mantra let go or release.
- Dig into the reasons why you’re holding onto things. Think about what holding onto those things gives you or what it doesn’t give you.
- Journal and free write using the prompt: Why am I holding on to this? The answers you come up with might be quiet and easy. For example, my fear of loved ones dying? It’s because my grandmother almost died last summer. (Not everything is going to be earth-shattering and profound, sometimes the Truths inside of you will be simple.)
- If you’re releasing a fear, thank it for staying with you as long as it did. Fear is a means of self-protection, letting it go is an act of bravery. Acknowledge it, thank it for staying to protect you, and let it know that you are safe, secure and ready to move forward without it.
- Daydream about all of the amazing things you want to bring into your life.
- Create a collage or vision board filled with the things you’re letting go of on one side and the word “goodbye” on the other.
- Be gentle with yourself and celebrate every single moment of letting go. You are revolutionizing your life.
- Say the words out loud to the things you put on your list: say goodbye, good riddance, peace outtie, catch you on the flip, au revoir, ciao, don’t let the door get you on the way out.
- If you’re ready to let go of physical items — books, clothes, furniture, CDs, DVDs, whatever — start two piles: One for trash and one for donations. Be ruthless and gleeful about what goes where.
- Hold a releasing ceremony. Write down all of the things that you are ready to let go of and the things that you’d like to let go of. Then burn those pages, toss them into a fire or just light them up. It’s a symbolic act, and there is so much power to be found in symbols.
- Take some space from the situation – unfollow or unfriend people, delete phone numbers if you need to. Give yourself some emotional space so you can begin to heal.
- Cry. Mourn the loss. Let your feelings come out, don’t stifle, bury, suppress or hide them. Tears are cathartic and allow physical and emotional release of what’s inside of you.
- Know that it is 100% ok to release whatever it is that you’re holding on to. Need a permission slip? We’ve got one big-ass permission slip right here waiting for you.
I want this post to become an archive, a library, a go-to place for our community to visit when they are ready to begin the work of letting go and moving on.
With that being said, I want to invite you to answer this question in the comments:
How do you release what does not serve you?
If you’re struggling with that right now, you can say that you’re learning, you’re a beginner, you’re figuring it out.
If you have ways and practices for letting things go, I’d love for you to share them here.
Because we all start somewhere: you are not in this alone.
Wishing you bright joy,