Imagine you are on a trip. You’re carrying a very cumbersome piece of baggage. At the time you were packing, it seemed smart to bring all that with you. You had imagined certain future situations, certain outfits you would need, shampoos to keep you clean and shoes for every occasion, books to read and notebooks to write in.
Now that you’re on your journey you realize the baggage is too heavy. What were you thinking? A small bag or backpack would have worked with the few clothes that you’re wearing everyday anyway.
Life can be like that suitcase. Heavy, cumbersome, hard to carry around. But what if you had the light backpack or an easy suitcase with wheels? It would be easy to move around on your journey.
WHAT ARE THE OBSTACLES TO LETTING GO?
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”
~ Henry Ford
What obstacle could you take out of your bag to make it light and easy to carry? These obstacles are often a place, a failure in life, an ideal, a person, or material objects. It’s hard to choose because we are attached to these problems. Change is hard to make. Many people are defined by the the obstacles in their life.
A place has power, good or bad. Maybe you don’t want to move from where you live, but must for financial reasons. Or maybe you don’t want to go home, especially if you had an unhappy childhood. Places are filled with memories and emotions.
Facing a failure means coming out of denial and accepting the consequences. This could be many things; a job, a relationship or not getting into the college you wanted. Maybe it’s a failure of a loved one. Sometimes being a success can hold you back, too. You might think to yourself, “I can never do as well as I did the last time.”
Ideals are your idea of perfection in life like: I should be married by now. I should be living in a certain type of house. I should be 10 pounds lighter. My children should be potty trained now. I thought I’d be out of debt by now.
A person is the most difficult to let go, whether it’s a death, disappointment with the person or letting go of what appeared to be true love.
Materialism is a cultural problem. Often our self image come from our houses, cars, clothes and other possessions.
How Do We Detach and Let Go?
“When I let go of what I am,
I become what I might be.”
~ Lao Tzu
Think about releasing the need to control. Simply allowing your problem to be. Acceptance and surrender of the problem so that a change or a shift can occur. It is often a daunting task to let go, but often easier than holding on. Letting go can turn to relief. However, letting go can be extremely difficult.
Here are some things I practice when I need to let go:
1. Become Awakened To Reality – Be honest with what is happening in your life. Don’t be in denial. Be upfront with yourself.
2. Let go of ego – You are the authority on the subject of you, right? Well, time to step down and be humble.
3. Meditate – Whether you formally meditate or clear your head by taking walks , do something that clears the chatter in your head.
4. Be Open To Change – If you are open to change then your life can begin to change. You cannot change your life if you are not open.
5. Practice Mindfulness – See each day as a clean slate, a new day. Focus on the present. See the little things in nature. Eat slowly by chewing more and putting your fork down.
6. Become a Zen Mama (Parent) – This requires that you have a different reaction to worry and other negative emotions. Remember, being a Zen Mama doesn’t mean you’ve given up! It means you’re seeing life differently.
7. Make A List of the good things in your life – This helps you to see the ways that your glass isn’t just 1/2 full, it’s overflowing.
8. Change your mindset - “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Change your reaction to the problem.
9. Let time pass – A lot of what we worry about never happens anyway. I call this the “It won’t matter a year from now” technique. Ask yourself, will this matter a year from now? It usually won’t.
10. Forgive - Forgives others and yourself. It’s time.
11. Add Humor – It isn’t always easy to find humor. Laugh at yourself and your obstacles. If you can’t laugh at your problem, then laugh at a funny show, tell some jokes, or practice some Laughter Yoga.
12. Use Positive Affirmations – Positive affirmations are a way of changing how you look at a problem. “I am free of problem. I feel filled with relief”.
13. Expect nothing today – Try a day of no expectations. Each time you feel an expectation, release it. (ex. I expect my child to be on time. I expect co-worker to be nice today. I expect dinner to be on the table when I get home. I expect dishes to be in dishwasher.)
14. Stop judging – yourself and others. This also includes gossiping.
15. Trust – Everything is unfolding as it should.
We all have problems. We all have obstacles. Today unpack your suitcase a little. Begin to let go.
To Let Go is not to care for, but to care about.
To Let Go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To Let Go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To Let Go is not to be in the middle of arranging all outcomes, but to allow others to effect their own destinies.
To Let Go is not to be protective, but to permit others to face reality.
To Let Go is to fear less, and to love more.
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