* 9 minute read *
Check out and share the video from our first ever “Random Act of Awesome” here.
“Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away”- Antoine De Saint-Exupery
“One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity”- Bruce Lee
“If you want more peace in your life, let go of judgment”- Murray Masarik
Last night, a good friend and I went and saw a movie. We didn’t enjoy the movie all that much. As we walked out of the cinema and down the street, expressing our disappointment and frustration, I jokingly exclaimed “alright, let’s shake it out!” and pretended to “exorcise” the bad movie out of our system with a big body shake!
Sure, I was joking, but it did shift our mood from one of frustration to playfulness. This experience reminded me of more serious situations in life where I’ve really needed to stop and choose to “shake it out” and let go of something that was no longer serving me.
Are you carrying baggage from your past that weighs you down or is no longer helpful? This week I want to share a process to support you in choosing to let go.
But firstly, why is it important to stop and let go of certain things in our lives?
If we wish to learn, grow and attract new things into our life that are more closely aligned to our dreams and true purpose, then we must create space. This is a universal law that has been true- in my experiences at least. To attract something new we must let go of something old.
Now, here’s a pretty crude analogy, but it definitely illustrates the point!
By necessity, we have to let go of crap all the time. Imagine deciding not to go to the bathroom because you feel it’s really important to hold on to crap for a bit longer! That’s really messed up right?
Yet we can tend to hang on to emotional crap for way too long in an equally unhealthy way! Why?
Because for some reason holding on serves us in an immediate way. Holding on can make us “right” and keep us “safe” and “comfortable” in the known, preventing us from the uncertainty and risk of the unknown. So before we can let go of something we need to understand why we are holding on to it in the first place.
Almost one year ago now I sat on a mountain on New Year’s Eve, reflecting on the past year and setting goals for this year; 2013. One of those goals was to blog once a week and share some of the lessons that I’ve learnt through my “interesting” life experiences. That goal became the Be Awesome community. However, in order to create space (and I mean emotional space) for Be Awesome in my life I had to let go of a number of painful and unhelpful experiences from the past year.
I did this through an experiential process that I developed.
Are you ready to let go?
Are you ready to create space in your life for something new?
If so, take the time now to create a space to let go. This process will take about 15 minutes and you may wish to follow the audio below for convenience. Ideally you will want to undertake this process alone and in a space where you can express some emotion openly. You’ll also need a pen and paper or ideally a series of cards to write on.
Letting Go Process
Take a moment to relax and be consciously present. Focus only on your breathing, observing the natural cycle of inhalation and exhalation.
If you are comfortable and familiar with meditation, allow yourself 5-10 minutes to sit with the intention of connecting with the source of any pain, frustration or unhappiness in your life.
If you prefer not to meditate, simply take a few minutes to reflect on what’s not working for you in your life and identify any recent or recurring painful experiences.
During these 5-10 minutes you want to become specific about the painful experiences; who, when, where, what. You also want to try to reconnect with the emotion of these experiences; really try to gather up all of the pain, frustration, anger and disappointment and just feel it.
Now, take a piece of paper or a series of cards and begin to write down all of the painful experiences that you have brought into focus over the last 10 minutes. One by one, write down these experiences (for example, “Feeling humiliated by a work colleague for voicing my opinion” or “being ignored or rejected by someone I’m attracted to”). Try to write down everything that comes to mind. This is your opportunity to really purge and make visible all of the unhelpful crap that you have been carrying around like baggage in your life. The more you write, the easier you’ll find it to just purge and put it all out there. I challenge you to push even a little bit further once you think you’ve run out of things to purge. There is always more!
Once you’re complete, stop and look down at everything that you have written. Look at all that pain, all of that baggage and all of that negative emotion.
But now, putting the emotion aside, also try to see the gift in each of these experiences. What lesson or learning can you take from each of these experiences?
Spend a few minutes now on a seperate piece of paper or on seperate cards writing down the lesson or learning gained from each of the painful experiences you initially wrote down.
Once you’ve done this, read over these lessons again and acknowledge the value that you have gained through these experiences. Put this piece of paper or cards in a prominent place (I also recommend keeping them in a safe place to continually reflect on after this process).
Now stand with the piece of paper containing the experiences that you’re choosing and ready to let go of. Read over these experiences once more. Affirm out loud: I am ready to let go of these experiences that no longer serve me, and scrunch the paper into a ball. At this point, you may also need to let go of anger, frustration and emotion in a physical way. Go for it. Use a pillow if you have to, but really let it all out!
Now standing with the scrunched piece of paper in your hands, use this following affirmation:
In my hands I hold the record of past experiences that no longer serve me. I am grateful for the lessons and learning gained from these experiences and I choose to retain these lessons as a reminder of my capacity to grow through challenge and adversity. I choose now to release the painful and unhelpful aspects of these experiences from my life.
If you have safe access to a fire or the ability to burn the paper at this point, great. If not just scrunch it up nice and tight or tear it into tiny pieces. The main thing is to really acknowledge that the pain from these experiences has no place in your life any more. Physically discarding the paper either into a fire or the bin will help to make this process of letting go concrete.
Conclude the process with a celebration! You have made an awesome choice to empower yourself and create space in your life for new things. Acknowledge your inner awesomeness! Crank up your favourite song and dance like nobody is watching!
Congratulations, you have consciously chosen to let go!
The ability to let go is like a muscle, the more we practice the more natural it becomes. I believe in the powerful connection between our mind and body and so I like to create a letting go “ritual” as often as possible. So, any time this is an opportunity to physically let go, I use it as an opportunity to emotionally let go. Give it a try; in the shower, swimming at the beach, driving on an open highway or even with the inhale and exhale of your breath. Let it go! You’ll feel more awesome for it.
Til next week, Be Awesome!
If you found this post valuable, please consider choosing to support Be Awesome with a donation. Collectively, over 8 hours a week go into producing the content for this site and your donation can help this message empower a wider audience as well as contribute to future initiatives. Thank you for Be(ing) Awesome!