As we cycle through life, we will often find ourselves holding on to that which no longer serves us. We don’t always purposely hold on; sometimes it is just out of habit or lifestyle and we haven’t taken the time to pause for a moment to examine the weight we carry with us, figuratively and literally. This became really obvious as I am in the process of moving to a different home. I dread going back to my old home. I get sucked into the vortex of all that is left behind, a mishmash of items from sentimental to once favored and often used to just junk. Much is still attached to my former life there. Do I haul all of the “leftovers,” aka the things I haven’t used or missed in 8 months (or more)? Or, do I pretend like they never existed and let them go?
What takes precedence and has the strongest pull to rule our decisions? We hold on for all of these reasons and more –
Since we don’t always immediately know why we hold on, or even if we need to, a nice place to start when sorting it out is what Marie Kondo asks her clients, “Does it spark joy?” This can be asked of many things we clutch to; a belief, a relationship, a habit or even a physical thing like an old, once favored sweater you stopped wearing or a ceramic bowl gifted from someone you no longer keep in touch with.
Does that ceramic bowl hold items you use on a daily basis and do you smile each time you reach for it? Do you get excited when you set a date with someone or smile every time you’re on the phone with them? If so, then you can keep a place for it or them in your life if you chose.
Sometimes we aren’t always sure and it takes living without to know that we do or don’t need it. When we go on vacation, our habits change. We slow down, experience life from a different physical and emotional perspective and when we return, our old ways may feel foreign and they no longer fit or they may feel just right. When it comes to relationships, they have a course too.
Holding on too tightly to that which no longer serves us can feel heavy and lower our energy level. On the most intense and stagnant level, it can even make us sick. We are meant to be in a state of flow, not a rock that’s sunk to the bottom of the moving river, only dislodging when the current is too strong to stay stationary at the bottom.
When I am struggling in deciding on letting go or just feeling kind of stuck, I turn to this meditation, “I release all that is not for my highest good.”
I do this seated or sometimes standing, sometimes silently, sometimes speaking it with my arms outstretched. It feels good and I usually feel a shift almost right away even if I am not quite sure what it is that I need to release. I just trust that what needs to leave will go and what is yet to live out its purpose with me will stay. That may be a little too woo-woo for you, but the next time you feel stuck or not sure about holding on or letting go, try it. Notice what happens and notice the clarity that reveals itself to you. I hope this helps you in wherever you may be feeling stuck or in need of shifting.
And one more thing to consider, the things and people we need in our lives do not need to be held tightly. They are often warm, comforting and easy. Most importantly, they lift you up and move you in some positive way. We don’t need to convince ourselves that we need it. We just know. If you find yourself reasoning or clutching on tight, that may be a sign that it’s time to let go.
Finally, can you share this with just ONE person you feel could use this? When we care, we share. That may be a bit corny but it’s true and you know it. We don’t keep the good stuff to ourselves. 💝