The new year is the ideal opportunity to reflect, review and consciously set your intentions for how you want to move forward: how you want to feel, how you want to live your life, what you’d like to accomplish.
Intention is a powerful thing. It’s a way of focusing your thoughts and actions in a particular way. And what you focus on expands. Intention will empower you to attract whatever you desire into your life.
Personally, I find that it’s really necessary to let go of things we may be clinging to in order to be able to make space for the new intentions to take root and flourish.
Letting go means releasing our attachment to things that don’t serve us positively. I’ve found that there is a true freedom in letting go of fixed ideas, letting go of feelings and sentiments that are not useful and may even be harmful, letting go of people who don’t uplift and support us, letting go of actions and behaviours that are not helpful to ourselves and others.
In these challenging times, I find that there are lots of emotions and feelings that I hold onto and that hinder me from moving forward positively…. Perhaps you are the same.
And so letting go of these unhelpful ideas, thoughts and emotions can leave space for serenity and the possibility of moving forward with grace.
Letting go doesn’t mean you don’t care, or that you are indifferent. It doesn’t mean giving up.
Letting go is not easy. But it’s so incredibly useful.
Letting go is freedom. And frees up space in your mind and life for new energy, new opportunities, new directions.
What could you let go of in order to live the life of your dreams?
I’ll tell you my story, to give you an idea of what you could let go of.
A few years ago, I left the corporate world, opened my heart and soul to radical change, dreamed of creating my own brand and business, and the magic began to happen on a journey that lead me to HUM. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that I had to let go of the things I had been clinging to and that were holding me back from a life of purpose and fulfillment.
Here’s what I learned to let go of:
The identity I had created for myself, supported by the society and circumstances I live in, that was largely built around the importance of my job and my career. I had to let that identity go in order to reinvent my life and fulfill my dream. And become the real me.
The fears … fear of starting something new, fear that I wasn’t capable or that I didn’t have the experience … fear that it wasn’t an acceptable lifestyle … fear of not having enough money.
Any expectations: expectations of results and of people's reactions, realizing that success can be measured in so many other ways and not just in the financial results.
The need to control everything (yes, I'm a bit of a perfectionist-control-freak so this was difficult for me).
I also learned to let go of physical tension and stress that I had been holding in my body for so long. It was by building body awareness that I understood this. I found that the reason I had the worst chronic pain in my shoulder and arm was because I was holding so much stress and tension in my shoulders that I had permanently pinched a nerve in my neck. Just being aware of that, and thus being able to let go of that tension allowed me to release the nerve, and the pain went away.
Holding on to whatever holds you back from your dreams is exhausting and painful!
Here are a 4 WAYS TO PRACTICE LETTING GO go so that you can make space for the new year, the new you. So that you can thrive this year.
1. LETTING GO MEDITATION
Find a comfortable position where you can be still for a few minutes. You can be seated cross-legged on a cushion, seated upright on a chair with your feet flat on the ground, or lying down in Savasana. Close your eyes if that feels good for you right now.
Take a deep breath to get settled. And then relax into your natural breathing. Inhaling and exhaling through the nose.
Begin by acknowledging whatever is happening in your body right now by scanning your awareness through your body:
Next, consciously release any tension and stress you may be holding on to in your body:
And now take time to notice and appreciate the miraculous things about your body, the things that you probably take for granted most days. That might be:
Take your time to think about this, offering gratitude to your body, for supporting you every minute of every day.
Whenever you are ready, you can let the practice go. Open your eyes, and bring some movement back into your body. And you are ready to move on with your day…carrying a little more space inside your body now.
2. LETTING GO BREATH
This easy practice can be done anywhere to help you feel more balanced and peaceful in any situation. Here’s how:
Take a deep inhale through your nose, and let it all out through your mouth, like a great big sigh - do this three times, with a nice pause in between each one.
Notice how your body feels as you do this letting go breath. Feel your shoulders relaxing down, your whole body releasing any tensions it might be holding on to.
You can also let go of any worries or concerns or troubling emotions you might be feeling these days… just let them go for these few precious moments of soul-care.
You CAN let go. As as you let go and release all these tensions, you become more peaceful.
3. LETTING GO RITUAL
Here is a simple letting go ritual you can try in the context of your home practice. Try it with an open mind, and notice how you feel afterwards.
If you need to release something that is holding you back in your life (anger, disappointment, a person, a story, etc.) write it on a small piece of paper. Place the paper your altar, light a candle in front of it, and dedicate your practice to letting it go. After your practice, with awareness and intention, let it go completely by burning the paper safely in a fire-proof container or a fireplace.
4. LETTING GO WITH PALO SANTO
Palo Santo is “holy wood” from highly sacred tree that grows in Peru, Equador and parts of Central America. It’s part of a powerful and mystical shamanic tradition.
In our own life, we can harness the power of Palo Santo to purify and raise the vibrations of our homes and ourselves. Palo Santo is about the ritual of letting go of what is negative and inviting in the positive. It can bring a sense of peace and calm. It can enhance creativity and inspiration.
With the help of a fire-safe bowl, light some Palo Santo with care and waft the smoke into every corner of the room. Be sure to open a window or a door to release the smoke and the negative energies. This releasing ritual can also symbolize releasing and letting go of whatever is not serving you positively in your life.
I love to be able to offer sustainably and ethically harvested Palo Santo in various forms, from natural sticks to incense, essential oil blends and subtly scented eye pillows. See the 5 ways to get your Palo Santo HERE.
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