letting go

What's Good???

Good morning! It is Tuesday!!  :) Try it.  Gratitude changes everything.  Don't believe me, try it for two months, once a week and see what unfolds…

This only  takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer.  So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself.  Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well).  What are you feeling gratitude around?  Here are mine for this week:

Setting standards.

Knowing I can have what I create.

Creating what I want.

Letting go.

Fruit - it's what's for dinner (and breakfast and lunch).  

There are no right or wrong answers.  It is about what you are grateful for.   It is proven that doing this once a week for three months (actually just 9 weeks) makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights.  You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food for thought:

Whatever your gifts whatever your abilities, share them.  You would do more harm to keep your love and awesomeness to yourself than if you spoke ill of everyone you knew.  Withholding the gifts bestowed upon you is the only sin I know to be true.       

Here is a poem I LOVE by a poet I love more:

When I Want To Kiss God

When 

No one is looking

 

I swallow deserts and clouds

And chew on mountains knowing

They are sweet bones!

 

When no one is looking and I want

To kiss

God

I just lift my own hand

To

My

Mouth.

~Hafiz

xo

a

Attached To It

"Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice.  Better than knowledge is meditation.  But better still is surrender of attachment to results, because there follows immediate peace."  ~Bhagavad Gita I am all about letting go of things except for the things I want to hold on to.  I think we may all be a little like that.  I realize that we get attached to how things are, no matter how much we aren't ok with how things are.  It is amazing how you can ask the universe to change or get rid of something, shortly thereafter get what you asked for and immediately begin to mourn your loss.  We are a complicated bunch.

I coach my clients to let go and cry about it.  I coach them to embrace the feelings that they have, accept them without judgement.  I encourage myself to do the same.  Attachment happens for most of us.  We get used to just about anything we are repeatedly exposed to or that we repeatedly do.  The issue isn't the attachment necessarily (though if you could do without it then woohoo!!), it is believing that the attachment means you cannot do without it or that you won't recover without whatever it is you are attached to.  We humans will run from pain much quicker than we will run towards happiness.  So if leaving something will cause pain we will choose to stay even if happiness is assured once the attachment wanes.

What if we chose to be courageous?  What if we chose to take the feelings that we associate with loss and assign different meanings to them?  What if the pain of losing something was associated with growth, development.  What if we didn't judge the pain of detaching as bad?  We could use it as a signal that we are on the right track, that we are becoming, that we are moving forward.  Life can be challenging and exciting and whatever you decide that it is.  Challenge pushes you to change.  Shedding habits, expanding ideas, transforming yourself… this is where freedom lives.

"Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached."  ~Simone Weil

xo

a

For Shame

"I gave up shame a long time ago."  ~John Lithgow Howdy :)

Shame is a shameful thing.  It can keep you from moving forward, getting help and being happy.  Where there is shame there is darkness, struggle an ultimately stagnation.  There are many things we find to feel shame for, many things we choose to allow to bring us down for various reasons… many of which have been forced ideas from religion, parents, society.  We have shame around things we have said, done, what we don't have, do have, want or don't want.  The punishment that we endure for things that are fully, wholly human things, things we all do, will do, want to do… in some way or another, is amazing.

I remember growing up in projects on welfare and learning to feel shame for it.  I remember learning to feel shame around having a low credit score.  I remember being left by my ex and being told that I was a bad person because of my bad credit (that is the worst thing to say to someone who is shamed by their lack of financial power).  I remember being sick and tired of being ashamed of crap that is crap.  So I stopped.  I gave it up.  I am not an awful person because I grew up one way instead of another, or because I have had struggles financially, or because I have lied, or cheated or any other thing that I or anyone else has decided to throw out judgements against.

Life is short, confusing and filled with a myriad of experiences.  I am over feeling bad for having the opportunity to live it.  Every single thing in my life has gotten me to where I am right now and that is a most fantastic place.  Living your life and then regretting it is wasteful, in my opinion (yep, that is totally a judgement).  When we feel shame we allow that thing to have power over us.  I think the only thing that is shameful may just be shame itself.  Though, it is information;  it tells you the area you need to expose in yourself, love in others, and let go of ultimately.  Instead of shaming yourself, own yourself and your experiences.  Look at the choices you have made or, in some cases, the situations you have been placed in by birth, and get out of them all that they have to offer.  Our lives are our lessons.  When we refuse to look at them fully we refuse to learn.

If you are feeling shame around something, or many things, speak it out loud… maybe softly at first.  Hear it, see it, become roommates with it.  Say it over and over until it stops being shocking.  Google it, see that it isn't uncommon, see that you aren't alone.  At some point you will be able to yell it out loud.  You won't care who hears… you will let it go.

xo

a

"As soon as you forbid something, you make it extraordinarily appealing.  You also bring shame in as a phenomenon."  ~Jock Sturges

Is This The End?

"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us."  ~Joseph Campbell Howdy!

Today I had a number of conversations around ending relationships.  Specifically friendships.  Many of the discussions were around having difficulty staying grounded while being around someone who was very negative or 'bitchy' as it were. Other conversations were around people who had a wee bit too much cray cray going on.  Either way the conversations were all interesting and ones that I could totally relate to.  I have broken up with quite a few friends in my day.  The reasons range from friends wanting to be more than friends, friends becoming obsessed, friends flipping out and being co-dependent to friends being über negative.  In all cases I have communicated my issues with the friendship as best I could and moved on.  I am a believer of healthy beginnings and healthy endings.

I know that my ability to choose to end a relationship because of compatibility would be understood if the relationship was of an intimate nature.  However, the fact that I do the same for friendships has come as a shock for some.  I have been accused of not valuing relationships because I am ok with them ending.  I feel that everyone has a right to his or her opinion and I have the right to ignore those opinions and go on living my life as I see fit.  I see people often holding onto relationships because there is a history and they feel obligated.  I am not sure how this is serving anyone to be with someone because you feel like you have to.  I truly believe that when you let go of things you don't use, what you need in your world has the space to come to you.  I believe that everyone has the right to choose who they let in their life and for how long.  Not all relationships get better with time.  As you grow so do others.  Not everyone grows in the same direction or in a way that enhances or supports the growth of another.

What would be the point to stay in a relationship, friendship or otherwise, that isn't serving your ideal self?  When is it time to draw the line and end a friendship that takes more than it gives?  I know that I have never doubted an ending even if I missed a part of the history that I shared with that ex-friend.  Good relationships don't end.  I have also become friends with people who I once cut out or who had cut me out.  Sometimes distance, endings, can bring you towards one another in a smarter, healthier way.  Much more so than hanging on for dear life when the last breath was taken long ago.

"Every exit is an entry somewhere."  ~Tom Stoppard

xo

a

Oh Me Oh My!

"Worry is a misuse of imagination." ~Dan Zadra Yellow!

I know a lot of people who worry.  They worry about what they are going to eat, what they are going to say, what they are going to wear, what they will do with their life, when they will eat, when they will talk, when they will wear what they have picked out and so forth and so on.  Basically I know that many people feel very, very unsure of how to navigate the waters of life because the worst case scenario is the most likely one for them.

I sometimes think about how I don't worry and how that came to be.  In all honesty it is a long story that I will totally abbreviate, for now.  For one, I didn't have a parent that worried outwardly.  My mother is very stoic and as such kept things to herself.  She was basically a force that seemed unshakeable.  I have seen her cry twice, maybe.  Either way, I didn't grow up in a household that was tense with concern for what may or may not happen.  Though we were poor, we believed that things would work out.  I truly don't know how much my mother stressed, and for that (and much more) I am thankful.  I truly grew up believing that things would work themselves out and that there was ALWAYS a solution.  This is true, if you believe it to be.  I also had experiences where I worried, only to see hours of my life be sucked dry and the very thing that I worried about either happened or didn't.  Basically, I realized the time it took to worry was better spent having a good time.  I found that enjoying my moments made whatever the outcome less intense.  I learned to stay grounded.

The issue for so many is that they don't believe there is a solution to the woes of the world.  Additionally, being grounded is not a state that they are in consistently.  A worrier lives in a state of insecurity.  They have a really, really hard time believing things will be ok.  Usually they have gone over the worst case scenario in such detail that it plays out the way they feared the most.  Even when they believe they have played out the positive and think things are going to be ok there is a strong undercurrent of doubt.  If their fears are realized they feel that they are 1) are justified in their worry, 2) are now more convinced than ever that things turn out poorly for them no matter what, and 3) feel powerless over what concerns them.  Often those who worry have a hard time working on their own behalf with the same tenacity that they work against themselves.

When you spend your mental energy on the very things you don't want you will get those things, tenfold.  When you do the same amount of work on putting out what you love, what you get is the love back, tenfold.  It is as easy as that and as difficult.  I know that many of you may find yourself in a whirlwind of concern, worry, fear.  Decide now that you are open to moving towards love, curiosity, breathing and letting go.  See what shifts for you.

xo

a

"Troubles are a lot like people, they grow bigger if you nurse them." ~Author Unknown

Creating Space

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.  When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need."  ~Tao Te Ching My birthday has come and gone and so has a bunch of stuff I have been holding onto.  I purged clothing, furniture, and electronics that I have been holding onto since the 90's.  Let me give you some background (cue the violins):

I grew up on welfare living in the projects until I was about 14.  We were financially poor but culturally, intellectually, and 'healthily' wealthy.  I remember my best friend asking me if I was rich because we (my sister and I) were so well spoken and so neatly dressed all of the time.  I remember being ashamed of being on food stamps, getting welfare cheese and living in the projects.  There was a time in my life where, after getting dropped off from the school bus, I would walk along the side of the street with houses until the bus was out of sight then cross over to the projects.  I remember being embarrassed when my mother would want us to buy $.05 gum with a dollar food stamp to get change in order to buy toilet paper or some other non-food item.  I remember being made fun of when we would be in line to get our share of food from Welfare (such as cheese).  I was lucky, very, very lucky.  I grew up with a genius mom who was also an amazing cook.  I never had McDonald's or any other fast food.  We ate what she made from scratch.  I honestly didn't know what packaged food tasted like until college.  Our neighbors would come over to eat grapes and other whole foods instead of the Twinkies that their parents had stocked in the pantry.  We were very lucky in many ways, however, the scars of feeling like there wasn't enough weighed on me and impacted my world to this day.  I have had a habit of keeping things "just in case."  Well, I am not in the mood to invite, "just in case" into my world anymore.  "Just in case" takes up a lot of space!

That brings me to yesterday.  My birthday.  Over the past few years I have been letting go of items that I'd kept due to sentimental value or because they were in perfectly good shape.  Waste not, want not!  For example, a few years ago I bought a VitaMix for my birthday and have been loving on it ever since.  Seriously, they are amazing machines.  However, I still had a KitchenAide Blender and never really thought to give it up.  I mean, it still works and you never know, I could need it!  Right???  C'mon!  Then there are the clothes that I have from my college days.  I have held onto them because once every other year I pull them out of whatever box they are in to look at them and say, "oh, I remember blah blah blah" and then become nostalgic, which leads me to putting them back in the box under the bed for the next viewing a year of so later.  It is a bit crazy.

So, I have been ridding myself of past "things" in waves.  Every time I take a carload of stuff to Goodwill I feel a bit lighter.  Each time I let go of something I felt was important something amazing enters my world.  So, for this birthday I decided to give myself the gift of a clean slate.  I still have more to let go of and am excited for it.  It is this groovy journey towards freedom.  The feeling is fantastic!  I am creating space; physical and energetic space.  The past clings to things.  Letting things go truly allows you to free yourself to be even more in the moment.

So, I am creating space in my world.  Space for my now, space for what is next and space to stretch out.  I invite you to do the same if you so desire.

If anyone needs a blender, let me know :)

"Stop trying to hold onto your past, you can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one."  ~Anonymous

xo

a