October 15, 2013

Letting Go: From Cluttered to Clear

Okay readers, I hope you have been enjoying this series on Letting go by Tina Nies. Definitely check in or leave a comment below if what Tina has shared has been helpful to you!

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“There is no condition so severe that you cannot reverse it by choosing different thoAughts. However, choosing different thoughts requires focus and practice. If you continue to focus as you have been, to think as you have been, and to believe as you have been, then nothing in your experience will change.”      ~Abraham-Hicks

I hope you’ve enjoyed and maybe even tried out some of the tools I’ve shared over the last couple of weeks. And before I delve into this week’s topic of how to keep letting go, I want to add a little to last week’s forgiveness tool. I introduced a simple form for a letter that can be used to practice forgiving you as well others. You never even have to share it with anyone as this practice is for you, but you could choose to share it, if appropriate and safe for you to do so. The form of the letter forgiving others is the same, just change who it’s addressed to if you’re forgiving another person!

BUT, maybe you’ve been thinking, “I can’t forgive myself for some things” or “I’m not ready” or “I can’t ever forgive them.”  And it’s okay to feel that way, it really is. We don’t have to feel bad about not forgiving. You can still begin the practice of forgiveness (as a gift to yourself in the letting go process), with a format like this…

Dear Tina,

I forgive you for not being able to forgive yourself (or ____) for _____. I’ll be okay anyway or I like you anyway. I’ll practice forgiving until I can (or something that fits for you).

Hugs,
Tina

Easy?

Maybe - maybe not, but it is simple, and it can be used as a practice in just a minute or two a day. That is the goal of all my work – simplicity and practice. It’s the goal of my life, simplicity. Okay, so I also want love and happiness, but for me I know that simplicity is the foundation for my happiness. I don’t want to worry, obsess, be sad or mad, let depression or anxiety take over my life… so I choose simple practices that keep me in the practice of forgiveness, of letting go, of loving myself and happiness comes easily now.

Do I ever get mad or sad?

Absolutely! But, when it comes, I feel it, even embrace it, look for the good in it or what I can learn, then I let it go.

How do I do it?

Practice.

I practice the tools I’ve already shared and I’m sharing more today. I practice looking for good in myself and those around me. I practice love. I practice looking for more options and opportunities. I practice letting one hand off the ropes that I might grab onto for a moment, I practice until I let it go completely.

While practicing, I also like to keep more positive things in my life than negative (it’s part of that whole letting go thing). So, I read articles, blogs, books with stories and ideas about things I love or things I want more of (love, happiness, etc.). I listen to positive messages and choose positive shows or movies to occasionally watch. I spend more time with positive and optimistic people than negative and pessimistic people. I don’t allow drama to be part of my life, especially other people’s drama. This can be tough when we want to help family and friends, but for my own well-being, I must limit drama. I might lend a hand as needed, but I never let both hands get on their rope. Remember, I keep practicing letting go of my own ropes, why would I want to add theirs?

I invite you to try any of the tools I’m sharing or that you learn from others. REPEAT the ones that help you! Don’t give up if the first tool you practice doesn’t feel right to you, try again or try another that feels better for you and whatever it is that you are attempting to let go of.

Another practice that works for me is taking some quiet time for myself, even if just a moment or two. Meditation is a great tool for quieting my mind and tuning in to my own inner guidance. We often know the answers to the questions we ask if we take time to listen.

I enjoy both guided meditations (which are easy to find free online) and just doing my own with some meditative music playing. I even host a Monday Meditation at 7am PT/10am ET on PLV-Radio.com Sometimes I lead the meditations, sometimes they are led by some of my awesome friends (who are more experienced meditators). I like to use mantras such as “I am love”, “I am allowing well-being”, “I am forgiving myself”, “I am letting go” etc. You can create a mantra that fits your needs and use it for even just one minute. Close your eyes in a quiet space, breathe deeply from your abdomen, and repeat the mantra silently. When distracting thoughts come, instead of pushing them out, gently repeat the mantra… hmm, sounds like a practice ;-) Yep, even a one minute meditation practice each day creates space for letting go.

Another way I continue to let go is by clearing my physical space often. I practice letting go of physical stuff I no longer need. Look around your immediate space (within a few feet) around exactly where you are right now, whether at home, coffee shop, or work. Of course, if you’re in a coffee shop, you may not have many personal things around you, but look at your backpack, purse, or briefcase.

What do you see?

Take a quick inventory.  Look at your desk, bed, table, couch, wherever you happen to be. Is your bag a mess and you don’t even know what might be in the bottom? Is there a pile of clothes on the floor near you? Are papers stacked 2 feet high on your desk? Are there odds and ends and broken electronics in your drawer? Is your closet full of clothes you never wear?

Sometimes the physical stuff we hold onto represents something more personal, something that you are unable to let go of. For example, if papers are piled high, why? Is it that you say you will get to them soon, but soon never comes? Do you miss bill payment dates because of it? Is it a way you might subconsciously be sabotaging yourself, punishing yourself? If your closet is full of clothes you never wear, is it because they don’t fit? Do you have a memory connected to all the stuff that you know you’ll never wear again, but just can’t throw it out? Are you longing to re-live that time in your life where you felt happier than you do today? If you hold onto everything, even when it’s broken is it because you don’t want to waste it, maybe it’s fixable? Is it just laziness?

If you find you have a lot of clutter, make a quick list. Then circle the top 2-3 things on that list that you feel are significant to you in a way that you sometimes think you “should” do something about it.
Next, pick one of the top three and write that at the top of a sheet of paper. Set a timer for five minutes or less (let’s keep it simple). Think about what that thing represents and why you may hold onto it. Jot down any thoughts, feelings, or memories that come into your head about that item. Write everything – good and bad!

When the timer goes off, stop. Now consider what would be the worst case if it weren’t there anymore (especially if it’s something you feel is important). Imagine if suddenly all that stuff was gone, maybe a goat came in and ate every paper… what would be the worst case about it being gone?

OFTEN, the worst case is no big deal at all. Sometimes we think, “Well, that would solve that problem and I wouldn’t have to face it” or sometimes the worst case is we would feel devastated. Jot those thoughts down.

NOW, let’s figure how to let it go or clear it or use it in another way, something so we can diffuse the negative energy of holding onto that clutter.

Maybe it’s as simple as scheduling a day to sort through and handle the paperwork that is stacked. Maybe you decide to hold onto your memories, but donate those old bridesmaid dresses taking up space to a charity that provides homecoming and prom dresses to help create new memories for someone else. Maybe all the cool knick-knacks your nieces and nephews love, but are collecting dust on your bookshelf could be great birthday gifts to those you love and love you. The knick-knacks will be cherished and you’ll free up space for new pictures of your next adventure or books on something you’ve wanted to learn.

It might be easy for you to decide what to do, but maybe it’s not clear yet. There are some great books about clearing clutter and organizing to maximize your productivity, etc. If this is an area you think can help you let go, do a quick internet search for more information and suggestions about how to effectively clear your clutter. I especially like the books, “Clearing the Clutter For Good Feng Shui” and “Clearing the Clutter with Feng Shui.”  I like incorporating Feng Shui principles into my space clearing and honestly, I have noticed dramatic improvements when I do! Whether it’s just me believing it or if I really am clearing that space and energy to allow new things, it doesn’t matter, because it works for me.

The more you can create the physical space of letting go and continue to practice the letting go and forgiving and loving yourself, you will move forward in amazing ways! Add in these simple practices to the other work you may be doing to recover from whatever experiences you may have had.

Keep doing things that make you feel good and keep trying new things. I have a new Verilux Happy Light on my desk! It’s fall here in Michigan and I love, love, love the sunshine, it energizes me. We’ll be having less sunny days moving through fall into winter, so I’m trying this out. It’s a small thing, but maybe it’ll help me with potential energy lulls when the clouds get me down a little. We’ll see if it helps, but it couldn’t hurt, right?

When you begin to fill yourself with more positive activities, thoughts, people, etc., you naturally let the other stuff go. The stuff that has seemed to be a rope around your neck (or a monkey on your back) that you’ve been trying to escape for so long, that rope begins to loosen and in return you loosen your grip on it too. It’s a natural progression, it may be slow, it may be fast, but it’s a progression, it’s a journey to let go, to forgive, to love.

There is no right or wrong way to let go, to move forward, to go up the steps of life. Some of us put one foot up, then the other foot joins on the same step before we move up to the next. Some of us just put one foot on each step as we walk up at a steady pace. And some of us take two steps at a time! Each option is fine and may vary on our journey. Just keep your head up and your eye on the top of the steps, that landing place you might be longing for, that place where you have let go of the baggage and are ready to take the next set of steps at a faster pace.

That’s the thing about letting go, we just keep practicing, sometimes trying new tools, to find the ones that work best for us.


I’m happy to answer questions or make more personal suggestions as you practice loving and letting go. Ask in the comments below or feel free to email me tina@behappiertoday.com. I’d also love to hear how you are practicing letting go in your own life!

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Tina Nies is a Certified Life Coach and Vision Board Coach.  Her passion is building and strengthening an individual’s self-love as a foundation for success. Tina empowers individuals with a foundation to develop their vision and create action strategies for success as they grow and explore their happiness.

In her simple practice self-love, Tina also focuses on raising awareness of the power of our choices. In each moment, the choices we make impact our success and determine whether or not we reach our goals in business or personal life. “Encouraging people to say yes to choices that lead them to their deepest desires and true happiness and no to choices that do not serve their best interests is extremely powerful”


Join Tina in her 40 Day LoveFest: Letting Go, a daily BlogTalkRadio show now through Nov 1 www.BlogTalkRadio.com/behappiertoday.

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