October 1, 2013

Letting Go: What Does It Mean to You?

Okay readers, we are in for a real treat this month. Tina Nies, Life and Vision Board Coach, will be sharing with us insights and tips about letting go and letting love, particularly self-love, in.

--


Sometimes it’s hard to describe in detail what I do, other than I help people build a foundation of self-love so they can let go of whatever might be holding them back from whatever they might want to do or be. The reason it’s tough to describe is that Loving & Letting Go might mean something different to you than it does to me AND I might be in a different place in my life journey than where you are. 

I’ve been in the happiness business for 8 years and specifically in the self-love business for almost 3 years and as I practice loving myself, I am amazed at the things that I continue to find and let go of. Loving & letting go is not something you do once and then all is perfect in the world; Loving & letting go is a practice. It’s a practice that can be simple, yet powerful.

Think about a professional athlete or musician, it seems they can simply pick up the ball or instrument and use it perfectly. How do they get to that point? They practice. Now, of course, it’s their job, so their practice might be pretty intense, but they practice.

While we each have different life experiences and different life goals, most of us simply want to feel good. We want to love and be loved. We want to feel happy, often times happier than we feel now. We spend a lot of time and energy trying to feel good, trying to love, and trying to be happier. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t work, sometimes we hold on to the idea that we might never be truly happy and we might even feel worse.

What would our life look like if we let go of the idea that it’s hard work to be happy?

What if you could just practice letting go, practice love, practice happiness?

You might be thinking, “Yeah, right!  You haven’t been where I’ve been, you haven’t experienced what I’ve experienced. You don’t know how hard I’ve tried.”

But I do know, I have been there, I have tried hard.

No time here for details, but I was a bully and nearly juvenile delinquent, sexually abused as a child, dated someone at 17 who turned out to be living a double life, raped in college by someone I trusted, while in law school was a key witness in a murder investigation where I was the next target, lived in my car, stole, and much more ALL while living what appeared to many as a lucky and great life!

After “hitting bottom” in my mid-20s, I had a great experience in a group therapy for sexual abuse victims, and my life changed. I wanted to be happy, I learned so much, but it always seemed like hard work.

All that stuff we go through and heal through can leave little things behind… habits, patterns of behavior, thoughts, etc. All things that probably served us in some way as we went through our stuff… but maybe now, it’s time to practice letting those things go.

It’s interesting to observe as we practice letting go, that we uncover something else that lingers under the surface, holding us back or keeping us off track or taking our attention away from the present and putting it in the past or future. The present moment is where letting go has the most power.

Right now, how do you want to feel and what would you need to let go of to achieve that desired feeling?

What comes to your mind as we talk about letting go?

Is there something, big or small, that you can let go of?

What does even the idea of letting go mean to you?

I mentioned a lot of pretty serious experiences, but those experiences aren’t the focus of what we may need to let go of to feel better. It’s in our everyday life where we can begin to practice letting go, letting go with some of the small stuff (even though the small stuff could be leftovers from the big stuff).

So, what is one thing you could let go of right now, or even consider letting go of that is holding you back in some way? It might be an argument with friend that has been hanging around and you haven't talked to that friend in a while. Maybe it’s letting go of ideas about how you think things should or shouldn’t look in your life OR in the life of others.

Sometimes we hold on so tightly to whatever we’re holding on to that it’s like we have both hands on a rope tightly. We don’t let go, our hands feel strained, maybe callouses develop, but we keep holding on, working hard to keep that rope tight! We’re so focused on holding on that we might miss some amazing things that get thrown our way and we can’t catch it.

What if you took one hand of the rope for five minutes? What if you kept practicing letting go until one hand was always free? What if you practiced letting go every day and one day the rope was on the ground?

What are you missing, what are you not catching because both hands are tight on that rope?

Sometimes we don’t even see possibilities because the only focus is that rope tight in our hands.

How do we begin a practice of letting go?

Today, when something comes up for you, and you’re feeling that stress in the moment, think about your hands, are they holding on to something?

What does the rope represent in this moment?

Can you identify anything about that rope or the situation that you are grateful for? Is there something good in it or can you learn from it?

Next, can you take one hand off the rope? When you take your hand off, what new options do you see about handling the stress of the moment?

For example, maybe we’re stressed about the kids not picking up their toys and the house is a disaster every day. Maybe it really stresses us out and we’re so fixated on the mess that we can’t see options for fixing the situation outside of more yelling and punishments for not picking up the toys. Of course, it’s fine to want a clean house, but maybe we can’t find a solution because we don’t have a free hand.  

So, what is good in the situation? Maybe it’s simply love for the kids or gratitude for having a home you 
want to keep beautiful.

Now with that one free hand, maybe we can see a compromise; maybe there is some way to make it fun. Maybe we create a game, so the end of every day, we set a timer for 10 minutes and they pick up as much as they can. Whatever doesn’t get picked up goes in a box in the closet and they won’t see those toys again for a week. So it’s a choice, they get to decide what they’ll pick up in 10 minutes; the other stuff is put away. Of course, the first couple times we try this, there could be some tears and fights, but with practice, it just becomes what is and maybe the timer won’t be needed after a while. Maybe both hands become free.

There are always choices in even the worst situations, even if only a choice in the way we think or see something. But if we’re so fixated on holding on to that rope, we can’t see anything but the rope and those other creative ideas don’t have room to come in.  We don’t have to keep holding onto that rope with both hands.

Letting go is loving to ourselves and to others. Letting go can be simply practicing taking one hand off that rope. Letting go can begin with looking for those ropes when we feel stress, sadness, unhappiness.

Once you raise your awareness of what you’re holding onto, it gets easier to notice when you can let go. 


Next week, I’ll share more exercises and tools you can use to practice loving and letting go. 


--


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

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sign up for my free guide so you can stop spinning your wheels and instead navigate your way through each stage of recovery with ease and clarity. Get the support you need today

GET YOUR COPY