In reflection of the last 12 months, 2014 was one hell of a challenging year for me. It was a year where I was called to let go of all the things that I had been holding onto; emotionally, physically and mentally so that I could grow and emerge a stronger person on the other side.
I started off 2014, on the 1st of January with a relationship breakup. I was shattered by this at the time. Not only was I deeply shocked and hurt, but I was also disappointed that I was to start my year in such a way.
In hindsight, this was the catalyst for me to re-evaluate various aspects of my life that I had been holding on to and trying to control.
And so for the majority of 2014, I spent my energy releasing this control and desire for things to always go my way.
At first, I started with letting go of habits that no longer brought out the joy and lightness in me. Things like multi-tasking, starting too many projects, saying yes to things I felt obligated to etc. I started to detach my emotional hold on physical things and disposed or gave away items that were not really adding value to my life. And finally I tackled the big stuff like moving on from friendships and relationships that were no longer bringing out the best in me. I also started to change the stories around money and relationships that I been telling myself.
So in review of my year of letting things go, here are 4 mindful lessons that I encountered along the way.
PS. Whilst most of these lessons came about as I was moving through my relationship break up, I feel they are still relevant for letting go, releasing, detaching and decluttering in all areas of life!
Lesson 1 : Acknowledge Discomfort and Be Open To Change
For me, the process of accepting and grieving the end of relationship and then moving on took a really long time. This act of letting go was one of the hardest things I have had to do as it took me on a seemingly, never ending roller coaster ride of emotions.
Acknowledge that you will feel extreme emotions and accept that your feelings and perspective will change continuously through this process.
This is necessary when we are in the process of growth. So sit with the discomfort, be observant without judgement and really feel what you need to feel. Instead of keeping all your emotions buried below the surface, have the courage to release it so that you can move through it and grow even further.
- Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings around what you want to let go of. What feels heavy in your heart? What makes your stomach clench when you are asked to show up for it?
- Spend time meditating on how you will feel when you have released what you are holding on to. Do you feel lightness, ease and calm once you have moved past this?
Lesson 2 : Trust in the Process
I believe that if the timing is right, then the lesson will appear. At this point in time, we have all the necessary resources within us to take this lesson and grow from it. There is a call to surrender to the process, without pushing, fighting against it or trying to control it.
Once I started to trust the process of letting go - I found myself easing into it. Things became so easier and simpler when I wasn't trying to control my feelings.
I also became aware of what it was that I needed to declutter from my life, for the fact that it felt heavy to hold onto these things.
- Ask yourself what you need to do in order to let go? Do you feel pulled to spend time with family or friends or do you crave your time alone. What process feels right for you?
- Be aware of when you are simply substituting in distractions instead of actually experiencing your emotions. Distractions can help us cope however it is also important to balance this with sitting with your discomfort as well.
- The full moon is beautiful time to release things that no longer serve you. Perform a full moon releasing ritual or simply write down what you wish to set free on a piece of paper and burn it.
Lesson 3 : Practicing Self Care and Doing The Things You Love
Detaching from people, experiences, things, memories and stories will take time, depending on the situation. It can be a long process so it is important to be forgiving and gentle with yourself. When I came out of my relationship, for a long time, my heart was closed off to the rest of the world. I was so fearful of opening up and being vulnerable that it also stifled my authentic voice.
I gradually opened my heart again by practicing self-care and doing the things I loved. I invested my energy into writing, drawing, creating, learning and connecting with friends. These things gave me a channel to express myself authentically so I could gain back my inner confidence.
- What did you love to do when you were younger?
- While you are releasing the old, know that you are also creating beautiful space for things that bring you joy to enter into your life.
- What can you do from a wellness perspective that can make you feel amazing? Release toxins from your body with a soak in a bath with epsom salts, embrace a balanced and healthy way of eating or maybe even a juice cleanse.
Lesson 4 : Let Go of The Physical Things Too
Sometimes we displace our emotional energy onto physical things. And we hold onto these things because of their sentimental value.
During my year of decluttering, I gradually realised that sometimes having less is more. I had moved into a small apartment and there was simply not enough space for a lot of the things that I owned. So I have been hacking away at my pile of giveaway clothes and items for a while, gradually getting rid of them from my life.
Nowadays, I feel like I have all that I need in my little space and I love the energy that a decluttered space brings.
Enjoy this process of decluttering which is so refreshing and liberating.
- Move through various rooms in your home and giveaway, sell or throw away things that no longer add any value to your life.
- Create good energy in your physical space by cleansing with sage.
- Read also about Energetic Clearing and Making Space for New.
- Before you buy something new and shiny, ask whether it is replacing something that you will be getting rid of.
- Adopt a one-in one-out strategy to shopping.
- Review your bills, financial or medical administrative items. How could you simplify this? Do you have too many bank accounts, credit cards, superannuation funds?