4 mindful lessons for letting things go

A few years ago, I went through what can only be described as the most challenging year of my life. 2014 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.

The year started with a relationship breakup in January. At the time, I was shattered by this. Not only was I deeply shocked and hurt, but I had been disappointed to start the new year in this way.

I later realized that this event had become the catalyst for me to re-evaluate various aspects of my life that I had been holding on to and control.

A lot of our energy is spent trying to make things go exactly how we want them to. So, we must release this control and desire for things to always go our way. This catalyst gave me permission to do exactly that.

It wasn’t easy. It first started with letting go of habits that no longer brought out the joy and lightness in me such as multi-tasking, saying yes to things because I felt obligated to, etc. I also let go of things that weren’t adding value to my life - physical objects and even relationships that were no longer bringing out the best in me. 

Just because I’m an intuition coach doesn’t mean that I’m perfect at what I do. Even I can acknowledge that letting things go is a forever process and there’s still so much we’re constantly working on - whether it’s an emotional attachment to objects that aren’t bringing us joy or friendships that are taxing on us.

Whether you’re looking to let go, release, detach or declutter in any area of your life, here are 4 mindful lessons to letting things go: 

Lesson 1: Acknowledge discomfort and be open to change

Acknowledge that you will feel extreme emotions and accept that your feelings and perspective will change continuously through this process.

The process of accepting and grieving the end of my 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. 

Acknowledging this is necessary when we are in the process of growth. So sit with the discomfort, be observant without judgement and feel what you need to feel. Instead of keeping all your emotions buried below the surface, build the courage to release them so that you can move through it and grow even further. 

Tips :

  • 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

Time will teach you that if the timing is right, 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. Surrender to the process without pushing, fighting against it or trying to control it. 

Once you start to trust the process of letting things go - you will find yourself easing into it. Things became so easier and simpler when you aren’t trying to control your feelings. As you reflect, you might also become aware of the things you need to declutter from your life because it’ll feel heavy to keep holding onto these things. 

Tips :

  • Ask yourself what you need to do 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 a 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

Depending on the situation, detaching from people, experiences, things, memories and stories will take time. It can be a long process so it is important to be forgiving and gentle with yourself. When I came out of my relationship, my heart was closed off to the rest of the world for a long time. I was so fearful of opening up and being vulnerable that it also stifled my authentic voice. 

If you’re scared to open your heart again, practise self-care and doing things you love. For me, I invested my energy into writing, drawing, creating, learning and connecting with friends. These things gave you a channel to express yourself authentically so you can gain back your inner confidence.

Tips :

  • What did you love to do when you were younger? 
  • While you are releasing the old, know that you are also creating a 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: Letting go of the physical things too

Sometimes we displace our emotional energy onto physical things. And then, we hold onto these things because of their sentimental value. As you begin decluttering, you’ll realize that sometimes having less is more. I know I did. When I moved into a small apartment, there was simply not enough space for a lot of the things that I owned.

So, I began hacking away at my pile of giveaway clothes and items until eventually getting rid of them from my life. When you declutter down to owning only the things you truly need - the things that bring you joy - the energy that emanates from your decluttered space will be refreshing and liberating. 

Tips :

  • Move through various rooms in your home. Give away, 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.
  • Before you buy something new and shiny, ask whether it’s replacing something you’ll get 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? 


Before understanding what it is you need to declutter, become more mindful of your daily rituals and habits. The Intuition Journal, is a beautiful experience for creatives looking to reflect and see if there’s something they need to let go of.

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Jo ChunYan is a bespoke packaging & branding design studio for visionary founders. We acknowledges the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pays respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.