“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on” – Eckhart Tolle
I was walking home the other day looking at the trees. Trees in the dead of winter. Trees with no leave on them. Trees in their rawest, most vulnerable state. But then there it was – the tree with several brown, dried up leave still clinging onto it. They looked out of place. It was so apparent that the leaves served no purpose anymore, and yet the tree hadn’t let go.
Letting go is vulnerable. It leads you to your own winter. That time in your life where you’ve let go completely and are standing bare in facing the unknown, but trusting that by letting go, eventually the new buds will appear come the Spring.
Is there anything that you haven’t let go of yet? Think of yourself as that tree. It seems so foolish, so obvious that it should just let the leaves go. The tree doesn’t realize or remember that eventually the Spring will come and new buds will come, making the tree more beautiful and larger than it was before.
Each time the seasons pass, the trees grow larger. Every time something is released in nature it is so that something larger and more expansive can come from it. Trust that you, like nature, are only going to grow into a better, more vibrant, and beautiful version of yourself by letting go of what is stagnant.
So as we are, still in winter, take cues from nature. Winter is a time for us to go inward, to reflect, to think about what we want to create but also what we want to release. What have you still not let go of?
Now can you set the intention to release it?
My favourite way to release is through ritual. It makes it more ceremonial and this act alone can be deeply healing.
Write out a letter stating whatever it is that you’re ready to release. A behaviour. A past situation. An idea of the future that you’re clinging onto too much. A past relationship. An idea that you have to be a certain weight or size. Then sign the letter and say “thank you inner guide/soul/spirit/heart (whatever word works for you) for helping me to release what is no longer serving me.”
Now here comes the fun part: set it on fire. The act of setting the paper on fire really does add a ritualistic element to it that can be so helpful.
This exercise can be particularly helpful about a job or relationship that ended abruptly. Write out all the memories you have about the job or the person: all of the good, and all of the bad. When I did this exercise over a past relationship, I realized that while I had previously released all of my negative memories about this relationship, I hadn’t been ready before to release the positive memories. I was still holding onto the good memories we had together, but in doing so, I was still holding onto to that relationship, that person, and that version of me and my life.
As such, I was called to write out all of the beautiful memories I had with this person. It was sad to write it out. It was so bittersweet to remember all the amazing memories that we had together, but it was only through releasing the good memories that I was able to release myself of my attachment to this person and this relationship. I had to set myself free.
Perhaps, similarly, you’re holding onto good memories to a past situation that you need to release in order for something new to come into your life. This doesn’t mean that you are going to forget about this person or place or job, but it does mean that you’re going to rid yourself of your attachments to it.
But let go of all those amazing memories of that job you once loved alongside the bad memories. Let go of how light you felt when you fit a certain size, so that you can allow yourself to love on where you’re at now and instead focus on how healthy your body feels. Let go of your good memories at a certain vacation spot so that you can allow new memories in new locations to call out to you.
Letting it go is not just for past hurts or too much attachment to the future, it’s for anything that’s keeping hooked, thus keeping us unhinged from the present moment.
Set yourself free.