Newness needs space. When we decide to take on something, add something, or become something, in order to truly live this, we’ve gotta decide what to let go of. Bonus: we can release what doesn’t serve us, what’s been holding us back, or keeping us down.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~ Anais Nin
Here’s a list of some of the stuff I’ve dumped, to make space for this new way of showing up in the world:
Needing to know. I’ve let go of feeling like I have to have the answers. The truth is that when someone asks me for my feedback or thoughts, most of the time what they’re really seeking is the affirmation of their own truths. And the truth is that I don’t know what those are. But they do. Sometimes, asking questions is more helpful than giving answers.
Needing to control. Stress and anxiety can cause us to hold tight to our version of the way we think things should be. We feel that if we can control what happens around us, and lessen the chances of surprises or events we’re not sure we can deal with, we can lessen the stress and anxiety. But what we feed with our attention and intentions grows. Sometimes, the most impactful way to decrease our stress is to increase our faith.
Aversion to emotions. They’re not ugly: despair, anger, fear, fury. I used to think so. I’d kinda been programmed to. What we’re discouraged from expressing becomes what we repress—and avoid in ourselves and others. All emotions are beautiful. Recently, I saw a girl on a cell phone crossing a bridge on a stunning sunny day—barely able to walk she was sobbing so fiercely. It was an emphatic affirmation of our shared, deeply human nature. Sometimes, tears are just as uplifting as laughter.
The need to be the best. Yup, it’s out there now. I kinda grew up thinking that in order to do something I needed to be really, really good at it. Outstanding. Top of the class. Forget that. Sometimes, simply doing the thing is enough.
Plus: some books—The Power of Now, Feng Shui for Beginners, and The Art of Doing Nothing; some clothes—anything that didn’t help me feel like me; and some people—those who did more bringing me down than opening me up. Sometimes, the most useful gift we can give ourselves is less.