The Art of Letting Go
July 23, 2021
August 10, 2021
Self Care

I often share I'm a "recovering control freak." I've struggled with wanting to control everything in my life for years. Several years ago, a friend shared how "controlling a situation limits the outcomes." I had never looked at it like that. In that moment I realized how I'd been limiting myself for years. I don't know about you, but the last thing I want to do is limit the possibilities in my life.

I am intentional about letting go, because if I'm not things can get out of hand quickly. I take stock of my life every quarter - my obligations and commitments, my habits and my relationships. And I ask myself - am I creating the reality I want based on what I've allowed in my life? Letting go of what's holding me back is not always easy, but once I get past the pain and discomfort, I find the possibilities really are endless.

At several of our retreats we offer a "Letting Go Ceremony" the opportunity for guests to burn a piece of paper where they've written the thing or things they want to leave behind. The ceremony is powerful - tears, laughter and the relief that comes from releasing something that no longer serves.

Focus on what you can control - your thoughts and actions - while realizing that everything else is out of your control.

It helps me to remind myself of what I can't control.

  • What other people think of me - What is that saying? What people think of me is their business, not mine.
  • Other people's thoughts and actions - While it may be tempting to want to control other people's actions (especially loved ones!) - it is impossible. I have lots of experience with this one - it never works - no matter how hard I try!
  • What's happening around me - All that is going in the world, in our society - completely out of my control. All I can do is show up in my life - every day and with the people I love - and do my best.
  • Outcome of my efforts - I've learned to let go of attachment to the outcome, but I still struggle with this one. When I do or say something in hopes of getting a particular response - I have to put it out there and refrain from hoping it will "go my way." Very challenging!
Let Go of What You can Control

Self-doubt. As women, we play many different roles in our lives: friend, employee, boss, mother, sister, partner; the list goes on. With all the hats we wear, it can be easy to doubt how we are “performing” in any given role. We might wonder if we’re good enough, or if we’re doing enough. The reality is  we are doing the best we can—and that is always enough.

Let go of negative self-talk. Our thoughts have the power to create our reality. At one time or another, we may find ourselves in a cycle of negative self-talk, focusing on what we see as flaws or negatives about ourselves. Let go of fixation on the negative. Focus your attention and energy on what you love about yourself, and positivity will follow.

Let go of mistakes and past choices.  Ruminating on mistakes we've made is dangerous. I've found when I focus on what I can do differently next time allows me to learn and grow versus beating myself up for doing the wrong thing.

Let go of attachment to the past and the future. A significant element of the practice of yoga is learning through breath, meditation, and movement to be present. When we focus too much on events of the past—which are already done and gone—we prevent ourselves from moving forward into growth. On the other side of the coin, worrying about the future creates anxiety, which is essentially a fear of something that has only happened in our minds, but not in reality. Let go of what happened in the past and the need to control what happens in the future. You’ll find the freedom to be present, and to live and love the moment you are in.

Learning to let go of what you can control and making peace with what you can't control is life changing. Gripping too tightly will hold you back in your personal life. Let go and find freedom!

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Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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