Let Go and Find Peace
Theresa Polley
May 6, 2024
May 6, 2024
Self Care

I frequently share with guests that I’m a recovering control freak. Mostly recovered, but occasionally I find myself wanting to control a situation or, especially, an outcome. A  friend once shared these life changing words with me, "attempting to control a situation limits the outcome." Since then I’ve realized being open to what life brings my way is a much sweeter and less stressful way to live my life.

I find what works best for me is to be intentional about letting go of what no longer serves me. If not, things can get out of hand quickly. I take inventory of my life every quarter—obligations, commitments, habits and relationships. I ask myself—am I creating the reality I want based on what I've allowed in my life? 

At all of our retreats we offer a "Letting Go Ceremony." Guests have the opportunity to burn a piece of paper on which 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.

Anything you can’t control is teaching you how to let go. ~Jackson Kiddard

Acknowledge What You Can't Control

  • What other people think of you: 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. 
  • What's happening around me: All that is going on 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 your efforts: Let go of the attachment to the outcome of a particular situation. When you do or say something in hopes of getting a particular response–it can be challenging to let go of what you want–but other people don’t always behave the way you want them to.

Notice Things You Can Let Go

  • 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. You might wonder if you’re good enough, or if you’re doing enough. The answer is yes you are! The reality is you are doing the best you can—and that is always enough.
  • Negative self-talk. Our thoughts have the power to create our reality. At one time or another, you may find ourselves in a cycle of negative self-talk, focusing on what you 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.
  • Mistakes and past choices.  Ruminating on mistakes we've made is dangerous. Focus on what you can do differently next time allows you to learn and grow versus beating yourself up for doing the "wrong" thing.
  • 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 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.
  • Commitments, habits and relationships. Ask yourself, "Is my life giving me the reality I want?" If the answer is no, take a good hard look at what fills the hours of your days. Who are you spending time with? Do they lift you up or drag you down? Are you losing hours of your life on social media - is that really how you want to spend your time? Do you say yes to everything—even if it drains your time and energy? Granted things like traffic and an overbearing boss may seem like impossible situations, but allow yourself to ponder changes that would eliminate the seemingly "hard wired" obstacles in your life.

Practice Letting Go

  • Practice Non-Attachment: I discovered attachment is what made me miserable. So often in my life, I stood in the way of my joy and I held myself in a position where I continued to suffer, because I was waiting for a particular response from an individual or situation.
  • Start a Meditation Practice: Meditation is a powerful tool with physical and mental benefits. The practice is simple and easy to incorporate into your life, all you have to do is make the time for it.
  • Come to a Retreat: Pick a weekend that works for you, or a particular Retreat type that appeals to you, and visit Retreat in the Pines. You'll find healing, connection and support and meet women whose stories and struggles you can relate to. Plus, you'll get to experience our Letting Go Celebration at any retreat you pick.

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 only hold you back. Let go and step into your new beginning.

This blog is intended to provide helpful suggestions for self care and overall well-being. I am not a mental health professional. If you’re struggling I encourage you to seek the help of a professional. Find a Mental Health Professional | National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988

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Theresa Polley

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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