I just let go of something I love. I got the signs as I have so many times before. I heard and saw that it was time to release this phase, to call on trust, to release control of outcomes, to choose myself, to honor love by allowing change. I knew it was time to let go and it was still hard. It is hard. To be candid, I have been ignoring these signs to let go for some time. As I have in situations before, I didn’t want to see what I was seeing. I didn’t want this to be true. I didn’t want to acknowledge that it was time to incite change. I wanted to hold on. The familiar was no longer serving me or the other in optimum ways. We were not thriving. And still, I held on because love was still there. I thought the presence of love meant that I must hold on. I’ve learned that loving means staying loyal, not letting go. Unlearning this rigid belief is happening, though not as gracefully as I would like.
Ignoring the signs did not change the truth. It merely postponed my making choices and actually added a great deal of anxiety to my inner and outer world in the meantime. Fear grew and confusion began clouding the clear signs to act. Being in tune with my body and having a consistent practice of meditation, be it walking, yoga, seated breath exercise, creative play, or writing, has led me to intimately hear the truth and receive guidance on how to proceed in the most appropriate ways. Clear guidance is available. As I connect to my inner wisdom, clarity meets me with ease and tenderness. Actually listening to and following the guidance I receive is up to me.
Letting go and honoring loss is an important part of life. Easy? Not really. Worthwhile? Absolutely. Even in the midst of sadness I know this to be true. Loving is so worth it, all the feelings and experiences it brings. Feeling the loss of a loved one or experience is a sign of our capacity to love. Honoring change, whether it is through a death, releasing a relationship, job transition, graduating from one year of life to the next, or any of the myriad changes life offers, is an ultimate sign of respect for life. Saying okay to change and recalling what has been meaningful is a way to celebrate life. The times of difficulty, decline and discord as well as the times of ease, joy, levity and abundance.
Loving someone, something, somewhere is what makes life meaningful. Holding onto what one loves is common human tendency, and yet it goes against the very nature of love. Doesn’t it? Loving is honoring, appreciating, accepting, seeing, hearing, sensing, savoring and then letting be. Love does not mean to hold on tight and refuse to allow change. As much I as I know this inside, when it comes to letting go of something I care for deeply, the thought doesn’t quite convince me out of feeling loss. They aren’t meant to.
In this time of loss and transition, adjusting to a new normal (for now), I come back to what I know for sure. The place in me where faith resides, where trust lives, where I know there is a bigger picture than I can see where all turns out exactly as its meant to. One thing I know for sure is that love is real. Caring and connecting transcend time and space. Those I have bonded with and shared even sparks of acknowledgment with remain. In me, in them, in the vast web of life we all share. Honestly appreciating does not diminish just because the form of something changes. I think about change in terms of letting go in this way: moving from one grade to the next in school is a rite of passage, a success. It requires trust, time to adjust, and brings with it many feelings both of insecurity and exhilaration to develop and grow. In order to experience what is next, what has been must be let go. Holding onto the first grade would make an entire world of learning, connecting, growing, changing, evolving, and experimenting impossible. Holding on, resisting what is meant to be, denying the natural progression of change is not an act of love at all. It is harmful. All life is a place of learning. When it comes to letting go, as scary as it might be, there is so much more to experience beyond this fear of letting go in love.
Letting go with love is loving. Imagining those I care about who I no longer see or hear in the same way is how love lives on. This is as real as hugging them, showing up to that office, calling her, seeing his smile across the room, giving the furry friend a pet. Honor the loss, remember with love, trust the greater good, be gentle and kind in the process as yes is said to the new.
Here's to Loving + Letting Life Change,
I am in a space of flow, of success, of abundance. Every day is bringing with it more blessings, answered wishes, new experiences inviting me to step in and shine.
Life is good. Scratch that, life is great.
Amidst change, both unanticipated and long awaited, I am stepping up to the plate. I have been rolling with this feeling great-ness for a handful of days now comfortably, even happily. Claiming my strengths and learning a lot about myself as well, I have been present and vibrantly alive. To be honest, it has been surreal. Slowly and subtly I began to notice shadowy thought patterns creeping in. Do you know these with the same familiarity as I do? The sly, sneaky, passively condemning, coyly bullying gremlins” Things are good now but you know the other shoe is going to drop, don’t you? This can’t last forever…
Setting off a string of similarly negative thoughts, my go with the flow, trusting and elated self started to shift into the skeptic: This is probably too good to be true, I better not get used to this, is everything really okay or have I been fooling myself?
These thoughts, if entertained, can and will likely lead to self sabotage and a self fulfilling prophecy. I know they have for me. If, on the other hand, they are identified, questioned and called out for what they really are (just big, scared bullies), they can and will dissipate and fade away.
The truth is, the other shoe doesn’t have to drop. Things do not have to “go wrong.”
It is perfectly safe, acceptable and marvelous to experience continued success, positivity, and pleasantness even when challenges arise. The belief that after some success (in whatever ways you define and experience it) there must come drama, tragedy or lack is what I have come to call the upper limit problem. When life is going smoothly, it becomes uncomfortable or intolerable and sabotage enters in on an unconscious level. Self sabotage can happen before we know it and cause a train wreck where we had been sailing along, leaving us asking flabbergasted, “What just happened?!”
There are a number of authors, speakers, writers and spiritual traditions that speak to the upper limit problem in their own voices. I particularly enjoy how this is described in The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks.
The common themes that I see in these discussions on hitting an upper limit with problems include fear, faith, and choice. Disbelief that it is safe or acceptable to experience what we desire leads to behavior fueled by the depleting states of fear or even terror. When fear comes, we can either believe it without question and follow it blindly into whatever dark corners it leads, or we can choose to question it and feed the faith instead. In short, we can become conscious. With awareness enters choice. We can choose to feed faith instead once we see the thoughts or behaviors for what they truly are: fear. Choosing faith means believing in the goodness of life, in our inherent right to have positive experiences, participating in the process of learning and growing and transcending our former limitations.
As much as it can seem like there is no choice, especially when fear has a strong hold on us, the truth is, the choice is ours. The fear will come. This is just part of being human. What we do with it when it arrives is what dictates where our path leads.
As the sneaky, sabotaging, trickster of a fear came in with “the other shoe is going to drop, don’t get too comfortable here” I met it with a formula I’ll share with you here. Here it is: I acknowledged it, questioned its validity and looked for what else is true. In this brief and powerfully transformative exercise this is what I came up with: Life will bring what it will bring. Right now, life is full of blessings and I am choosing to enjoy them. Even when I get nervous that this will not last forever, I remember that change is the only constant so more new experience is surely on its way. If this, too, shall pass, well then I am going to savor it while it’s here!
After getting in touch with myself, I asked a few simple and powerful questions:
Why am I afraid of feeling good?
Is there something I can do today that will support my feelings of safety?
If I saw this success, joy, and abundance as gifts sent to me from a loved one, how would I receive them?
Am I willing to release the fear and feed the faith?
How will I take care of myself if the other shoe does drop and things go wrong?
In what ways can I love and accept myself through all that I encounter?
Lastly, I returned to the practice that grounds me and lights me up simultaneously. The Gratitude List.
Being so in my head can get overwhelming, so returning to my center is vital after this type of self exploration process. Pen in hand, I grabbed a piece of paper and started listing my “thank you, life” items. The page was full before I knew it, and not just of the external experiences I have been graced with. Interactions with family, the fragrance of tuberose at the market, fresh picked blackberry tasting on the sunset walk, the smile of that loved one and other moments filled the page, too.
Letting life be, whatever it is, is the exquisite privilege and ongoing challenge of a lifetime. Good, bad, difficult, easy, fabulous, aggravating, inspired, ho hum, sacred, mundane, the list goes on. Whatever you are going through, just remember, it will change. So why not take it for all that is being offered now? Today, this hour, this breath, will never come again. The path could turn in an instant, what I know for sure is that right now is what we’ve got. Whether the shoes are on tight and cozy or have been flung off by the tidal wave of life, hang in there and join me in the High Tolerance for Feeling Great Club. It really is the place to be.
See you there,
Shifting seasons into Summer brings more light to us in the Northern Hemisphere. With increasing sunshine and more daylight, there is a lightening up of much more than the atmosphere. The dresses and shorts are out! School is out of session, people of all ages are invited to holiday and spend time outdoors with family, friends and community. There are barbecues and festivals, farmers markets and concerts. Invitations to mix it up from the sometimes monotonous day to day routine are everywhere. Summer reminds us that engaging new-ness is the spice of life. Whether during a specific season of the calendar year or particular stage of life, turning off the auto pilot and choosing something unfamiliar or out of the norm is revitalizing and invigorating.
As the light increases in the physical world, there is a readiness in me that is also rising and growing in visibility.
I’ve been waking up to what’s next for me. I feel changes happening and more coming. Have you, too? The call to spice up the routines and roles has me identifying intention, setting goals, and exceeding them in many aspects of life. Professional opportunities are finding me, new clients are seeking me out, my skills are wanted and being valued, the courage to discontinue habits and patterns that no longer empower me is strong, personal relationships are flourishing, I am inspired creatively, the list goes on.
I’m living some of what I only hoped for last season and beyond. How did it happen?
I mixed it up! The art of trying something new is the spice of life after all. I was ready for a change and stepped into it. I was became ready for something new to set off a domino effect of other new and fulfilling experiences. I realized to get something new I’ve got to do something new. Pretty simple, right? It took me a bit to grasp onto just how profound this statement is when put to practice. Letting go of the familiar routine can be challenging, scary, unsettling. I know!
Recent example: I was invited on an impromptu camping trip to a place just outside of Yosemite National Park. Beautiful, majestic, all inclusive trip away for a few days.
Who would turn this down, you might be asking. The answer: me. My initial reaction was, “I can’t, I would have to find a place for the dog, cancel this, reschedule that…” Excuse, excuse, excuse to stay in my comfort zone. The auto pilot answer was sure to get me more of the same: staying home in a routine that was fulfilling in areas and also ready for some major revitalizing. Who couldn’t benefit from a holiday?
Before answering, with what can only be described as a habitual reaction, stopped me in my tracks. “Just say Yes” swam through my head, drowning out the excuses for long enough to get my attention.
So I listened. I said Yes. I have learned to trust my gut through some painful lessons of ignoring this wise inner guide. Saying yes meant letting others support me, to give up control. I allowed others to watch the dog, packed a bag (well, two and some bedding to be exact – I am not the lightest packer, but who is really?) got out of my comfort zone, gave the auto pilot five days off and had a peaceful, meaningful and play-filled getaway with family. For days I was I was fed in ways nothing else could: new experience. I rarely looked at a clock, read on grass surrounded by trees three thousand feet above sea level, wrote pages and pages of the book I have been grappling with more recently that is due out by Fall (can you feel me smiling from here?!), soaked in some sun, hiked by streaming water, listened to bull frogs, tag teamed my nieces with sunscreen and mosquito spray, and laughed. The simple choice to try something new, to choose a different route and expose myself to unfamiliars, brought me face to face with the power I have to mix it up. Saying yes to getting out of my comfort zone is key, while maintaining basic safety, necessary boundaries and self care of course. I chose to be teachable, to let go of control, to open myself to unfamiliars, to practice flexibility. I spiced it up!
How are you called to mix it up and let the new swing in?There are ways to do this available to us all, everyday. Here are a few methods I use to spice things up on a regular basis:
What might enter in when the art of trying something new is nurtured? Go ahead, spice things up. What’s the worst that could happen? Letting out a few laughs, showing those pearly whites, maybe shedding some tears, looking silly or strikingly brilliant while creating new neural pathways (our brains love them some learning, after all). It’s what we’re here for so go out and get it, you spicy thing you.
This article is published in Simply Woman Online Magazine here.
Darcy Helene Meehan
As an advocate of Reinvention + Recovery, I work with clients to achieve balance, alignment and purpose in all areas