Let Go and Find Flow

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Let go of what you don’t need in order to receive what you do need.  Start with the breath. Every inhale you receive is new life, new breath, new energy. And on every exhale you let go.

The moon is full now. Take a snapshot of your life the way it is today. Mental clutter. The state of the living room. How are your relationships doing?

Make a note: What would I like to let go of right now? Start with the obvious stuff: The t-shirt you’ve had since high school that there’s absolutely no reason to ever wear again. The stack of magazines on your bookshelf you’re never going to read. And while you clean out the gunk in your house, maybe you could clear some cobwebs in your head. The physical task of organizing, sorting and scrubbing the heck out of choice household items has the mystical power of also helping to sort one’s thoughts.

You may notice that the clutter in your house closely reflects the clutter in your mind. Get rid of a lot of stuff if you need to. If you are able to trim down your time commitments, let go of anything that isn’t a productive use of your time. If you have friends you constantly complain about to your other friends, either spend less time with those people or stop being a gossip. Listen to the things you say and cut out anything that casts you as the type of person you wouldn’t like.

You will begin to notice that you’ve made room in your life. Maybe you cleared off a whole book shelf or pared down your wardrobe to a small collection of things you actually like. Maybe you bought yourself some much-needed free time in the middle of the week. Maybe you occasionally hear silence where there was a lot of talking before.

Do not rush to fill these spaces. Life has a way of piling up on you, so just breath into the space right here and now, and try to go with the flow.

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If You Are in Pain

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Pain is utilitarian — an alarm.
Pain should be dispensed with when possible.
A fire alarm that goes off all the time isn’t much help when your house is on fire.
So much of our pain comes from our own grasping.
Pick something painful to let go of — an easy one.
There may be things you think you can never let go of.
That’s ok, you can hang on to them a little longer.
Holding on to pain sometimes feels like a consolation.
We protect our wounds.
But maybe you could let go of some dumb kid who teased you in middle school.
You could decide you’re no longer your insecure pre-teen self.
You have grown up, and you can forgive the ignorant child who hurt you.
Forgiving others may be the easiest way to relieve your own pain.
Forgiving yourself is harder, but powerful.
Let go of these things, and carve out space for joy.
It feels good not to hold so much all the time.
You’ll get braver.
You’ll work on the big stuff later.

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How to Forgive Yourself for Being Stupid and Everything Else

Tangled fishing line When you’re driving to work or doing something where you zone out for a minute, do you ever randomly remember weird/stupid/embarssing things from your past and feel terrible about it for no reason? For example, when I was a stupid kid, I once said something very racist to a black lady without realizing that I was saying something racist. The worst part of the memory is that she was too nice or too flabbergasted to correct me, and she simply smiled and walked away. I would NEVER say the same thing as an adult, but I still feel like a jerk for saying it way back then. When I remember this moment, I just sigh real loud or make a noise like, “BLARGH! Shut up brain!”

But here’s the thing, you’ve got to know when to let go.

Here are some other things I obsess about:

  • everything that’s wrong with me
  • always falling just shy of perfection on my 4th grade spelling tests
  • that time in 6th grade when I was told I was overweight and the fact that I have weighed approximately the same thing ever since
  • that time in the 3rd grade when I couldn’t memorize the multiplication tables, and these two kids made fun of me for it
  • that time in kindergarten when my mom was quietly listening to some other parents talk and, thinking she was acting too shy, I told her in front of everyone that she should talk more because she looked like a nerd

These are all rather meaningless things, but I sometimes drag them out when I feel inexplicably compelled to beat myself up.

Not every problem is a knot to untie. Not every snag is a nail that must be beaten down. Sometimes, things are just little inconveniences that we step past. Sometimes, what seems to be a deep-seated “issue,” is just part of who we are. Sometimes acknowledging and accepting things as they are makes them a lot easier to deal with.It’s terribly easy to get lost in this labyrinth of complicated identity issues and things we’d rather forget, and it’s terribly hard to get out.

Tangle

Unless you can just let go.

Accept that you have occasionally said or done things you wish you hadn’t. Apologize if you feel the need, but then, LET IT GO. If I could go back and apologize to that one lady for being such an ignorant child, I would. However, I can’t, so I just have to do better in the future.

Accept that some things just don’t come naturally to you and that doesn’t make you any less valid as a person. I will never apply for an accounting gig. I’m a writer but not a great speller. So what? Let it go.

Accept and let go.
Accept and let go.
Accept and let go.

Trying to puzzle it out, while you may think you’re being accepting of yourself, is actually a denial of what is. You’re trying to fix something, trying to make yourself different than you are, and wasting a lot of energy on obsessive thought. If you want to improve yourself, focus on your thoughts and actions right now instead of the past. But tracing out the entire history of your bank account is actually a huge waste of time and energy. Cut that out. Let it go. Wipe the slate clean where possible, and move forward.

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