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How To Loosen Your Grip On Life

We’ve all heard the only constant in life is change, right?  And 2020 has gifted us with more out-of-our-hands changes than any other year in recent memory.


But here’s a change we can all embrace, even if it doesn’t look the same as other years.


It’s Autumn – time for cosy sweaters, pumpkin spice everything and gorgeous fall colours. 🍁 


Autumn is also a natural time for letting go.

Oh ya. THAT. 


There’s work to be done in the letting go. It isn’t always easy to examine our lives and release the things that once served us well. If you’re like me, you like to try and control everything, to hold on to things, to white-knuckle life. 
If I have one piece of advice for this process it’s this – trust yourself. The acorn has all the knowledge it needs to grow into a magnificent oak tree tucked inside.

So do you.


I say this because a few years ago I included a seed experiment in one of my workshops. Each participant was encouraged to get a little soil and plant a few seeds in a mason jar. (PS you can do this experiment too)


These seeds represented the intentions they set. Perhaps they wanted to be kinder to themselves, find a job, or be more active. Every day they’d nurture the seeds they planted with water and sunshine. And every day they’d take 1 baby step towards their goal.


Then something unexpected happened.
I was flooded with emails…

  • Well, how much water does it need?
  • Full sunlight or some time in the shade too?
  • Should I add Miracle-Gro or fertilizer?
  • Did I kill it? I don’t see any green yet!

This made me giggle with knowing laughter as it reminded me of how we all KNOW the answers but we don’t trust ourselves. We’ve been trained to second-guess our instincts and look outside ourselves for the answers.  We ask a friend or dive head-first into Google. And in the searching, we find 8762 ways to block our progress and get in our own way.

Trust yourself.

You know what isn’t working anymore.

You know what you’re ready to let go of.

You’re just like the acorn.

Get still. Be quiet. Breathe deep. And listen to your inner knowing.

We’re often so busy trying to CONTROL every aspect of our lives we don’t recognize how tightly we’re holding on to things we’ve outgrown.
And we can get so distracted by everyone else’s expectations and unsolicited advice about what we “should” be doing we lose track of what feels true for us. What’s in alignment with our core values, needs, and priorities.

Expectation is the root of all heartache.
William Shakespeare (c. 1564 – 1616)

Take your cues from nature. There are millions of varieties of plants and trees. Each one doing their own thing. They don’t compare themselves – who’s growing faster or taller, whose colours are more brilliant or more Instagrammable. They just get on with the business of growing. At their own pace. Blooming exactly when they’re ready, regardless of who’s watching or walking by.


And in the fall…they shed everything to prepare for new growth. It’s part of the cycle of life itself. There’s beauty in letting go. Seriously, just look outside your window right now (well, if you’re in North America like me anyway 🍂) or just look at this picture. Listening to my inner knowing resulted in me giving myself permission to escape for an extra looong weekend and it totally replenished and revitalized me. ✌🏼

Check-in with yourself…what are you holding on to? WHY are you holding on? Is it because it’s familiar and comfortable? Because you worked so hard for it? Because you invested so damn much already? Because you don’t know who you’d be without it? Because it’s what you’re ‘supposed’ to do or be or have? Does it feel nourishing to your soul or more like a party dress you’ve outgrown? Has it served its purpose and perhaps it’s time to move on? 

Are you grieving? 


It’s the stories, anxiety, and fear that we bring to our lives that make it feel complicated and difficult. Autumn asks us to let go of the stories and fear, the grief and anxiety, and all those expectations that are keeping us from growing.


You can’t receive with a closed fist. You’ll never know what the next chapter holds if you keep re-reading the last one. You can’t swing to the next monkey bar without letting go of the last rung.


We have dozens of metaphors for letting go for a reason. This is hard AND it’s universal. We all must learn to do the work of letting go. We all must learn to trust ourselves.


Get still.  Be quiet. Breathe deeply.  And listen to your inner knowing. 

Then, grab a journal + pen.

WRITING PROMPTS

The struggle is the place where holding on is competing with letting go. (read that again)  

  • Where are you struggling right now? 
  • What specifically are you holding on to? 
  • How is that preventing you from moving forward?
  • Reflect on a time when you did let go. What happened? 
    • How did you feel through each step of the process?
    • What was the result?
  • What no longer serves you?
  • What simply isn’t working anymore?
  • Where can you course correct and make adjustments so you can stay aligned with where you want to go and who you want to become?
    • (You can do a values and strengths assessment to determine what your natural next steps are – my favs are here and here).
  • What permission do you need to give yourself?
  • What gratitude can you express for these things that may have worked for some time in your life, but no longer work for you?
  • What might your life look like if you were to let go?
  • How might you FEEL if you let go?

I’ll say it again, there’s beauty in letting go. And with that comes a sense of liberation, renewal, and freedom. I highly encourage that you use this reflective time to see what is, and more importantly, what ISN’T working in your life. I’ve been doing some deep reflecting myself and am making some big changes in my life (more on that later) AND friends and clients are doing the same…lots of people leaving the city, jobs, and homes to live more in alignment with their personal values. And everyone is feeling heaps better because of it. This is what I wish for you too. 


So, if you need more help in letting go, I’ve got you. If you know you’re ready to let go but stuck on the HOW, sign up for a Discovery Session with me and we’ll see where you can loosen your grip a bit so you can move forward with more grace and ease. ✌🏼

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