Letting go is a natural part of life.
These week we explore a process to consciously let go.
As a practice for the New Year, this creates space for positive experiences to come into your life.
When you practice this regularly you start to feel more abundant, as you recognise and release everything that has served you so far.
You can do this to let go of possessions or clutter…
But you can also use this to let go of non-physical things that may be weighing you down… vices, habits, negative thinking or difficult life issues.
So, read on and discover how to find more peace, space and abundance in your life!
This step comes from Marie Kondo’s gorgeously-named book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying.
Here’s how to do it.
Choose one object. As you hold it in your hand, ask yourself: Do I love this? (Kondo’s version: Does this spark joy?)
Don’t overthink it, and don’t let justifications or sentimentality answer for you.
Does it truly spark joy within you, or not?
If yes, then you get to keep it and love it. (Repeat this often, and you will find yourself surrounded by things that bring you joy!)
If not, then the next steps will show you the magic of consciously letting go…
For vices or habits, experiment with using an object related to the habit. For example, for smoking, you can hold a cigarette – or even ask the question just as you’re inhaling the smoke. With an open mind and curiosity, you may find something really valuable in this exercise.
For habitual thinking or difficult relationships, make some notes about how you can’t move forward or feel free. Do some open-ended free writing, and then pick the statement that seems the most poignant, and ask the question “do I love this?” as you read the statement to yourself.
Possessions, habits, relationships and thoughts have come into your life for a reason. Maybe the reason is clear to you right now, or maybe not.
However, once you’ve decided that it no longer sparks joy then it’s time to move to this important next step.
It’s a little kooky, but spookily powerful if you let yourself just go with the process… are you ready? 🙂
In Marie Kondo’s book, she talks about the Shinto religion of Japan, in which every object holds a certain resonance (they may say spirit), and that you can thank this resonance for being in your life.
For example, if there’s an object that reminds you of a high point in your life, and you’re only holding onto the object as a reminder – but don’t really love the object itself – then in this step you honour the object for bringing those good experiences to you.
You can say for example,
“thank you for bringing me such a wonderful stage of growth and friendship”,
“thank you for being part of a peaceful time in my life” or
“thank you for reminding me of a fun memory”.
Maybe the object was simply useful, like an old dustpan and brush – then you can simply say “thank you for your usefulness”.
For difficult thoughts, relationships or vices, it may be something like,
“thank you for bringing me to this moment so that I can release this tension” or
“thank you for being a crutch when I was going through a difficult time”.
This is a technique known as “amplifying” and helps you to strengthen your connection with the positive things in your life, helping to reduce the “fight-or-flight” stress response and naturally increase feelings of gratitude.
Simply allow yourself to experience the positive feeling that’s connected with the thing you are letting go of.
Take some time to cherish these moments, experiences or ideas that are good for you. Doing this helps you to welcome more of these positive influences into your life.
In Kondo’s book, she says that the Shinto religion recognises that letting go of the physical object then creates a space in your environment for something new to enter, something that resonates with that good feeling.
Creation would like to provide these things that help you, and so by moving on those objects and thoughts that have completed their purpose, then this makes way for the new.
Now it is time to physically take that object away from your environment – as soon as possible, so you don’t have things in limbo.
You could to donate it to charity, recycle it, Freecycle it, give it to a friend (if it sparks joy in them!) or if it’s really beyond use, then release it into the garbage.
If you are letting go of thoughts, habits, relationship issues, then you can symbolically move these things on by using the notes you have written.
You could burn the paper, recycle it, shred and compost it, make papier mache, colour over it…
If it’s a vice then you may feel ready to dispose of a physical object (packet of cigarettes, bottle of wine). Even just to experience the symbolic value and feeling of release, this can be really helpful. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s not the end of your habit – letting go is often a process, not a one-time event.
Now that you have moved this old energy out of your physical space, simply allow yourself to feel what comes up.
You may feel lighter? A little more free?
Maybe just subtly something has changed in you?
Consciously letting go puts us into a more healthy and wholesome relationship with the process of creation, the process that we all belong to as our birthright.
It allows us to trust that we can honour what is truly good for us, while letting physical things flow through our lives, coming and going as needed.
Taking a moment to simply enjoy this feeling is a really valuable step in healing our relationship with the world and creating a sense of trust in our environment.
It also opens the way for new experiences that resonate strongly with our wellbeing.
So… are you ready to let go – and welcome in something positive and new? We’d love to hear how you found this process – contact us and share your experiences!
Next week we’re going to do a fun, creative exercise to welcome in the New Year… stay tuned!
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