Sweet Seekers! (As in, fellow humans looking for lightness and direction-refinement…)
Sometimes the letting-go process feels really sexy and empowering. Burn it! Nix it! Bye! And sometimes, we want to hold on (grip, cuddle, cling) to things. What if I need it? If I polish it up, then can I keep it? But I worked so hard on this…
There are times to get amped up and “just let that sh-t go.” But letting go usually involves other people, or hopes that we’ve carried a long time, and letting go can be connected to our livelihood. If you’re a loving, mindful creature (which you are, because you’re reading this), then letting go is typically entangled with some considerations. Because you care — about others, and your mental health.
Whether you need to perform major surgery on your commitments, or you need to just blow some sh-t up and walk away, healthy letting go requires mindfulness. So let’s really feel and think this through to get you free and clear.
THIS EXERCISE…goes deeper.
This week we’re going to open a door that’s easy to miss when we want to clean out what’s holding us back. We’re going to examine what it FEELS like to let go of stuff. Not WHAT we’re getting rid of or changing, but the sensation (ecstasy? terror?) of releasing and changing. And it turns out that those emotions are very wrapped up in expectations.
This exercise is not about making fast, high-pressure decisions about overhauling your entire life in five steps. This is much more fluid and abstract. I’m just asking you to consider how some behaviours feel. We want to point light on our subconscious so that our decisions — when it comes time to make them — are much more conscious.
We’re going to go at this from two directions. One: Your Expectations. Two: What you hold dear to you. Get out your journal to do the exercises below.
Or download your LETTING GO worksheet HERE.
We need to work from the inside, out. So let’s start with the hugely emotional, proudly powerful, often tragically unexamined territory of expectations. Shall we?!
STEP 1: WORD WARM UP
What’s your definition of the term “expectations”? What do you associate it with?
STEP 2: YOUR EXPECTATIONS
(Go with the first thought that comes to mind.) What expectations do you currently have of…
- Your important relationship #1:
- Your important relationship #2:
- Your community (work or societal or both):
- Life (your Creator, God, support system):
STEP 3: A WILD CONSIDERATION
How would you feel if you let those expectations go? I’m not suggesting that you do. Just explore it. What would shift for you?
Something to consider:
It’s incredibly hard to NOT have expectations. Expectations are part of human desire. And… excessive expectations will block your fulfillment because life will never be able to meet your demands or fantasies that come from scarcity. And…holding on to expectations with desperate or demanding energy will drain the sweet f-ck out of you. And then you end up too brittle and tired to magnetize anything to you — or enjoy it if you do get what you want.
1: STUFF + LIFESTYLE
In terms of your stuff (material possessions) and your lifestyle (adventure, freedom, education, time, interests) what do you hold most precious?
Scan your home, all that you own, etc. Then, review your schedule, your hobbies, your career, your favourite activities and the perks of your life and identify your Most Precious Things. (i.e. your phone, car, heirlooms, favourite boots, most expensive sweater, art work, your house, your vacations, all of your air mile points, your stellar reputation, your free time, your network of amazing professionals, your summer, the money in your rainy day account, your highly curated music collection, your make-up, your purse, your best winter coat, your bed, your website…)
What would give you acute panic to part with? What are you loath to let go of? What do you think that you could not live without?
STEP 2: GIVE IT AWAY
Imagine giving away your Most Precious Thing(s). Not just going without it for a little while, but actually giving it away to other people — for them to enjoy and benefit from. How do you feel?
Imagine giving away hundreds of your Most Precious Thing(s). They would have it and you wouldn’t. Imagine giving it away freely. With a smile. To anyone and everyone.
How does that feel? Terrifying? Heavy with guilt? Panicky? Pissed right off? Energizing? Relieved?
This could bring up a dozen different intense emotions. There’s no right or wrong “result” with this contemplation. Maybe it touches on your longing, your wounds of inadequacy, addictions. Maybe it fills you with gratitude or a feeling that so much more is possible.
You may rifle through the list of “precious things” and see what you would NEVER part with. You might realize that what’s most important to you has never been named.
Without all the stuff, and the perks, and the things that you’ve worked for…what’s your most Precious Thing? (Hint: You, and what only you can give to the world.)
Let Go. Because in the chaos-crazy times, we need to question what’s worked, what hasn’t, and how we’re going to create something better — for ourselves and each other.
Before you go…
- Start Where You Are, Pema Chodron
Tunes: Some tunes for your contemplations…
- Kingdom Come, Raury
- Coming Home, Leon Bridges
- Sisters of Mercy, Serena Ryder
- Landslide, Antony
- Ascension, Maxwell
- For You, Angus & Julia Stone
- You Can’t Always Get What You Want, The Rolling Stones
LISTEN ON SPOTIFY HERE: SWEET LETTING GO PLAYLIST
Danielle LaPorte is an invited member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100, a group who, in Oprah Winfrey’s words, “is uniquely connecting the world together with a spiritual energy that matters.” She is author of White Hot Truth: Clarity for keeping it real on your spiritual path—from one seeker to another. The Fire Starter Sessions, and The Desire Map: A Guide To Creating Goals With Soul—the book that has been translated into 8 languages, evolved into a yearly day planner system, a top 10 iTunes app, and an international workshop program with licensed facilitators in 15 countries.
Named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes, millions of visitors go to DanielleLaPorte.com every month for her daily #Truthbombs and what’s been called “the best place online for kickass spirituality.” A speaker, a poet, a painter, and a former business strategist and Washington-DC think tank exec, Entrepreneur Magazine calls Danielle, “equal parts poet and entrepreneurial badass…edgy, contrarian…loving and inspired.” Her charities of choice are Eve Ensler’s VDay: a global movement to end violence against women and girls, and charity: water, setting out to bring safe drinking water to everyone in the world. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her favourite philosopher, her son. You can find her @daniellelaporte and just about everywhere on social media.