The Power of Letting Go
Letting go of things that no longer serve us is one of the healthiest things we can do for our mind, body and soul. Clearing out clutter helps our creativity, energy, health and clarity. I remember my youngest brother telling me “Jayne, when I throw away things I no longer need, it’s like clearing space in my head, I can think better”.
‘Spring Cleaning’ features in several cultures and is an ancient tradition, which is tied not only into religious calendars, but also seasonal cycles. March is a great time for cleaning out, because it is warm enough to open windows and doors, without insects flying in while the dust flies out! What I’m going to talk about here though is not just about clearing out physical clutter, but the mental clutter too…as you are probably already beginning to notice, the message here is that it is all connected!
It is often easy to feel overwhelmed about where to start, so I suggest first settling yourself down and turning your attention inwards. Take a few deep breaths and set the intention to make a list of what you don’t want in your life anymore, so that you can let them go. Literally write down all the things that come to mind that feel negatively charged, i.e. the things that make you feel blaaaahhhhh when you talk about them. They might be situations or problems you don’t like. They could be people. Perhaps a certain area of your home that makes you feel crappy when you look at it/ spend time in it. Or items you have that are creating clutter in your life, that you no longer need. Recognising your ‘don’t wants’ gives you the choice to change them. Recognising your ‘don’t wants’ gives you the power to let go and clear space for what you do want!
Notice the themes that develop when you make your list. You might find that you are able to group them together into different areas, for example ‘home’, ‘relationships’, ‘work’, ‘attitudes’. You may have more areas you’d like to add. Trust your intuition and go with what feels right for your list. Once you have made your list, reflect for a moment on the impact that each of the things you don’t want has on yourself and on others.
Okay! We don’t want to dwell on any of that negative stuff for any longer than we have to, you get the picture that it doesn’t feel good making the list and have probably begun to notice that clutter in one area of your life impacts on your happiness in other areas…. Sooo, you don’t want any of it going on for you any more, right?! Great, let’s get on to how you let it go! The good news is that as you let go of all the physical things on your list causing clutter that you no longer want, you’ll automatically be challenging thoughts and excuses associated with them and therefore clearing some of your mental clutter too!
First, set aside time to clear your clutter. Commit to it. Schedule time with yourself now in your diary to clear out each area from your list. Set aside time to clear the physical clutter as well as time to dedicate to clearing the mental clutter.
Before you start getting stuck in to clearing out physical clutter pay attention to your the thoughts and excuses that may enter your mind before, during or after your clear out. If you are a bit of a hoarder, be gentle on yourself… some of your physical clutter may be linked to deep beliefs about yourself and your ‘stuff’….
As you do your clearing notice how you feel in your body as you hold any items that you are deliberating over whether or not to get rid of. If the item makes you feel low energy and has negative memories attached to it, trust your intuition and throw it away!
Here are some of the guilt trip excuses your ego may come up with, to try and talk you out of clearing your clutter:
1. “If I throw this out it means I don’t care”
Heirlooms, knick nacks, unwanted gifts…. these things take up space and drain our energy. They turn us into victims because the rob us of our power to choose what we actually do want in our environment. Donate them to a charity shop and free yourself to have the choice to you’re your space clutter free or to replace them with something wonderful you would love to have there instead.
2. “I spent so much on it!”/ “I haven’t worn it yet”
Keeping something you made a bad choice on, so that you can beat yourself up every time you look at it will drain the hell out of you. We all buy things we later regret. Acknowledge it as one of those ‘bad buys’ and let it go. You’ll feel so much better when it’s no longer there making your feel guilty.
3. “I might need it someday”
How many random bits and bobs are you clinging on to simply because they might one day serve a purpose? Ask yourself how long it’s been since you last used it. If it was over 12 months ago – send it out to find a new home elsewhere! You don’t need it, never have, never will!
4. “One day I might find the time to fix this/ make this/ use this”
Notice how it feels in your body when you hold an item that represents something yet to be completed. It has stale energy. Don’t fill your space with what you should do. Imagine the infinite relief you will experience when you give yourself permission to let it go. Then, make space for a new project you really want to do.
5. “I should keep this, it makes me look xyz”
The piece of art hung on the wall to make you look ‘cultured’, the books on the shelf to make you look ‘well read’ and the CDs to show what diverse taste you have… who are they there for really? If something is in your house for the sake of ‘keeping up appearances’ let go of the fear, and notice how much better it feels to leave behind only that which is authentic.
6. “I don’t know where to put it”
Create a home for the random floating objects you have in your home, a folder for paperwork needing filed, a box for cute cards from friends, a pot for pens, a tub for elastic bands or loose change…. Once you define a space for items you’ll notice the odds and ends that don’t fit anywhere and know it’s because they need to be chucked out.
7. “I might fit back into it”
Ouch! What a horrid ‘beat me up’. If you’re still clinging to jeans you haven’t worn since you were 20, the chances are you are at least a dress size bigger than you were then. Learn to love your more womanly figure and get rid of the clothes that make you feel sad about how slim you once were, so that you can buy clothes that fit you well instead of giving you muffin top, and celebrate the shape your body is today.
Once you’ve bagged and boxed everything you are ready to get rid of, make sure you take it out for recycling as soon as possible! You want it out of your life completely so that you can begin to reclaim your space without any residual negative energy clinging on!
By clearing space in your physical environment (whether that’s at home, in your car or at your place of work) you will automatically have freed up space in your mind, thus increasing your intuition and creativity. You will now be much more able to instinctively find creative ways to let go of any mental clutter and realign your personal power.
Here are my six steps to success!
1. Take time out to think
To help you begin the process of letting go emotional clutter it is useful to sit down somewhere that you feel good, perhaps in a newly clutter free room of your home, and spend sometime running through your list of don’t wants. Some of the things on your list will be easier for you to let go of than others. Make note of any action steps that come to mind, for example writing a letter to someone you need to forgive (even if you never send the letter the process of getting your thoughts and feelings down on paper can really help), joining a health club to help you get the body of your dreams, making an appointment to see your GP about having a health check, calling a friend and telling them the truth about how you feel about XYZ.
2. Get support
Often when it comes to letting go of emotional clutter and adopting healthier beliefs and behaviours it is useful to have support from positive people, like a trusted friend or your life coach. This is because they can help you notice your successes in letting go of old habits, responsibilities and negative behaviours; challenge your old belief systems and help you stay on track. Also to help you explore the underlying thought processes surrounding any patterns you want to change.
3. Set bitesized goals
Releasing self-destructive tendencies, like over-working, drinking, smoking and comfort eating requires commitment to adopting healthier ways of being. It is useful to set yourself some realistic goals and be held accountable to them. Remember it takes around 30 days to form a new habit.
4. Connect with nature to clear away mental cobwebs
By getting back in touch with nature we are often able to release emotional clutter that has been holding us back. So get outside and literally let the wind blow the clutter away! Go for a walk somewhere that makes you feel refreshed and re-energised. Set the intention to let go of anything that no longer serves your highest good. Ask your angels to help you release all that needs releasing through all directions of space and time. You can call on Archangel Michael and Raphael who are especially good at helping with this process. Take a big, deep breath and over all your worries to them as you exhale fully. Trust that they’ll take care of the rest – they’ve never let me down on this!
5. Release your creativity
Allowing your creativity out is also incredibly healing when letting go of emotional clutter. Give your inner critic the day off and get messy with some paint, play around on the piano, write some poetry or act out a play with some of your kids puppets. Indulge your inner child and help yourself to connect with what you really want.
6. Nurture and nourish
Alternative therapies like reiki, angelic healing and massage are all hugely beneficial for assisting the process of letting go. As are practices like meditation, yoga, qigong and tai chi. Create space in your schedule to nurture and nourish your soul.
Trust the inner guidance you receive about what will help you release and clear space in your mind. Follow your gut instinct.
Enjoy letting go!
And, last but not least, burn your list of don’t wants to symbolize the fact that you’ve released them and created space for yourself and for things that you DO WANT!