Letting Go

Letting Go

Letting go is an important part of life.  As a person that has been a traveller for years and years, this concept is one that is often at the forefront of my mind (and heart). 

And not only for those of us that travel and live globally, this touches every single human life.

What does Letting Go Mean?

More importantly, what does letting go gracefully mean?

To me, it means:

  • Being present and living in the moment, not being overwhelmed by what was or what may be.
  • Embracing the emotions, allowing them to be but not holding on to them longer than needed.
  • Understanding that these emotions serve a purpose of comforting and guiding us if we let them.
  • Recognizing that sadness and deep missing of people/places is simply because of the love and joy experienced.  Sadness and missing are testaments to the joy and love experienced.
  • Remembering that just because I am happy and comfortable here … that doesn’t mean I cannot be happy and comfortable somewhere else.
  • Recognizing that a goodbye is only temporary and that actually we are always connected to that which we love.
  • Always remembering all that I am grateful for.

I have been a traveller for many years.  When I left Canada, I was travelling alone for more than 12 years and now John and I are travelling together.

During all those years of travelling, I have had to say goodbye to people, animals and places over and over again.

Part of Human Life

And actually, isn’t a big part of human life about this letting go; not only for those of us that are travelling but for everyone?  We have to learn to let go gracefully as people die, as jobs come and go, as relationships come and go, as our abilities to do things change, etc.

Einstein says that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.

So, it is important that we change, it is the change that allows us to grow and develop.  It is the change that allows us to truly strive towards our positive potentials, to truly step into our most healthy, authentic, joyous and loving self.

The more time I spend here in this body the more I really truly remember and understand this.  So, as I move about in my life (of which I do A LOT!!!) and as things move in and out of my life - as I am having to practice letting go - I remember how important change is and how important the skill of letting go gracefully is.

Once again, I am quickly approaching the end of a time in one place and moving on to another.  My heart fills with sadness and my gut fills with anxiety of what is to come.  I remember to let those things be - they have a right to stand center stage and they are important guiding mechanisms for my thoughts and actions - BUT I also remember to let them go.  I practice letting them go each moment.  It is when we grasp on to these emotions that we can become off balance.

Sadness, fear, anxiety, anger and all of their friends can be very influential, dominating and controlling in our lives if we let them.  They can appear so very strong at times that we can feel nothing but them.

How to Let Go

So how do I let these emotions go?

For me the biggest tools I use for this are:

  • meditation
  • deep breathing
  • talking through things with a trusted person
  • journalling
  • getting grounded in Nature (going for a hike, walking barefoot on the Earth, jumping in the ocean, touching some big trees or rocks, etc.)
  • sitting in the sun and breathing it in
  • dancing in the rain
  • doing some yoga or other movement
  • humming, singing or dancing 
  • listening to gorgeous music
  • getting perspective by stepping into an attitude of gratitude - remembering all in my life that I am grateful for

Grounding with Nature

A long time ago, one of my teachers told me, ‘empty your cup so that it can be filled’.  For me, this teaching speaks directly to this practice of letting go. 

If I am busy holding on to emotions of sadness, grief, anxiety or fear I am, in essence, keeping my cup (or my mind) filled with these things, therefore having less space for anything new.

If you watch animals in Nature, young children or humans that still live a very tribal and communal existence you will see examples of these beings experiencing things in the moment and then letting them go.  For things that are more dramatic or traumatic they may be felt for a little longer but then they are always let go.  I feel this to be the natural way to experience life but somewhere along the way we have become accustomed to letting these strong emotions irrationally rule us rather than simply serving their purpose and leaving. 

For many of us now it is a practice to remember, once again, how to coexist with these intense feelings and how to flow with them in a way that serves our health and wellbeing.

Every day I practice this act of gracefully letting go, of gracefully and lovingly moving from one moment to the next.  It is not always easy but it does get easier with practice and awareness.  I make use of the tools listed above and I commit to having fun while practicing.  Getting good at letting go of the small easy stuff will allow us to be able to move through the bigger more challenging things with grace, ease, love and even joy.

Meditatin in Nature

We are more open to experience joy, love, laughter and deep connections when we are able to let go and keep our cup empty. 

Those intense (and uncomfortable) emotions are important and necessary, use them and let them serve their purpose.  Do not push them away, but also do not hold on to them longer than necessary. 

Practice letting go and keeping your balance - you are worth it!

Leave 'Letting Go', return to 'Why I Travel'

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