The end of 2013 is upon us. Big ass year — full of all sorts of upheaval, perfectly aligned with the number 13, if you ask me. A year of change and a year full of choices. The two constants in life. Since December marks the end of this year — whether you hated it or loved it, it may be time to consider letting go, moving on, releasing. Most people, and particularly queer people are continuously making judgment sandwiches, a series of justifications and judgments—aimed toward our own behavior, but more often actions of others.
Let’s face it, it is at our human core to become too attached to things or people, issues and situations that we perceive have harmed us, helped us, pushed us forward or held us back. It’s challenging work to release these attachments even if we know that they are not good for us. I’m a believer that addictive, immovable thinking or behavior is at the root of all our own self-suffering. A very strong statement? Sure is.
A few years ago, I spent a week in Sedona, Ariz., going through a coaching certification process for The Sedona Method. If you’ve ever been to Sedona, it is, at every turn, full of breath-taking vistas, and the place resounds with spirituality, self-awareness and improvement, and understanding of how to release the past or present toward personal reinvention. The week ended with a visit to Prescott, where the cowboys are real, and real hot, dressed to the cowboy hilt, and downright super friendly. A perfect week to say the least. One of many things I really focused on during the Sedona week was keeping people in my life that truly loved me, motivated me, encouraged me, inspired and enhanced me and ultimately made me happy. I came to a rich understanding that if you have people in your life that do none of above, then let them go.
Steve Maraboli, in his informative book Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience, says “The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
That pretty much sums it up. Trapped, frozen, cornered, going through the same motions, whatever you want to call it — it’s a fact that unless you release, your pathway is limited and destined to be re-traveled. By you. So how do you obtain that space of being unapologetically yourself? I’d like to first pose a a few questions, and offer a few tips that have worked for me, what I call my mindfullness time that I really gravitate toward at the end of each year.
Robert Redford in his most recent film All Is Lost, is the only actor in the film, in a performance of a lifetime. A man alone on a small yacht in the Indian Ocean. A 77-year-old actor, and a very demanding role. There is a powerful voice over monologue at the beginning of the film. “13th of July, 4:50pm. Im sorry, I know that means little at this point, but I tried. I know that means little at this time. I think you would all agree, that I tried. To be true, to be strong, to be kind, to love, to be right. But I wasn’t. And I know you knew this in each of your ways, and I am sorry. All is lost here. Except for soul and body, that is—what is left of them, and a half-days ration.”
Why do we have to get into life-threatening or dire situations before we are willing admit, apologize, acknowledge, let go and release?
What is releasing? It is letting go and releasing the subconscious blocks that hold you back from having, being and doing what you choose. It’s a practice for letting go that instantly puts you in touch with your natural, already-present ability to succeed, so you can feel more confidence, calm and in control of any situation. That’s it.
A Few Questions (consider one a week and let it be your weekly focus, think about it often)
- Do you believe that you have to suffer to give up anything or anyone? Does your mind tell you through a lifetime of conditioning that there will be suffering? Are you comfortable enough to dwell with the answer you get, working toward altering the belief that you have to suffer?
- Do you believe that because you believe something, you make it so? Are you willing to let go of the negative around your belief, embrace the positive, letting it fill in your thoughts?
- Do you feel that all of your life is interconnected; relationships, career, financial, fulfillment, improvement, emotional intelligence, community, health and family? Could you begin seeing how they are all interrelated, and recognizing the connectivity of your whole life?
- Do you feel you have the self power to challenge your own assumptions? Not allowing them to become inaccurate truths for yourself?
- Do you believe that your addictive voice is not you? Have you ever exercised your intuitive knowingness versus that addictive voice? Could you start becoming fully aware of the two and when you are tapping into one or the other?
- There are different ways of releasing: Deciding to just drop it—this can be fast, sometimes too harsh for most people, but it can also work on smaller things you want to release, and it requires focus to be fully effective. Or you could start welcoming or allowing the emotion in regarding what it is you want to release, diving into the core of the emotion or feeling, and then honestly working on a holistic and ongoing releasing. This tends to work better with relationships, a huge career change, a health issue, or a significant financial change or plan.
- Don’t go to war with your mind, dwelling too much on the back story is wasted self-hypnosis. Don’t hold on to the past, trying to figure it all out. Create instead the new dream-ending space or place you want to be and release anything that prevents you from obtaining that feeling, space, or place in your life.
- Ask yourself these simple, but powerful questions: What am I feeling now? Can I welcome the feeling? Could I let it go? Would I let it go? When? The POWER of real releasing is with this question.
- Remember two very important sayings that will allow you to release at a pace best for you; “just for now,” and “as best I can.”
- While you are working on letting go or releasing something, are you fully aware of the sensations you are feeling? Could you welcome the feeling(s)? Could you allow it to unravel? Could you allow it to dissolve? Could you allow yourself to stretch beyond it? Could you allow yourself to set it free?
- Always do the important post work after you release and end with a question like ‘how do I feel about it now?’
It is amazing how much we can deceive ourselves, believing that things and people will bring us happiness when, in reality, it was never the case. In other words, we need to burst the fantasy bubble that we have built around our clinging and then we need to make a decision to give it up. Only you are in charge of your happiness, others can add to it when you consider the interrelatedness of your whole life, but it’s your most important job in life, with an abundance to learn along the journey. Back to Steve Maraboli.
“Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.”