#peace

How To Actually “Let It Go” And Feel Empowered And At Peace

When confiding in a trusted friend or family member about something that is bothering me, I am often told to just “let it go.”

“Yes, great, I would love that,” I think to myself, “but how exactly do I do that?”

We usually know when we need to “let it go” but what if we aren’t quite ready or we are really stinking mad, and need to sit with those feelings for a minute? Sometimes someone suggesting we just “let it go” seems a little harsh and angers us even more.

Being human means people will annoy and upset us, circumstances and situations will disappoint us, and we will be left feeling powerless at times. The good news is we don’t have to stay stuck. We can lean back into a more joyful, empowered state. We can feel peaceful. We can trust we are on the right path, and everything is happening for us and the greatest good for all.

Here are some spiritual practices I regularly use to bring me back to center and feel more joyful:

1. Reframe what it means to “let it go.”

Instead of saying “let it go,” I say “please take this from me.” This means surrendering our stress, frustration, disappointment, or whatever is troubling us to the God of our own understanding. This may look something like, “Wow, I am really judging this person, please take this from me.” Or “I am freaking out about I am going to get this job/relationship/money, please take this from me.”

Acknowledging the presence of a higher power reminds us that we are never alone and always being guided and protected. When we are fearful, we have forgotten this and are relying on our strength alone. Let the Universe assist you. It’s a simple way to take back your power.

Working as a freelancer, I live a lot of my life in limbo. I’m constantly in between jobs and up for big projects. I used to be in a constant state of fear, desperately trying to control outcomes. Stress and anxiety led the way. This is what I call a low vibration. It didn’t feel good at all because I was giving all my power away.

When I find myself getting caught up in why I didn’t get the job, why so and so didn’t call me back or support me, how am I going to pay off my credit card, lose the weight, find a worthy life partner or even a parking spot in New York City, I stop, take a step back, and ask God/Spirit/Universe to lead the way and work out all the details.

“Let it go” has new meaning to me. It isn’t about trying to pretend something doesn’t bother us. It isn’t about trying to control someone with our behavior. It isn’t fear or not caring. It is doing nothing and everything all at once: surrendering.

2. Acknowledge your resistance and attachments.

I recently received some feedback from a potential client that initially felt disappointing. My immediate knee-jerk reaction was, “I don’t want to do it that way. I shouldn’t have to jump through these hoops.” When I stepped back from the experience, and realized how resistant I was being to this expert’s feedback, I felt a big shift. I was then able to interpret the feedback as a valuable gift; information that could be used to my advantage to make me a more attractive candidate, not just to this client, but all clients. It is also motivated me to take inspired action and create my first online course to help others design more fulfilling and purpose-driven lives.

I also recognized how I was being resistant to applying the spiritual principle listed above, and trusting solely on myself instead of allowing a higher power to guide me and trust this “rejection” was actually a good thing, leading me to an even better opportunity.

Often times we are so attached to wanting to work with a particular client or be in a relationship with a certain person that we cause ourselves unnecessary pain. As Buddha said, “All suffering comes from attachment.”

A big step in “letting it go” is becoming detached, rather than grasping onto a person, job or situation that we think will make us happy. When we become aware we are behaving this way, we can adjust our thoughts and release expectations. We are all going to fall off the path, that’s a given, but what matters is how quickly we come back to center. Let yourself off the hook.

3. Choose stillness.

Our willingness to see things differently is everything. When we are willing to choose love instead of fear, peace instead of chaos, and stillness and non-reactivity instead of anger and attack, we will create the space to become more deeply fulfilled people.

When we are triggered, it can be very painful, but it is also a beautiful opportunity to expand and grow into a more enlightened person. We do this by disciplining our minds, and choosing stillness, peace, love, forgiveness, compassion even when we feel tempted to judge, blame, criticize, attack or feel unworthy.

Sometimes that means admitting to ourselves that we are not enlightened enough to not feel angry or insulted, but we are enlightened enough to know not to send that text or email or make a phone call when we are in that place.

4. Create a new story/mantra for yourself.

Sit quietly in prayer or meditation, and affirm to yourself that the entire universe is set up for your good. Be aware in an awe of the blessings and miracles all around you, knowing that the person, situation or experience you desire is on its way to you. It could even be standing right next to you, and you just need to open yourself up to that possibility.

My mantra is: Everything that could possibly contribute to my happiness is already here or on its way.

 

How To Keep Boundaries And Not Settle In Our Relationships

 

J Clynes Photography

There is nothing quite as electrifying or soul satisfying as falling in love and thinking we’ve found a partner to spend our lives with. But what happens when you start to see and feel that this man or woman is causing you more pain than joy and you are already so deeply invested?

I believe relationships are assignments. They bring up all our “stuff.” In other words, you and your significant other will both be triggered, old wounds will come up for the purpose of healing. You will both have to feel your feelings and release them in order to move forward and grow as a couple.

“Love brings up everything unlike itself for the purpose of healing.” ~A Course in Miracles

As a student of A Course in Miracles and a woman devoted to my spiritual growth, I was up for working through any difficult emotions or situations that came up. My partner was not. It wasn’t as easy as just cutting him lose immediately though. I had developed deep feelings for him, and we were in love.

I felt guilty for wanting to simply abandon him and the relationship. I truly wanted to grow with him. A friend gave my a piece of advice that really struck a cord with me. It resonated much more intimately than, “Girl, you deserve better,” and “He’s not good enough for you.”

My friend told me I was basing my decision to (at least temporarily) stay in the relationship off of my feelings and not my values. When I explained to her that I loved this man and wanted a future with him, but had some major concerns like the fact he wasn’t interested in a spiritual life at all and was unwilling to work through any emotional baggage or issues stemming from his divorce, both of which are extremely important to me.

It seemed obvious to my friend that my guy was simply not ready for a serious relationship despite telling me otherwise. His decision to lie to me on more than one occasion came up as character defects as well (things I had overlooked because I loved him). We both knew the right decision was to walk away from this relationship. So why was it so difficult and painful to end it?

I was evaluating if I should stay in the relationship based off my strong feelings for this man rather than what I value. When I wrote down what I value in a romantic partner, I realized this man did not embody many of those qualities, like supporting me emotionally, sharing my spiritual commitment to a higher power and being fully committed to me.

My friend reflected back to me what she saw. She asked me to pretend I had never met my boyfriend, and said I have this great guy for you, and I know you will find him very charming and attractive. Want me to hook you up with him?

“Sure,” I said.

My friend said, “Great! But he won’t share your values, he is spiritually passive, he will refuse to work through any of his emotional baggage and instead project his pain onto you, he will talk about his ex wife all the time, he won’t support you emotionally, he won’t celebrate your career accomplishments, well, actually he won’t respect that you work hard at all, and he will attack and criticize your feelings. But I think you will love him. So do you want to go out with him?”

Feeling repulsed, I said, “No!”

It became crystal clear I was leading with my feelings and not my values. My attachment to this man was getting in the way of what I truly desired in a life partner and was clouding my judgment. I recognized that my spiritual values would have to lead the way instead if I wanted a loving relationship that would last and be deeply fulfilling.

While at first I thought I was walking away from a great connection and love, I realized I was actually protecting and preserving love by requiring the character values that make it work. When I explained to my boyfriend that this is what I wanted and wasn’t interested in anything less, he agreed that he was not ready for this kind of relationship. I said I hope you become ready, I want that person to be you, but right now, I have to move on.

I had hopes that he would be inspired to go to counseling, get support and want to fully commit to a loving relationship with me. Turns out, he doesn’t want to work through any of his issues, and I have to respect his decision and close that door permanently. I truly wish him the best on his journey, and I’m thankful for the soul growth I experienced while dating him. I learned what I want, and more importantly, what I do not want in a committed romantic relationship.

I think it’s important that each of us look for a set of inner values in our relationships from the beginning, and if our love interest is not displaying those values, we consciously choose to not get involved and hold out for the person who embodies those cherished values. It’s even more imperative that we cultivate the characteristics that are valuable to us and keep ourselves in check as well. It’s our values that ultimately protect us.

When we lead with our values, not how we feel about someone, even when how we feel about someone is very strong, our values will lead us to the right person. Do not settle for less. Keep your boundaries. Guard your heart. Only give it to someone worth giving it to.

 

 

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