I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to remain happiest in daily life while achieving lofty, challenging goals. Here’s me at my best: running 2 businesses, hatching another, maintaining fulfilling relationships with the loves of my life, traveling, keeping healthy – body and mind – and still having time to give to charitable work.
I can generally keep afloat, but there are things that frustrate me and shut me down at times that I know I can get rid of if I just put my mind to it. It’s a matter of letting go of what we don’t need, of what doesn’t serve our larger purpose, to make room for all the good things – better energy, opportunities – that are in line with the lives we want.
Lord knows there are more than 10 things that can get in the way, but I’m a girl after instant gratification, so here are 10 things that I think we can do, or at least give our attention to – right now – that will help clear the paths to our best lives.
1. Let’s start with the easy. Clothes. No matter what you tell yourself – excuses, goals, plans, sentimental bargaining – if you haven’t worn it in two seasons, you won’t. Give it away to someone else who will. Don’t underestimate the power of an uncluttered closet on your mind. Let it go.
2. And while we’re in your drawers … time to get rid of anything that doesn’t make you feel sexy. If it bags, tugs, and/or scratches in all the wrong places, it’s gone. Those panties shoved in the back corner that only come out if your faves aren’t clean? Gone. You feel less than beauty when you wear them, so why, ever, put them on again? Let it go.
3. The ugly household items that have out served their purpose. Take a look at your space through the eyes of a visitor. Try to see things for the first time again: the wire magazine rack full of (still) unread magazines, Mom’s sweet old, chipped, flowery dishes (talking to myself, here). Emotional attachment is for hoarders. Don’t look at it for another moment. Give it away. Let it go.
4. Speaking of emotions, how about the emotions provoked by social media? We all know it’s a facade. It’s temporary. It’s transient and yet, too much time spent on any of the various social sites can really get you going in the wrong way. Know why you’re there and interact with your eyes, not your heart, open. Or let it go.
5. Any negative part of your story that you tell yourself and everyone around you. Are you always “too crazy busy” or “never have any luck”? It will always be true if you say so. We get so used to saying “can’t” and “never” that we don’t even hear ourselves say it anymore. I had a girlfriend who told me over and over that “no matter what she did she just couldn’t lose weight.” And you know what? She couldn’t. Until she changed her story. Unless it’s positive and limitless, let it go.
6. Relationships that don’t feed your soul. Time is too precious to spend with the wrong people. Friendships get outdated. Partners outgrow each other. You know it when it happens. If spending time with this person does nothing but stress you over and over again, it’s absolutely okay to let it go.
7. The need to look a certain way. Let it go. Focus on feeling a certain way. Do what makes you feel good – eat well, treat yourself right, require inspiration around you and you’ll feel your beauty from the inside out. This one is tricky for me. I come from the world of modeling and acting, heaven forbid I age. I’m always one needle away from Botox. So nowadays, I spend less time in the mirror and more time on a yoga mat. It’s a necessary practice for me. Judging beauty from the outside? Let it go.
8. Taking things personally. In one of my favorite books, “The Four Agreements”, Don Miguel Ruiz says, “Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.” Once you really get that, and can let what others say (both the negative and the positive, mind you) roll off of you, you’ll be freed of some needless self-mutilation. Assuming everyone is thinking and talking about you and taking what they say to heart? Let it go.
9. Self-doubt – that inner voice that likes to tell you that you aren’t good enough. It loves to compare you to others and question your reason for being. Shut it down. You can do it. Change the thoughts. Turn them into gratitude – that you’re breathing and capable of being in this game of life in the first place. It’s a mindset that you can control. Refocus on your mission and carry on. Losing your power to your inner critic? Let it go.
10. Stress. So busy you spend much of your time on autopilot? In his book “Qigong: Essence of the Healing Dance”, Garri Garripoli says, “Stress is something that we are not always conscious of; it can exist on a cellular level and hide, masked by our ingrained insensitivity.” Unchecked, we begin to store stress in our muscles, organs, and bones. This manifests in sickness and disease. You’ve got to find ways to let it all out. Get in touch with your body and then, move it. And get vocal, while you’re at it. Scream, punch, kick, jump, laugh, cry, stretch, run, and dance. Often. Pent up, unconscious stress? Let it go.
Like I said, this list could go on and on, but these 10 are a really good start. The good news is that letting go is a practice, and that means we can get better at it. Just paying attention, being conscious of one thing on this list will improve your day, and that, alone, is a reason to celebrate yourself. And as you do, your path will be clearer, your vision stronger, and the trip (because it is a trip, isn’t it?) to your world domination, well, happier.
Working on letting something go from your life or happier because you already did? Would love to hear about it. Please comment below!