Letting Go of What Doesn’t Serve You (And Embracing What Does)

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????At a yoga class I attended during the last week of 2014, my fellow students and I were asked to focus on something that no longer served us – something that we wanted to let go of as we move into the new year. Suspecting that this theme would come up for the new year, I already had some ideas in mind when I got to class that morning.

Letting Go

There are many things in my life that don’t serve me. I hold on to most of them because I’m not sure what the alternatives are and because most of them don’t really harm me either. In fact, I think the inability to move forward does more disservice than simply holding on to the old and familiar things in our lives. It would be easy to let go of the old if we knew where we wanted to go and how to get there.

That said, there are certainly things I need to release. The first one that came to mind was regret. Regret serves absolutely no purpose; it’s not even filling space until I figure out what to do next with my life. It just makes me miserable. I can’t change the experiences I’ve had or the choices of made in the past. So I need to let go of regret and accept that what’s done (or not done) is history.

After regret, I want to let go of apologizing for who I am. I’ve had some great practice at this in recent weeks, having said no more than once without feeling (too) guilty about it – something that isn’t easy for me to do. But I was overwhelmed by the many ways in which I was being pulled, and I had to step away from some of them so I’d have the energy to be fully present when I did say yes. As hard as it sometimes is to be myself without apology, I know that I need to continue to do this as well, and I reflected on that as we opened the class by setting an intention to release something and leave it behind in 2014.

Message from the Angels

At the end of class, we were offered a deck of angel cards – an activity that always gets me thinking – and often writing as a result. I wondered if I’d pick the word “regret” or “guilt.” That would be awesome – a clear sign from the universe that I’m on the right track.

Instead, my word was “support.”

I stared at the card for a few moments because it didn’t seem right at all. Was this card suggesting that I need to be more supportive? I quickly eliminated that idea. It seems (to me anyway) that one thing I do a lot of is listen to and support others. In fact, I’d been in support mode full swing these last few weeks following an event that prompted a swell of somewhat complicated emotional turmoil for the people in my life who were affected by it. I found myself listening – a lot – and I was told more than once that it was good talking to me. So why was I holding this card? It wasn’t telling me that I should let go of my role of being supportive, was it? That didn’t seem right either.

Then it dawned on me that support was the right word for me after all. It’s not that I need to be more or less supportive, but that I need to stop denying that I also need support. I’ve been cast in the role of listener for so long that I’ve learned to act as though I don’t need anyone to be there for me. But what is that really about?

Now what?

For me, acknowledging that I also need support presents a problem because of how good I’ve gotten at not seeking it. It’s probably the same for you, whether you’re holding on to the same issue or something completely different. Once you acknowledge what you need to release and what you want to embrace, the real work begins.

Maybe the best thing I can do right now is put the intention out to the universe. Rather than asking specific people to support me, I can ask the universe to do it. The universe is much more likely to come through – though I’m sure that when it does it will send me specific people who can help me find my way. My job, of course, is be open to that.

Lifting each other up

In case I had any doubts that I gotten the message I was meant to receive in class that morning, the song that was playing during savasana drove it home for me in that awesome way that things have of coming together when you’re open to the possibilities. It’s a song I’ve heard before, though I’m not sure what it’s called. The chorus goes like this:

We shall lift each other up.

Higher and higher,

We shall lift each other up.

Lifting each other up is a great way to think about support. It doesn’t have to be one-sided. I suspect, though I haven’t really tested this theory, that at least some of the people who turn to us for help and support would welcome the opportunity to return the favor if we’d just let our defenses down and admit that we need it. And just think how high we all could climb if we helped each other along the way! And so I ask the universe for support in letting go of regret and learning to be myself without apology.

What Will You Let Go Of?

As you move into the new year, what will you release? And once you release it, how will you move forward, and what will you embrace? You may not know exactly what you need or how you’ll get it, but now is the time to take a first step. Set an intention and let the universe support you.

A very Happy New Year to all!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: How to Do More of What You Love Every Day | Third Eye
  2. Trackback: A Twist on the Serenity Prayer: The Wisdom to Know it’s Me | Third Eye Well-being

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Maria Kuzmiak, M.A. is a health and well-being writer with a background in nutrition, psychology and education and a passion for yoga. Over the last 10 years, she has written hundreds of articles, blogs and newsletters for clients in health-related fields, particularly those specializing in yoga, natural medicine, nutrition, and spiritual health and healing. Maria has also worked as a nutritionist, teacher and technical editor. Learn more about her writing at www.wellbeingwriter.net.
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