There are times when you have done everything you can think of to let something that’s been bothering you go, but you can tell that it’s still with you. What do you do then?? I’m sharing 3 easy energetic exercises you do to help you let go so you can really free yourself and move on.
You’re reading the transcript of an episode of the How to Be a Better Person podcast. If you’d rather listen, click the play button below.
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Lately I’ve been leaving my home office
I’ve been taking the bus downtown to the co-working space for writers where I first started writing and recording this podcast before the pandemic shut everything down. It feels really good to get dressed like a grown up and leave the house. On the bus ride last week I read an article in my local paper talking about the rise in childhood obesity in Rhode Island. And, people, it was so fat shaming, and parent shaming, and classist, it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up and whisps of smoke come out my ears.
I chatted with the women at the front desk of the co-working space – which is the What Cheer Writers Club if you’re local, it’s amazing and you should absolutely come check it out!!. She asked how I was doing and I gave her an honest answer. I said, Ugh I am so upset about something I saw on Twitter. And she said oh, I’ve been there. You just have to let that stuff go.
We’ve all said it to other people, and we’ve all had people say it to us. But it rarely feels doable in the moment.
It just begs the question–How?! How do I loosen my grip on it enough to actually let it go?
There are many ways to go about this – you can call a friend for a venting session, and set an intention to just get it off your chest and out of your head so that it can dissipate into the atmosphere. You can journal. Talk to your therapist or coach about it. Go on a walk. Dance it out. Systematically shake every body part and imagine knocking it loose from your cells and flinging it out into the air. You can do ALL these THINGS and they can all be very helpful.
But sometimes, there are things that even though you’ve mentally and emotionally and maybe even physically let them go that still feel like they’re clinging to you, like cigarette smoke gets in your hair and you can smell it the next morning, if you’re old enough to remember going to restaurants and bars where smoking was permitted.
Here’s something to do in those instances.Something that works on the energetic level.
I’ve got three energetic exercises to help you let go, the first energy-clearing practice I have to share with you is to:
Set it on fire.
Fire is destructive but it’s also cleansing. Wildfires, while devastating, especially in our current climate, also clear out all the underbrush so that new trees and plants can grow.
So, a helpful thing to do is to write the thing you want to let go of on a small piece of paper, say a few words about why you want to let it go, and then light it with a match, candle, or lighter and watch it go up in flames.
Just promise me that you will NOT set your lit piece of paper into a plastic bowl because the bowl will melt and stink to high heaven–I know this for a fact because I have done it, ha. So, stick to a metal bowl filled with water. Or a utility sink where you can quickly douse the flames, or a fire pit, or a grill. Or even something concrete like a sidewalk or your driveway so you can stamp it out with your foot, which also helps get it out of your body. Don’t do it in a place with dried vegetation that can catch on fire. Channel Smokey the Bear, and remember your Fire safety!
Send it up the sky.
Here’s something a little less destructive. It is to sit some place quietly and imagine this thing that you want to let go of. Whether it’s an image that comes to you or a word or a phrase, see it in your mind’s eye, and then imagine that it is encased inside of an environmentally friendly balloon. Visualize yourself holding on to this balloon at the end of a long string. Feel the balloon trying to rise up in to the air and putting some tension on the string that you’re holding in your hand.
Take a big deep breath in, and then as you exhale see yourself opening your hand and letting the balloon go. Watch it rise up up up into the air, and know that since it’s an environmentally friendly balloon, it will have no negative consequences for the planet. In fact, as soon as it rises up to 1000 feet, it vaporizes and merges with a big puffy cloud, turning into future rain drops that will water the plants and animals and humans who live below that cloud.
Cut the cord.
Sit, get quiet, and visualize this thing that’s sticking with you. It’s sitting right next to you, and when you look closely, you can see that there are all these little strands that are tying you and it together. But you’ve got a cutting implement, whether it’s a pair of scissors or a kitchen knife or a sword or whatever pops into your head. And you can use your cutting implement to cut every single one of those cords. For every cord you cut you feel a little release, whether that’s a zing of energy or like a sigh or whatever comes to you. And then finally, visualize all the places where you were connected to that thing healing up, good as new, your borders are whole again.
Daily Tiny Assignment
Your tiny assignment is to pick one of these three energetic exercises to let something go. Set it on fire, let go of the balloon, or cut the cord. Maybe you’ve got something that you’re ready to let go of right now, or maybe you just want to file away your choice for the future when there’s something you need to help move along. Either way, the next time you tell yourself, or somebody else tells you, to let it go, you’ll know exactly what to do.
Be sure to come back tomorrow, when I’m tackling a doozy–letting go of control, especially for all my fellow mothers out there.