My word of the year was PEACE. I don’t think that fully sunk in until the late spring or early summer – but it once I really saw it, it became undeniable.
When I looked at my long-standing patterns, I could see how sitting still was extremely uncomfortable and that I relied on me and only me to get to where I was going.
Let me give you some examples of where some of this came from. First, with all my surgeries that I had as a kid – at the end of the day it was my mind that had to help me get through the most difficult of experiences. Second, I was taught to be self-reliant until there was just absolutely, positively no other way but to ask for help. You can probably imagine or know first hand how this would create the opposite of inner peace. Third, there were not many outlets for my emotional needs and as a sensitive person, I internalized many of the external messages I received and I took on the responsibility and burden of other people’s emotions, which were not mine to bear. All of this was about my mind battling out my situations so that I could get to the other side, the best way I knew how.
Now fast forward to the end of last year…I realized how uneasy I was with getting rocked off my foundation and it happened related to my discomfort around uncertainty. I entered 2022 on a very rough note – and I think a lot of people were in that position actually, when you recall how Covid shut down so many plans that people had put their hope into.
These were just the tip of the iceberg factors that led me to realize I needed to learn more about finding peace within.
I wanted to know what it would feel like to not be in constant conflict with my own thoughts. I wanted to remember the power of living in the moment and not constantly focused on tomorrow, next week or next month. I wanted more solid footing so that when the storms came, I could more gracefully flow with it and not BE the storm.
As a 40 something year old woman, I’ve been in the process of healing and letting go of the layers and patterns that no longer serve me. AND it’s still a process to understand how to find that stillness and peace within. I have spent quite some time reflecting on this, and the theme I come back to is my dance with letting go.
Sometimes I had to dance with letting go like flamenco – strong and confident with fire and firm footing. Other times I had to flow like a ballet dancer, bending with grace and vulnerability. And yet other times I had to come back to my roots of hip hop – remembering my resilience, inviting in the fun and allowing my soul to feel my grief.
And as I do with my clients, I’ve had to allow myself to see that when I unclenched my fist on the reigns of control, that’s when the magic was able to show itself more clearly.
I imagine we all know someone (or many people) that are very controlling in our lives. We all fall on a continuum ourselves in this regard. This year I learned a lot about where and how it still resided in me, and so I want to share some tips with you so that you can find more peace, get better at letting go and experience more magic in your life.
Tips to Get Better at Letting Go
1. See The Illusions
The better we get at seeing what is true versus the story we want to believe – the easier it becomes to let things go. I’ll use the example of when we continue to invest our time and energy into people that do not pour back into us. Often, we do this because we create a story about what we want to be true.
For example when we tell ourselves things like ‘oh, she’s just going through a really hard time’ – but this has actually been the case for 10 years!
Honey child, let me tell you that the sooner we can take off the rose colored glasses to see what’s really going on, then we can move to acceptance – which can help us take new actions that actually serve us. But let’s not get too ahead here…
2. Be In Acceptance
In my life I have found that acceptance is a process that happens in layers. It’s like one of those fine French pastries with 25 layers of the finest flakiest crust you’ll ever bite into (if you’ve never been to Lady M in NYC, then you are just missing out my friends)!
To appreciate the depth of the illusion, you have to see that there was a process of getting to that point where you missed ENTIERLY that things were not as they seem. And because that layering often takes years and years to get to, we must realize that seeing and accepting what is actually the TRUTH, can also be a process.
I’ll give you an example. After years and years, I realized that I was the one pouring buckets of love into a particular relationship and receiving mere drops in return. I then had to find acceptance (and not resentment or judgement) that this is what that person was willing and/or able give. I had to accept that THIS was the truth – and not the story that I was telling myself, which was that I was in a relationship with reciprocity. For I truly had enough data to show me that WOW, no actually I had always gotten just drips for years. It was the story of potential and the story of what I wanted that relationship to be that created the illusion, and so my work became to accept what is.
3. Practice Self-Forgiveness
When you finally see the illusions it can be easy to go into the mode of beating yourself up. You may find yourself saying things like ‘oh my god, how the heck did I let that go on for so long’ or ‘what was I thinking, constantly accommodating and never honoring what I wanted’.
Look, I get that AND the sooner you can forgive yourself, the lighter you will start to feel. I’m constantly reminding my clients ‘you did the best you could at that moment in time’ – and that is the REAL TRUTH. That’s all we can do – EVEN in times that we truly knew better and did the thing anyway – we were STILL doing the best we could.
I often refer my clients to a powerful Hawaiian forgiveness prayer called Ho’oponopono as a place to start. In fact, there are lots of You Tube videos with the prayer stated repeatedly as a mantra, which is:
Please forgive me.
I love you.
4. Celebrate This Moment
For me, celebrating is closely related to being in acceptance. For we cannot be anywhere else than where we are – be that in our relationships, in our career situation, our living situation or otherwise. This is it – this is where we are meant to be. So rather than be hard on ourselves, which amplifies and creates conflict within, what if we just actually celebrate ourselves and this moment we are in?
I’ll give you an example as it relates to being an entrepreneur, because it is extremely easy to be frustrated on the journey of not being where I want to be. When business is slow and I start to worry about things I can’t control, I have learned to remind myself of my wins. And I’ve added a practice enjoy and celebrate what IS available to me – which is more space, more stillness more freedom and more time to be creative. I even remind myself of the notion of divine timing and that I am exactly where I am meant to be. Just the other day I went for a walk and repeated a mantra: “I am at peace. I am exactly where I am supposed to be”. Try it out. Say that a few hundred times and see how your energy shifts!
5. Identify the Content Within the Conflict
OOOOH I do love this one! So maybe you have done all these things I have mentioned, and you are still feeling the tension and don’t feel peace at all. That’s normal because like I said, this all happens in LAYERS. What is helpful to move us out of any self-destructive behaviors is to see how the information in that conflict can help you.
To bring this to life, I use the example that comes from working with so many of my clients. They often come to me feeling a bit down and disheartened and the source of this comes in part from the comparison they are doing with their peer group. They wish they had THOSE relationships or THAT kind of financial situation or THAT kind of confidence. When we do the exercise of digging into what it is they long for – sometimes we find unmet needs instead and we always find the deeper truth below the surface. And when we can see this – it becomes easier to find a next step that we are in control of, to bring us that much closer to what we desire.
On a personal note, I recall at one point being jealous of a friend of mine that seemed to have an endless amount of time for doing whatever she wanted to do. I didn’t want to get into resentment, so I started to realize that what I actually needed in my life was to give myself permission to create more space for me to just BE versus constantly DO. I was then able to find more peace within myself when I gave myself what I needed.
While the tips could go on and on here, I will leave you with perhaps the most impactful one – go outside!
6. Back to Nature, Back to Reality
When was the last time you went outside for the pure sake of enjoying nature? Not to walk the dog, not to run an errand, not to contemplate that problem you are trying to solve, but to actually feel the ground on your feet and remember that you exist in this big, vast, wide world?
Anytime I get into overwhelm, that I feel I’m not enough or am not sure what to do next, the quickest way to come back to a more peaceful mind and heart is to go outside. The intent is to be, not to do. The intent is to not have a destination, but rather to rediscover the connection to yourself. The outdoors can remind us about the peace that is ALWAYS available to you – regardless of the outside world or EVEN your over-active mind.
The peace you seek is truly within the power of your breath. I have found that nature can be the most effective way to come back to myself and as we enter the colder months my practice of getting out in nature is even more important. As a sun-seeker, I also remind myself that there is no bad weather, only bad clothing for it! Ha!
With all this letting go, we are able to get closer and closer to WHO. WE. ARE. And that my friends is where the magic resides, within us.
In fact, when I need to, I come back to one of my favorite affirmations that I discovered this year:
I AM MAGICAL ALL THE TIME.
What this means to me is that I have the power to:
see the truth.
create what I desire.
rediscover my own peace.
Without fail – when my clients are able to let go of their old narratives and find more peace with who they are and where they are at this moment in time – the magic comes pouring into their life. It makes me smile and it’s an incredible reminder for me to do the same.
Do you have a story of letting go, which let the magic in? I would love to hear it!
If you have no idea where to start with letting go, how to loosen your grips of control or even how to even believe that magic is possible for you – please reach out. I’ve been where you are, and I’d love to help you find the pathway to more magic.
Note: This article was also published on Medium.