What do you need to let go of?
While each new season brings with it change, Spring is the season where we start thinking about renewal and being more active. We are keen to spend more time out in the sun and shed the heavy clothes that weighed us down during winter.
It is also the time we are likely to start on that fun venture of Spring cleaning. Clearing out the dust, throwing open the windows to let the fresh air in.
You will often see people with piles of unwanted items at the end of their driveway and an upswing in people holding garage sales. They are taking advantage of the improved weather to get rid of things they no longer need.
But it doesn’t need to be Spring for you to look at your life and see what you need to let go of. Look around your entire life. What is no longer serving you? What is weighing you down?
A couple of years ago my theme for the year was Let It Go (and yes I sang the song in my head a lot). I felt much lighter afterwards. Here are some of the areas that I worked on, maybe you will find something that resonates.
I am totally the Queen of Too Much Stuff. This is the easiest and most obvious place to start and the beginning of many a garage sale. Look around your home. What do you no longer need?
Having too many things can weigh us down. The more we have, the more time we need to spend caring for it. Is that time you could be spending doing something creative, or having an adventure?
Are you constantly looking for things you’ve misplaced? Have you found yourself buying something you thought you needed only to discover later you already had one. Or two. Yep, totally guilty.
Believe me, I’ll never be a minimalist but it’s definitely true, stuff takes up your time. Also stuff attracts dust. Lots of dust.
There are those who advocate only keeping things that are useful. Personally, I think that’s a slightly miserable way to live.
Marie Kondo encourages you to ask, does it spark joy? In other words, does that object make you happy?
For example – that box of pens you’ve never used but feel like you need to hold on to them? Or that thing you bought on sale but realised later it wasn’t what you wanted but you’d spent money on it so it stayed? Do those things make you feel good or is there a twinge of guilt? Unless it makes you feel good, get rid of it.
On the other hand, that crazy vase you bought or the picture you decided to get on a whim that doesn’t go with your stuff but makes you smile every time you look at it. Keep it. All the other physical clutter, bag it up and sing to yourself Let It Go. If you are having trouble letting go, take a photo of the item. I’ve found that really helps.
If you, like me, have ever opened your bulging cupboard and moaned “I have nothing to wear” then we have a problem.
Recently I discovered a stash of tops I’d been hanging on to for “when I fit back into them”. Then I realised they were all about 20 years old. Why was I holding on to tops from 20 years ago?
Isn’t one of the joys of getting to an ideal weight for you is TO BUY NEW CLOTHES? Not to start wearing things you wore 20 years ago!
If it’s not flattering, if you don’t love it – ditch it. Sell it or put it in the charity bin. After all, there might be someone out there that it IS perfect for and you are depriving them of having it while it is stuffed in the depths of your closet.
Display your clothes in the way they deserve. You can’t do that if you have so many things they spill out everywhere.
Now we get to trickier things.
Not all relationships are meant to last your whole life. As the expression goes, they can be here for a reason or a season. Sometimes, a relationship serves a particular purpose like a lesson you needed to learn or for support for a particular period of time.
And I’m not just talking about romantic relationships.
Are you holding to relationships that no longer serve you? And you know who I am talking about. That person in your life who seems to do nothing but take. Who is always critical or negative. The one you have to take a deep breath before you see them but you have known them forever so you can’t just cut them out of your life.
A while ago there was a group from my work who would get together from time to time for a drink or dinner or whatever. I realised after a few of these outings that I always left with negative feelings. They were not a group that uplifted or encouraged. They complained and criticised and the overall vibe was negative. Once I realised this I stop accepting invitations. It was definitely time to Let It Go.
Obviously just because one gathering or conversation is negative doesn’t necessarily mean you need to cut people out but if you consistently walk away and you don’t feel positive or uplifted then you might need to reconsider that relationship.
Having people who uplift you in your life make a huge difference to the quality of your life. Who are you surrounding yourself with?
Of course you can’t leave yourself out of this picture either.
What attitudes or thought patterns do you have that no longer serve you?
Do you find yourself constantly critical or negative?
Do you find yourself obsessing over details that don’t matter or going over conversations that you cannot change? Or worrying about what other people think of you.
No one likes being about people who are negative or critical (or both) all the time. Think about it. Do you? How do you feel around people like that?
So why would you talk to yourself that way? Would you tell your best friend she’s a complete idiot? If you are constantly negative and critical to yourself the only result is that you will feel worse. Life is tough enough without us adding to our own burdens.
I noticed for example how often I berated myself for mistakes. Calling myself stupid. I’ve tried to change that self talk. And I started a journal, instead of gratitude I wrote positive things about myself. Things I did well that day. Things I was proud. Small pieces of positive evidence.
Or are you making excuses for certain behaviour? I deserve this drink. I deserve this Big Mac because I worked hard today. (Really is that what you deserve).
Examine your though patterns and your self talk. Identify those that do not add to your life but only take away from it. Work on eliminating those things.
Even repetitive thoughts that keep us feeling anxious or stressed. I’ve been known to actually sing Let It go to myself to stop a circling thought pattern that was stressing me out. Try it, it really does work.
Obviously this is a bigger job than an afternoon cleaning out the garage but it is well worth the effort.
So tell me in the comments below. What do you plan to eliminate from your life?
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