There was this piece of me—a young, vulnerable, desperate piece of me—who begged for someone to finally just tell me who the hell I was supposed to be, or do, or what my life was supposed to be about. Every time life intensified, waves of hysteria would swell from deep within me, the fear that I’d get it wrong… that I couldn’t trust myself to know what was true for me. I felt terrified that, without external guidance, my life would be wasted.
But then I started to explore what one of my early teachers called “the spirituality of the self”. I studied the way I reacted to the world around me, the way I allowed certain relationships, circumstances, and experiences to affect me. I learned I was powerful, far more powerful than I’d ever imagined, and that I could change reality by changing the way I was showing up in the world. In time, I released what no longer served me and made space for my truth to become my life. The artist, the lover, the priestess, the mother, the healer, the dancer, the writer . . . one discovery at a time, I hosted a reunion of the pieces of my soul.
This transformation was possible because of the supports I cultivated for myself along the way. My blog is an extension of my journals. I use it to share the lessons I’ve learned, powerful resources, and inspiring stories of my clients’ transformations. Dig in and find the information and inspiration you need today and keep coming back when you need another dose! If you can’t find what you’re looking for, email me your question and I’ll see what I can find for you.
Letting go of stuff can be hard.
Letting go of people makes releasing stuff feel like child’s play.
In addition to the oodles of physical clutter I’ve been writing about releasing in this series, I’ve let go of a lot of people throughout this Clean Slate journey. Now, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t line up everyone I know so I could vote a bunch of them off the island that is my life. That’s not what I’m talking about.
Okay, maybe that island thing did happen a time or two but I reserve that kind of dramatic action for very specific situations where I feel that a relationship with someone is no longer true for me and the other person loses their ever-loving mind and brings mental, emotional, or physical violence into my life. Be nice or leave is a powerful guideline to help with this sort of decision making.
I can now see that most of the people releases are about letting go of my expectations of others, giving them the love and space to be themselves, and asking them to do the same for me.
I finally stopped expecting my children’s father to show up in the ways that I thought mattered. Instead, I gave him the space to show up in their lives however it felt true for him. I stepped out of the circle between him and the children and allowed him to be in action (instead of reaction) with them. He also gets the blessed opportunity to experience the natural consequences of his actions instead of me thrusting myself into the middle and manipulating outcomes.
I released my friends from any expectations I had about how they should be with me. Instead, I invited them to be as connected to me as felt true for them given the very natural ebb and flow of life. As time passes, our interests, energy, availability, proximity, and dozens of other factors shape how we show up in the world. The passing of time is doing the exact same thing for the people around us. Instead of clinging desperately to the way my friendships used to be, I let go and allowed them to grow and change with me. This helps everyone involved release the guilt, celebrate the love that lives between us, and deeply enjoy the times when togetherness is true for us.
I’ve released my children from the expectations that they become any of the millions of things I thought they “should” or would be. I will continue to do it every single time I feel the squeeze of their truth being pressed against my expectations. This one is so hard. Also, releasing them to live their truth is one of the most important pieces of this work I will do.
I’ve released what feels like an endless line of expectations I discovered that I had of people in my community about my business. I expected them to do a great many things that would have resulted in the successful execution of my business plan–hire me, refer others, keep promises, like my ideas, reach out for support, etc.
(That is a short sample of the expectations and yes, it feels ridiculous now that I’m typing it all out. Still, it’s true that I felt these things and I had to let them go.)
I let go of the idea that a suffering-riddled Facebook post means that someone is ready to do the what it takes to feel better. Funny, right? Well, it’s true. It took me years to release the people around me (both distant relationships and deeply intimate ones) from my expectation that they want to cultivate change in the ways that I am trained and guided to do that.
This is my job but I finally realized that, much like their misery is not my problem, my work is not their problem.
All of this releasing of expectations (or entire relationships when it comes to that) frees my family, friends, peers, and others to live their lives/truths and enjoy (or not) the consequences of their choices but even more importantly, it frees me to live in peace.
When I release them, I free myself. I get to spend my energy playing in my own damn sandbox. Not only is it as clean as I left it, but it’s MINE. Every ounce of energy I spend playing in the sandbox of my own life is effective because this is the only place that’s actually mine to tend.
All of these messy, old, codependent behaviors are being released which puts my power back to work for me. In my life, my energy goes a long way toward building dreams and being a force of love in the world. When I keep it here, instead of wasting it trying to get other people to act (my version of) “right,” truth reins and everybody wins.
Clean Slate: Moving from Chaos to Clarity begins on October 27th. Register here: theunrulywoman.com/cleanslate