Want things to change? Release is a natural process toward wholeness
Change begins with letting go of what does not work. Triggered by feelings of restlessness and discontent, release is a natural process that lightens the load of change. When I made the huge move from Colorado to Arkansas, there was a lot I needed to release first.
You may already know I have this thing for glass jars with lids; it’s impossible for me to throw one away, or even recycle. Looking at the many shelves loaded with empty glass jars in my garage I remember thinking they didn’t stand a chance on a moving van.
Yes, I actually considered moving them.
Holding an empty glass jar in my hand, imagining the unused potential, I felt a sense of possessiveness. I was in love with the possibility that they represented. What if later I need one that’s exactly this size?
When I realized that there was no safe transport and no need to keep them, something clicked inside. It’s like the jars switched tracks in my brain. It became less about my possessing them and more about my empowering them to serve someone else.
I donated 5 huge bags to the local Creative Reuse Center for school teachers and artists to use. Letting go of the glass jars was hard, but not nearly as hard as trying to move them across the country.
Room to grow
There is no room to grow until what is “here” is released to go “there.” I had to go through the process of owning, disowning, and releasing. That natural process of release applies on many levels. Here are a few I’ve observed:
A creative process. In the early 1500’s, Michaelanglo sculpted his masterpiece, David, from a single block of marble. It stands 17’ tall and weighs over 12,000 pounds. He famously said, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” The form within was released by the sculptor.
I believe that all creative expression is released from our spirit. We must first release self-judgment and our unwillingness to be a beginner to allow it to flow. We release the importance of other’s opinions and learn to embrace our own.
An energetic process. A friend once told me that if you refuse to trash something that is no longer useful because you don’t want to add to the landfill, you are essentially turning your home into a landfill. If it’s not useful to you and can’t be recycled or reused, why let it clog your life?
Clutter is noisy energy. The principles of Feng Shui advocate clearing your space to release the energy to flow. Persistent clutter has a profound impact and clearing it shifts the energy from a negative noise to positive flow.
A healing process. We often consider things and spaces when we look at releasing, but it applies to relationships well. It is never OK to protect someone who does harm, whether to you, your wellbeing, or someone else’s. Releasing toxic relationships releases your spirit to flourish.
Seth Godin urges us to curate the incoming. When we release negative influences (I’m looking at you social media and toxic TV), it allows room for the positive messages to flow toward you. Releasing what does not nourish our spirit is healing.
How to change
We initiate and create change by paying attention to where we put our attention. We notice what works in our lives and what doesn’t. We dream of a new future. We plan the next steps, and get into action.
As the days grow shorter and the nights colder, we naturally desire a hot beverage and a warm blanket. Glowing candles add light while goodies baking in the oven bring sensory delight. This is the time of year when we pull inward.
During the month of December, and especially at the Winter Solstice, I invite you to consider what no longer works in your life. Release is a natural process and this time of year is when it often begins.
What needs to be released?