So how are those New Year resolutions coming? Exercising more? Cleaning out those closets? Spending more time with those you love? As we near the end of the first month of the New Year, I want to share something from my friend and corporate trainer, Katherine Eitel. I work with people contemplating big changes in their lives, separation, divorce, or adoption. Even confronting end-of-life issues and estate planning is contemplating a change. Big changes require not only embracing a new thing but also letting go of something else. I know you’ll appreciate the wisdom of Katherine’s recent post.
Wishing you wisdom,
Today, as I checked out some of the New Year’s blogs I subscribe to, I noticed a common thread: Write down your goals, go out there and realize your potential, set your intentions, take a step in the direction of your dreams. Do, go, get. Do, go, get.
You know me, I’m all for that kind of stuff. But I’d like to suggest adding a step before trying to implement your new intentions and resolutions. Before you spend time thinking about what you want to get into your life… spend some time thinking about what you need to let go of in your life.
We live in a world hyper-focused on getting stuff: something new, bigger, and better in order to gain happiness and fulfillment. However, I think I’ve been the happiest and become the most productive when I’ve identified what I was holding on to that stood in the way of implementing a new idea, realizing a shorter path, or allowing a more satisfying option. like the certainty of it. We feel uneasy about letting go of what we know because there are no guarantees… except the guarantee that if we do nothing, we stay where we are… that’s for sure. It takes courage to let go of beliefs, relationships, habits, and systems that are no longer serving us well when we don’t have any promise of what the future holds. The problem is, even if we don’t like where we are, we do
But, like cleaning out your closets, letting go opens up room in your life. Joe Calloway, a highly regarded business speaker, gave a famous keynote on “The Art of Letting Go” at a National Speaker’s Association Convention a few years ago and said, “It’s the release that creates the space for what you want to naturally come in. The way life works is you cannot catch the next thing unless you open your hands and let go of what you’re holding now. Before you can add something that you want, you have to clear the space.”
Letting go is an ongoing process of releasing and acquiring, releasing and acquiring. of my favorites of my son Austin when he was about 14 or 15 years old. At an outdoor challenge course with his 8th grade class, a photographer caught him perfectly in that moment where his feet had left the pole on which he stood, but his hands had not quite caught the bar swinging towards him, creating that moment we all fear, mid-air… no longer where we were, but not yet where we’re going. Austin was secured in a harness that protected him from any actual danger, and we aren’t always so secured. But you can’t get to second base without taking your foot off first base. You can’t find treasure without leaving the safe harbor. Analogies abound, but their wisdom is true. It reminds me of a picture I have framed in my living room. It’s one
This month’s music selection is Let It Go by the Zac Brown Band. I love the lyric, “Keep your heart above your head and eyes wide open”… because the heart knows the truth. The Lioness Principle asserts that you already know where, what, or who you need to let go of. You’ve probably been picturing it already. It can be scary and liberating and exhilarating all at the same time. You can do it and it’s essential to moving forward with this year’s resolutions. So take a breath, let go, and jump.