Preparation is essential when it comes to letting go. It’s being in a state of readiness. I became acutely aware of the connection between preparation and letting go on my recent trip to San Diego. I was away for almost a week as an attendee and exhibitor at NAPO’s annual conference for professional organizers. I didn’t just walk out the door. I needed to get ready both mentally and physically in order to leave my normal routine and enjoy the adventure ahead. This idea of preparing to let go resonated with me. Many of us experience challenges in this arena whether we are letting go of places, people or things.
If you are having difficulty letting go, perhaps some of my thoughts about preparation will help you to move forward.
- Plan – To leave things behind, it helps to know that they are in good shape. This might involve organizing our papers, arranging our family’s schedules, or finding resources to donate our treasures. Knowing that our affairs are in reasonable order helps prepare us to move ahead.
- Focus – Be in the moment. It’s so common to dwell on the past or worry about the future. Focusing on where you are enables you to enjoy the present and let go when the time comes.
- Embrace – While being in the moment is important, preparing emotionally to embrace the joy that will come from change is key. Letting go can be painful, but presents us with wonderful opportunities that we couldn’t have imagined otherwise.
- Emote – When letting go is involved, our emotions will be too. Expect a range of feelings from distress to elation. These and everything in between are normal. Allowing yourself to feel along the journey is key in letting go and processing your experiences.
- Dare – Helen Keller said, “Life is a daring adventure or nothing.” Bravery is required to let go of the familiar and forge ahead to the unknown. Take a deep breath and tap into your brave side.
- Control – The opposite of letting go is control. For many of us, the unwillingness to relinquish control prevents us from moving forward. Interestingly though, by giving up some control, we allow ourselves and those near us to flourish.
- Rejuvenate – Leaving behind our schedules, lives or clutter can renew our energy, increase our focus and move us in new directions. Letting go rejuvenates our spirit and gives us a chance to look at things from a refreshed perspective.
- Dream – Imagine the positive for what our lives, spaces and relationships will be like when we allow ourselves to let go of the things that are holding us back. While none of us can predict the future, filling our thoughts with positive expectations can motivate us to let go.
Let’s return for a moment to my San Diego trip. Before I left there were many things I had to let go of. I focused on the word “reasonable,” while I negotiated between the fantasy and reality of what I wanted to accomplish before leaving. This blog post was one of those items. I ran out of both time and energy to write it before leaving. Instead, I renegotiated with myself about what was possible. This allowed me to let go of the “shoulds,” find satisfaction in the “dids,” and enjoy the “what ifs.”
I’d love to hear from you. What helps shift you into a state of readiness?