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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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« Letting Go of Perfection | Exercise Your Letting Go Muscles »

10 Letting Go Surprises

What is your most surprising discovery about letting go? I asked several of my wonderful colleagues (Elisa Macomber, Deb Lee, Yota Schneider, Ellen Delap, Randi Lyman, Cena Block, Janine Adams, Diane Quintana, Nancy Borg, Grant Willcox) to ponder this question and share their thoughts with us. Their responses are filled with ah-has, courage, and hope. My gratitude goes to each of them for taking the time to reflect, and give us their insightful, encouraging words of wisdom. If you are struggling to let go, perhaps you will discover a nugget here to help you move forward.

What is your most surprising discovery about letting go? . . .

1. Relinquish Fear

“Letting go of something, whether it's an old item, a negative belief, or an ex-flame, requires getting past the fear that there will be nothing to replace that void. But I've learned over the years that once we let go of what no longer suits us, something greater and better awaits us. I have often found myself chuckling why I didn't let go sooner or what was I so afraid of? That is the beautiful trick  - to keep our eyes to what lies ahead of us, coming right at us, to enrich our lives for the better.”

Elisa Macomber, Placement Designer & Blogger

2. Acknowledge Paradox

“Sometimes, the things I expect will be difficult to let go of are actually very easy to part with. And, the things that are not that meaningful make me question whether or not I really should give them up. It’s an interesting and surprising paradox, but, thankfully, thinking about the feeling of freedom I’ll have once I let go gets me through it.”

Deb Lee, CPO®, Certified Professional Organizer®, Blogger & App Addict

3. Expand Learning

“I’ve had a wealth of opportunities to practice holding on and letting go. I know the feeling of having crossed the desert only to find an oasis of renewed energy and enthusiasm for my life. I’ve experienced the healing sense of relief and expansion that comes with letting go what doesn’t work for me anymore. Yet, I can still get blindsided by denial. Others can see what I need to let go of but not me. How can that be? Maybe expecting an end to the process of learning is what I need to let go of."

Yota Schneider, Life Transitions Coach 

4. Welcome Possibilities

“Letting go empowers you to take a bold step forward and permit new opportunities to come to you. Almost immediately your next connection will come into being because you are open to new possibilities. Why not let go today of what is complete and make yourself available to what is fresh and new?”

Ellen Delap, CPO®, Certified Family Manager Coach

5. Change Perspective

“I made a conscience effort to quit a habit that didn't serve my current lifestyle. Once I realized that the habit was gone for good, I felt as if hundreds of pounds had been lifted from me. Now that I was free from that habit, there was space in my life for something new. This created a welcomed sense of accomplishment, inner strength and self-determination.”

Randi Lyman, CPO-CD®, Professional Organizer

6. Activate Courage

“Letting go is much easier to do, than it is to think about doing. Letting go has everything to do with trust and courage. As I’ve clarified my path in life and business, I have much less fear, worry, or concern about letting go. As I’ve learned to let go, my path has become clearer, my work more effortless, and results more tangible.  Letting go is a transformation that takes place despite your worry – and is a result of doing the very thing you worry about.”

Cena Block, Mompreneur Mentor, Speaker & Author

7. Experience Freedom

“That letting go of objects can be so freeing. When I declutter, I open up myself to new possibilities. Even when it’s been hard to make the decision to let an item go, I’m almost always filled with good feelings once it has been donated – it’s very rare for me to feel even a twinge of regret. I wish more of my clients realized this!”

Janine Adams, CPO®, CPO-CD®, Professional Organizer, Speaker & Blogger

8. Engage Mindfulness

“I was amazed and delighted to discover that by letting go of a pre-conceived notion I was free to make remarkable progress toward a long-term goal I had. Prior to letting go, I had not been aware that a part of my subconscious continued to be occupied with this preconceived notion even though I was actively working toward my goal. Letting go of this notion allowed me the space to breathe and to be fully engaged in the work I needed to do to attain my goal; to be totally mindfully present.”

Diane Quintana, CPO-CD®, CPO®, Professional Organizer, Speaker & Blogger

9. Prioritize Treasures

“My personal experience of moving 33 years of ‘life stuff’ sheds interesting light on ‘letting go.’  We all move somewhere at sometime in our lives, and so it's an interesting exercise for anyone to think about what they'd prioritize to take along on their eventual journey. Letting go of possessions that no longer provide significant value, and virtually exist because they've been ignored, do not tug at the heartstrings as much.  I suggest letting go of what doesn't hurt first, and then find creative ways to commemorate the abundant treasures without having to keep them all.”

Nancy Borg, Professional Organizer & Blogger

10. Embrace Flow

“I've found by letting go, the things we aim for will more often than not come to us anyway, but in a delightfully unforced way. In letting go and stepping out of the 'torrent of tasks' we become re-centered, re-focused & rebalanced. There is a lot to be learned by the Chinese Proverb " Don't Push the River - It flows by itself. " It's such a graceful reminder, which inspires me to let go on a regular basis.”

Grant Willcox, Success Specialist

Which ideas resonate with you? I love the variety in these responses, which include thinking about letting go of possessions, fear, habits, and negative beliefs in order to embrace new possibilities, growth, and clarity. I’d love to hear from you. Come join the conversation and share your thoughts about letting go challenges, successes, or surprises. What are your thoughts?

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Reader Comments (18)

Thanks for sharing so many new perspectives on letting go! I can appreciate all of these.

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Thank YOU, Ellen for sharing your insights about being open to possibilities during the letting go process. Putting a positive spin on change can make all the difference.

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Thank you for bringing these amazing perspectives to one place, Linda!

There is nothing that doesn't resonate with me from what everybody shared. Yet, I can totally identify with what Deb Lee and Diane Quintana wrote. The letting go process seems a lot easier when we look at it from the finishing line and our subconscious can play many tricks on us, if we're not mindful of its backstage workings.

Hope you're enjoying this glorious day. xoxo

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYota Schneider

Thank you for putting together this wonderful post. All the different perspectives are fascinating to read and ponder. I'm honored to be included in this group.

Hope you're enjoying the lovely sunshine!

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

Thank you for initiating this great collaborative post. This is a topic that resonates with both our client's lives, as well as our own personal lives. I know that this kind of feedback will provide tremendous value to all who read this. Great job al!

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Borg

Great insight from people who have built their letting go muscles and watched others. It is sometimes difficult, but oh so worth it! Thanks Linda for your inspiration!

Loved reading what everyone had to say about letting go and everyone had such true and unique answers! Letting go of anything is indeed a process in its own!
Have a wonderful day and thank you again for the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful group of people! :-)


April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElisa Macomber

Wonderful to "hear" all of your voices as the conversation continues....

@Yota- backwards, if only we could know now what we yet don't understand. Useful to keep that perspective when struggling.

@Diane- Great to have you with us. Sunshine fully enjoyed...that and what seemed to be an overnight blooming of flowers. Truly beautiful.

@Nancy- We all need to let go sometimes. I love the various ways that everyone thought about this question. Something for every type of letting go.

@Cena- Building and observing those letting go muscles...a marvelous thing.

@Elisa- Yes! Letting go IS a process. Hopefully our minds prepare first, followed by courage, and a dose of trust.

April 9, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels


Letting Go - such an important topic to focus on as it permeates so many areas of one's life. Letting go of stuff can be challenging as I noted in a recent post at my blog that you invited me to share a link to here ( )

As I mature though, I'm finding that letting go of expectations of one's self and others, ideas, dreams and aspirations to be even more challenging. What Yota had to say about being blindsided and others seeing what I need to let go of really resonated with me. I find the whole idea of letting go fascinating and appreciate the place you've created for its contemplation.



April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea Sharb

Andrea- Thank you for sharing the link to your wonderful post about letting go. While it's "thing" focused, the ideas are useful for all types of letting go. I know what you mean that some kinds of letting go are more challenging than others. My bell went off when you wrote, "letting go of expectations of one's self." We can be very hard on ourselves, can't we? I certainly can. You've given me more to think about. I'm grateful.

April 10, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Oh the timing of this post couldn't be better. I'm in the process of sifting through and reading through over 400 journals I've written over my lifetime. It's been challenging to figure out what to do with them. But have decided that I won't be carting them to the next chapter of my life. The letting go process has been happening over the past 6 years. Recently, I've learned how to create mixed media paintings on any surface. Many of the journal covers are beautiful--even vintage. I realized it was the covers and some of the stories I had hand written in the journals that was making me keep them. So, I'm gutting the contents, putting the covers aside for art and tearing out story designs and the stories themselves. The rest goes to the incinerator. This post however really helps with the emotional aspect of letting go of the imprint of the life lived so far mapped into the journals. Yet, as I do it, I feel profoundly more free. THANK YOU. I love the work you do Linda.

April 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNiya C. Sisk

Wow another great article. Just finished changing winter to summer clothes. It was refreshing to donate what I knew I would not use. The garage was also dissected and cleaned. I love to unclutter it gives me a sense of empowerment . Now working on my dining room table which was the war room (taxes, sewing and papers to file).
Thank you for all the wonderful thoughts.

April 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterValerie

Those are some pretty WISE words from some pretty amazing colleagues. Thanks for putting this together. Next time you do one of these, be sure and send me an email... I always have an opinion.

Thanks for adding your URL to the ORGANIZING Blogs to Follow Linky on my blog.

Margarita Ibbott

April 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMargarita Ibbott

How wonderful to "hear" your lovely voices. You've added so much to the conversation and I'm grateful that you're with us. Thank you also for your warm words and positive feedback.

@Niya- I'm in awe of how you "sifted" through a lifetime of journals (over 400!) and are letting go of all but the elements that you want with you on the next part of your journey. I love how you describe that your letting go process makes you feel "profoundly more free." Beautiful.

@Valerie- Your "letting go" power is coming through. It's great how you're moving from area to area de-cluttering, letting go, and feeling empowered.

@Margarita- I appreciate the invite you sent me to add my blog to your list of Organizing Blogs to Follow. It's an awesome collection you've got going on. I will definitely let you know when another Collaborative post is happening. I like to vary the group to get different perspectives. Thank you for letting me know you are interested in participating.

April 15, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Linda, thank you for your response. I keep re-reading this post. It's so rich and inspiring. Yota's (#3) is particularly so for me. The 400 journals (still sifting through) is showing me that it's possible to let go of something I never thought I could. As a writer/artist, I want to keep every little thing in the vault "maybe for an idea in the future" -- it never works out that way anyway. This is what I'm learning. That creativity is often like that speech you practice over and over and then throw out your notes anyhow. I've cleared out a space in the garage to let go of 'anything' I see in the house that doesn't relate to now, or make some visceral sense to the future. Thank you again.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNiya C. Sisk

Niya- It warms my heart to know that you're finding some treasures here. I can understand how Yota's ideas resonate with you. She is an amazing person and wonderful life coach. She often shares her thoughts here on the blog, which I very much appreciate. She also has her own blog Continue your letting go journey. That space clearing for what you do want will pave the way for more creativity. Exciting!

April 16, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Linda, so glad you helped me get back on this post! It's packed full with wonderful advice and insight for great walks and sips on our favorite cup. Cena's and Grant's comments resonate so much with me and I believe it's because after the struggle of letting go of a structure that wasn't serving my purpose I found so much clarity. I so agree with Grant that things just fall effortlessly into place and "the river flows". Beautiful post!

April 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHelena Alkhas

It's always great to hear from you, Helena. No matter what we allow ourselves to let go of, amazing, positive surprises seem to follow. Sometimes we hold on so tightly because it's what we know, but not necessarily of benefit anymore. It's hard to let go of the familiar even when we've outgrown the fit. But when we do...wonderful things follow.

April 25, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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