This week I was feeling a bit adrift and not very grounded. For some time, as you may know, I have been busy trying to take leaps of faith and trusting the process and what not, and here I was now with a deep sense that I needed to let go of things in order to move forward. Like I somehow was out shopping for a mental spa, something that could scrub off all things redundant. Then on Wednesday I had dinner with a lovely friend discussing soul matters, and I mentioned, ”I just need to let things go so I can get on with business”. And as a response my friend gave me a great exercise:
You set a repetitive alarm on your cellphone with intervals of say 10 or 15 minutes, and when the alarm goes off you stop whatever you are doing. You take a moment, and contemplate what you are thinking of, or doing that you don’t need to do, think or feel right now. Then you write down the things, feelings or thoughts that are not serving you in this present moment on a piece of paper, and you put that piece of paper in a box. With that action you have physically let go of something that was somehow standing in your way mentally. It can be anything. Basically the question is – are you spending your time right now on the right things, or is your mind wondering off to a faraway land?
Like, are you stuck in an uneasy feeling? Are you cleaning your house while you should be working? Or are you checking Facebook when you should be making that call? Are you stalling your actions? Are you stuck in some negative thought pattern, like ”am I still bothered by that email I got earlier during the day even though I’m counting numbers?” Are you maintaining negative thoughts or feelings while you are trying to work or while you are actually working? Are you holding on to feelings or thoughts that are not serving you in this very moment?
And what an eyeopening experience it was! I did it for two days in a row, and even though I think of myself as an aware person, I was shocked by how much was holding me back. And need I say, it was all in my head!
Over the course of two days I let go of: Other people’s expectations, or what others might think of me. Measuring myself or my work with others. All things that are not mine to bear. Distractions like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, emails, news or whatever. Negative feelings like worry, fatigue, stress, money etc. Things or projects not related to whatever I was working on or doing in that moment. “What if’s”. Analyzing things I can’t control. Guessing other people’s reactions. Dithering or stalling or procrastinating. Doubt. Thoughts about the past or the future.
Besides being taken aback by all the things/feelings/thoughts that have been taking up so much of my time, I realized that none of the things I now had let go of had previously helped me in any way. All those things that somehow was draining me of energy, and that was stealing time from more important or more valuable things were imaginary. They were not even real! In fact, my thoughts created more obstacles than I already had…
When I started this process of letting go I could feel a shift in my focus, and I was able to move forward and past more quickly than I had before. When I let go of things I became more effective. It made me more present, and more diligent in all matters. It also made me more aware of what I think about, and how I talk to myself and others. Basically what thoughts do I allow myself to have over the course of a day. Because as some enlightened people say: We are what we think. And one thing is certain, I won’t let go of this exercise! This one I’ll keep! Because change can never be achieved in a heartbeat. Real change takes time.
Love, Johanna.Tags: awareness, exercise, Johanna Ginstmark, Letting go, mindfullness, present moment, The bead movement, Thoughts