Just Let Go

Crossing into a new year is a great time to assess those things that you’ve been hanging onto—relationships and aspects that don’t serve you and at this point are just taking away your capacity to BE and to move forward.

Try this suggestion on and see if it fits:

Get rid of them! Do it with love. Compost those things, those ideas, break those ties, move forward into a new life. You don’t have to know what that looks like yet—you may not even be able to know what will show up until you’ve created a vacuum for something new—and not knowing is no reason to stay stuck to the old.

Hanging onto a lot of stuff is like being a single car parked in the middle of a two car garage and surrounded by junk—there isn’t room for anything or one else, until you can clear things out! And who can predict what can show up when you do? Maybe it’s better to dream and be open to it than attach to a specific way that needs to look.

Take stock of what you “have” in your life—items, ideas, actions, people—and decide what you really want to keep. A contemporary reference that I can't help but add, since its source is on so many of our minds at the moment: “Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you were meant to be.”

If you have a hard time letting things go,
here’s a physiological trick to become better at it:

Moving your arms releases dopamine and other reward hormones. This isn't usually the only piece needed to fully develop positive traits, but training yourself into a physical addiction to those traits that you're trying to develop can make a real difference. There are reasons that humans in many cultures raise their arms after a victory. Victory feels good—in a simplistic sense IS good—and maybe the arm movements help solidify that and the seeking of similar experiences, physiologically.

The procedure with training yourself to let things go is to:

1) Seek out scenarios where there's something that you can let go of,
2) Let go of that thing,
3) Pump your arms once you're done!

You can do a more nonspecific arm movement if you're in a place where you would find it embarrassing to visibly celebrate whatever you just did, and due to the way the human brain is wired, you might even be able to imagine moving your arms and get the same results.

It takes time and repetition to build up a real physical response, so it's helpful to "practice" letting go with everything you can think of, including tiny things that aren't a big deal at all or are going out anyway: when you take out the trash, take the rotten produce and forgotten leftovers out of the fridge, blow your nose, go to the bathroom, etc. The frequent necessity of that last item points out how absolutely key to our lives the action of “letting go” is. Don't forget to look in your behavioral patterns, routines, emotions, responses to certain people or scenarios, etc. for things that you can let go of. It becomes a game—with a little thrill when you come across something that you can get rid of, with a genuine sense of success once it's done.

Start shifting things out and soon you might notice a shedding of other things you’ve been hanging onto in categories of your life other than where you've been focusing—grief suddenly coming up and out (tears from old or suppressed sadness are also “things” that eventually need to be let go), weight, finding that your house feels so much more spacious and relaxed, etc. and suddenly realizing that those big changes you need to make aren't so hard any more.

Some disclaimers:
1) Of course, we are not suggesting that you actually kill anyone or thing;
even Kylo Ren realized that was wrong.
2) The physical addiction created by the exercise is noticeable in most people, but mild. It is not sufficient to disrupt hormones/neurotransmitters or to override someone's morals, strongly held beliefs, or overcome other deep blocks against the behavior being developed.