Tag Archives: Letting Go

AWAKENING TO WHAT IS NEXT

“Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected.  Sustainability is about survival.  The goal of resilience is to thrive.”  Jamais Cascio

Photo: Georganne Spruce

Photo: Georganne Spruce

The problem with an accident is that there is no warning and afterwards the shock overtakes us for protection.  When reality finally sets in, it is hard not to analyze how it happened and why.

I’ve replayed many times that moment before I fell on the hike a couple of weeks ago.  There was a moment I hesitated before I stepped onto the spot where I fell.  If only I had hesitated a little longer and decided not to take that step.

We Cannot Change the Past

But we can’t change the past.  What’s done is done.  I have a broken ankle.  I won’t be able to walk for several weeks, so what am I going to do in the meantime.  I’ve done “angry,” “blaming self for being foolish” and “you should have warned me.”  So now it’s time to move on and make something good out of this.

 We Can Make Something Good Out Of Negative Experiences

It’s forcing me to rest more, which is good.  I kept saying I needed to make the time to meditate – well, now I have it.  I have the time to rest and think.   And I have to be more creative.  How will we take that trip we planned to celebrate a special time in a relative’s life?  How will I teach the class I was supposed to teach?

I wrote the first three paragraphs two weeks ago, and during the last weekend in April, I taught “How to Make Your Story Come Alive” at the Blue Ridge Bookfest in my wheel chair.  Somehow I had managed to finish preparing the workshop between severe coughing bouts (oh yeah, I developed a bad allergic reaction to the oak tassels falling in my yard) and insomnia.

Despite my limited movement, the class was very responsive and asked good questions and I enjoyed teaching despite the fact that I am used to moving around and writing on the white board.  It was a different experience, but I do prefer to be on my feet.

Photo: Charles Davidson

Photo: Charles Davidson

I also discovered that my fiancé is totally dedicated to my well-being.  He has become my home health care professional 24 hours a day and I feel extremely well cared for.  I don’t have to call on strangers as I did several years ago when I broke my elbow, nor do I have to go to a rehab facility where I am treated as senile although at the time I was there, I was fully in charge of my faculties.

 We Have to Adapt to the Changes

Over all, things have been going well despite my fiancé’s car dying the day we headed out for the bookfest.  Fortunately, mine was working well and we were able to reload the car quickly and arrive on time.  That same week the toaster oven I use to cook everything died.  Oh yes, and after living here ten years, for the first time, I’ve been called to jury duty—a couple of weeks before my wedding.

Of course this is all happening in the middle of our making final plans for our wedding.  Well, at least it hasn’t been boring.  Who knows what will happen next.  I’m at the laughing stage now, and can say, “We’ll deal with it.”

Most of the time, when the unexpected and not so pleasant things occur in life, all we can do is adapt.  No matter how hard we plan, life will create obstacles, and hopefully we can circumvent or overcome them, accepting that reality and perhaps learning from them.

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Photo: Georganne Spruce

We Can Learn Important Lessons From Negative Experiences

What have I learned from this experience?  That when I’m on a slippery slope, I need to weigh the options more carefully than usual.  My first concern must be my own safety regardless of what anyone else is doing.   I need to balance my daring and passion with thought and wisdom. I need to slow down and be sure my next step is on safe ground.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                           ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

AWAKENING TO THE NEXT GOOD THING

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.”  Alexander Graham Bell

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Have you ever been offered the opportunity to do something new but turned it down because you had your mind set on something else?  Do you ever find it difficult to let go when it’s time to move on?  How open are you to new experiences?

Often Difficult To Let Go of Grief

When a door closes in our lives, the death of a friend or loved one, the end of a job, or bad knees end our tennis games, our tendency may be to hang onto this lost reality.  We can’t see that the end of one thing may be the beginning of something else that is equally or more meaningful because we are so submerged in the feelings of loss.

Recently, I lost a friend, a photographer, whose pictures of nature blended beautifully with my nature poetry.  Because of that, we created slide and reading presentations for our spiritual community’s weekly celebration.  I feel the loss of her as a friend, but I also am grieving the loss of our creative collaboration.  It is hard to accept the idea that she and those experiences are gone.

Photo by Elliott Brown

Photo by Elliott Brown

When I first stopped teaching full-time, I started writing more seriously, but I still spent years looking for another teaching job, even when it became apparent that no one was hiring someone with as many years experience as I had.  I was afraid not to have a full-time regular job, so I still didn’t commit myself totally to the writing or look for a writing job.  The door stood open for years before I was willing to walk through it.

New Opportunities May Lay Behind Open Doors

When I finally committed myself to finishing my memoir, everything I needed magically fell into place.  Once it was completed, other amazing things started happening.  Years earlier, a medium had told me that when I finished my book, I would meet the man of my dreams.  At the time, I thought that didn’t sound very realistic—what did those two things have in common?

I missed the point—following my passion allowed me to be who I truly was and attracted to me someone who could appreciate who I was because he was also a writer.  By completing the book and developing a blog, I opened a door.  I gained confidence in my abilities and felt I was finally doing what I was called to do.  But my love’s side of the story is also about closed and open doors.

His wife died after a long illness and his grief was so deep, he wasn’t sure he could go on.  Finally, he came to a point where he decided he could go on, knowing that was what she wanted for him.  Eventually, he stepped away from his former life and walked through the open door, not knowing what he would find.   Because he was willing to risk stepping into the unknown, we met each other and have created a lovely life together.

Love Birds

Photo by Skadi

There Is Always A Time To Move On

When we cling to the door that has closed, we stunt our own growth.  Our lives, like the life of the earth, must move through many seasons just as spring always follows after winter.  It is good that we spend time grieving when it is appropriate, but the time also must come when we are willing to look at that open door and walk through it to see what treasures lay on the other side.

We never know when the next good thing will come along, so it is wise to remain open to new experiences.  When we choose not to, it is usually because we are afraid of the unknown or feel inadequate.  If we learn to let go of those fears, we can better see if the opportunity truly has value for us.

Fear Blocks Us From Choosing New Experiences

Fear is the source of every block in our lives.  If we make it a habit to avoid open doors, we strengthen the resistance caused by fear.  When we feel fearful, we are reluctant to move forward because our minds focus on our former negative experiences instead of focusing on solving the current problem.  Releasing this fear will free us to move through that open door.

Releasing Our Fears Gives Us Courage and Joy

Without fear, we can more easily discern if the new option being presented to us is, in fact, a wise choice.  Without fear, we can discern what elements of the situation we need to explore more completely.  Without fear, we will be more in touch with our intuition and inner guidance and be open to experience more joy in life.

Open doors are always an opportunity to look at something we may never have considered or that is available because our life or thinking have shifted in some way.  It is the open door that lets the light through.   But we’ll never be able to experience its healing unless we step through it.

If you would like to know more about how to release your fears and you live in the Asheville/Flat Rock, NC area, consider taking my “Release Your Fears” class at Blue Ridge Community College, Center for Life Long Learning. Mondays March 3 & 10, 1-3 pm, $30.  Register ahead at the college or call 828-694-1740.  For more information and my video, see Workshops.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                                                 ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles: How to Become Open to Life, Seven Secrets of a Joyful Life, 50 Ways to Open Your World to New Possibilities

DANCING TO LIFE

“Dance when you’re broken open.  Dance if you’ve torn the bandage off.  Dance in the middle of the fighting.  Dance in your blood.  Dance when you’re perfectly free.”  Rumi

Photo by Sandy Jones

Photo by Sandy Jones

Does your dance of life include the dirges as well as the waltzes?  Can you find some peace or joy in the really challenging parts of life?  Are you able to let go when it’s time to let go?

It has been a tough few days.  My dear friend Sandy passed on this week although I hoped somehow she would survive cancer.  Whenever I think of Sandy, I think of her beautiful photography and her eternal dance with nature.  She invited me to join her one day to take pictures and I learned so much.  She had a magical eye and each picture she took showed me some aspect of the subject that I would have overlooked without seeing it through her eyes.

Photo: Georganne Spruce

Photo: Georganne Spruce

Challenges May Often Change Us For The Better

Sandy was such an inspiration to me as I sometimes took her to chemotherapy.  During our rides, we began to talk deeper in ways we never had before.  She shared more of her life, and she opened like a blooming red rose.  I won’t try to describe the change that took place—I’ll let her speak for herself, so please take a moment to listen to this video, and meet my dear friend.

When I heard a week ago that she would make her transition soon, I began to really feel the loss.  I couldn’t bear the thought that we would never dance together again as artists as we had when she created a slide show to match the poetry I read.  Our exciting creative collaboration was really the center of our friendship, and it had been a long time since I had created work with another person.

Soon after hearing the news, I walked into my bedroom where one of her photos hung on the wall, a picture of a bridge over part of a stream with dogwood framing the scene.  And there she was standing on the bridge waving good-bye to me smiling, and every time in the last week that I have passed that picture, her image was there in my mind’s eye.  I felt such peace knowing she was ready.

Photo:  Sandy Swanson copied from the original

Photo: Sandy Swanson copied from the original

We Can Always Choose How We Respond To Life

Sandy reminds me that the dance of life is so varied and we can’t always make it be what we want it to be.  I am starting a new life with the most loving partner I could ever imagine; Sandy has passed from this life.  It doesn’t seem fair.  Life—it just is.  Someday I’ll be crossing that bridge too—we all will.  And it will be my final dance, but in the meantime I’m going to dance to all of life and feel each moment completely.

Dancing to life is about engaging with whatever is happening and feeling it fully.  We can kick up our heels joyfully or we can drag our feet remorsefully.  We can jump start new projects or we can slowly waltz around them.  It’s okay if the dancing hurts sometimes because life isn’t always good to us, but if we learn to cultivate joy, it can lift the quality of life immensely.

We Can Dance With Our Bodies And Minds

There’s no better way to find joy than to dance with our bodies or our minds. When I write I dance with words.  Others make preparing food a dance.  This week, the Olympic skaters will be dancing on ice.  When we hike in the forest, we dance among the trees.  A good dinner and conversation with friends is like a dance.  When we sleep, we may dance with our dreams.

When I feel sad about Sandy, I remember that she’s now with Oneness and she is well—dancing with the stars, I suspect, and of course taking their pictures.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                                                   ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Finding Peace in Death, Navigating Loss and Dealing with the Pain of Letting Go

AWAKENING TO LET GO

“Holding on is believing there is only a past; letting go is knowing there is a future.” Daphne Rose Kingma

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Do you find it easy to let go of old ways of doing things?  Do you often resist change?  Are you excited by frequent change?

Every autumn as the leaves fall, I am in awe of how easily and naturally nature moves toward winter.  At first, the leaves turn brilliant red, yellow, and orange—a gift that makes us forget how much we loved the lush green of spring and summer.  Then, as we revel in this display, the leaves begin to gently drop, showering our yards with color and providing the material to mulch and feed our lawns and gardens. When finally the trees are bare, we discover vistas that were obscured by their leaves, and the sky opens, displaying clouds and stars we couldn’t see before.

Letting Go Is a Natural Part of Nature

As we drift into winter, we remember that in the spring the leaves, flowers, and warmth will return, but now is the time for going inward, to light fires, and snuggle up with lovers and books. It is a time of reevaluation, thinking, and contemplation.  Letting go of the past is part of the cycle of life.  Each change and each new cycle opens us to a new experience that may enrich our lives and expand our awareness.

Letting Go Creates New Space for New Ideas

Wouldn’t it be nice if letting go were as easy for us as it is for nature?  We would experience much less anxiety if we could accept this aspect of change as a natural part of living and understand that letting go creates the space for new growth.  As long as we keep the doors of our mind closed, nothing new or beneficial can enter.

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We Fear the Unknown

Our reluctance to let go is usually related to our fear of the unknown.  Although we may become bored with life always following the same pattern, at least we know what to expect and that feels comforting.  The irony is that despite our determination to keep things the same, they change anyway and impact our lives.  When we are forced to change by circumstance rather than choice, the more we resist, the more the difficulties persist.

The Unknown May Be Filled With Gifts

On the other hand, some people are always looking for new adventure and find venturing into the unknown exciting.  Most of us fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, experiencing both fear of the unknown, but also being willing to embrace change when necessary.  When we believe that, although we can’t predict the future, life often brings us unexpected gifts, we are more likely to let go of the aspects of our lives that aren’t serving us well.

Years ago, when I was divorced in Washington, D. C., I loved living there, but I wanted to teach dance in college, and most of the positions for which I applied were filled by people who had danced with major New York companies.  When I was offered a position to teach at a college in central Nebraska, I decided to take a chance.  I loved Washington, but I needed an income and didn’t want to give up dance.  I had to let go of my life in the east and move on.

It wasn’t easy leaving what I knew—my spiritual and artistic community and friends, but up to this point, my life had been strongly influenced by my parents and then my husband’s needs.  I had only visited Nebraska once for the interview, but the opportunity I wanted was there.  Like the pioneers who inhabited those plains, I headed out for the unknown land feeling fear and excitement.

Nebraska Wildflowers

Letting Go May Be Transformative

The most important thing I learned from my time in Nebraska was not to judge what I do not know.  I loved the students and made some of the best friends I’ve ever had.  I learned to not accept appearances but to look deeper to find the subtle beauty of the plains.  Most of all, I learned I could adapt to a new environment and that gave me the confidence to believe that letting go of what was comfortable, but limiting, was not so frightening.

Letting go of what no longer serves us can transform our lives.  On the personality level, we often become very attached to the work we do for a living.  I’ve seen too many people retire and let their lives just slip away because they are not in touch with who they really are.  I understand this.  It took me a long time to disconnect from identifying myself as a dancer to seeing I was so much more as a person.

My father never made the transition, and unlike many people who use their retirement to become involved with helping others and following their true passions, he seemed to feel his life was over.  He became a grandfather and enjoyed that, but still he never completely engaged life again.  He just drifted through each day, reminisced about his past achievements, and watched television.

Being Authentic Frees Us

When we are conscious of our interior life as well as our exterior life, we can discover what we need to do in order to live an authentic life.  We are able to let go of the persona we developed to please our family or employer and find the courage to reveal who we really are.  We shed the superficialities and find the courage to be honest and real.  We let go of others expectations and follow our own path into the unknown, finding the future path that will lead us to a meaningful life.  Letting go of what limits us is a powerful gift to give ourselves and others.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                                 ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:   Ten Tips to Let Go of the Past and Embrace the Future,   8 Effective Ways to Let Go and Move On, Releasing Fear and Limiting Beliefs,  The Ultimate Letting Go:  Release Your Fear and Be Free

AWAKENING TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”  Wayne Dyer

How do you respond to challenging events that block what you want?  When you feel overwhelmed, how do you manage to move forward?  How do you know what the next step is?

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It seems that some months flow by so smoothly that it is hard to remember they were here, like a river rapidly flowing unimpeded over the rocks.  Other months seem to attract problems like obstacles and debris that become caught between the rocks of the river, blocking the flow of life and creating barriers to progress.  August was like that, full of distractions and problems to be solved that stole precious hours from my writing time and time with loved ones.

When We Are Stressed With Problems, Take One Step At A Time

Because more powerful cell towers were being built where I live that would give me better service, I had to trade in my old phone for a new one.  I did that, except the new phone did not work well.  It had less coverage, and I spent hours trying to work out the problems.  In addition, problems with medical and dental insurance plans arose.  Then, one side of the yard had to be dug up in order to replace a drainage pipe.  The seeding that was done afterwards was terribly inadequate, and we discovered that area, once covered with English Ivy, had an underground spring that had surfaced due to the excessive rains we’ve had.

So how do we negotiate the rocks and debris that appear unexpectedly in our paths?  I felt overwhelmed and anxious most of the month and often had to remember to breathe deeply. I had to remind myself that when I’m hiking and have to cross a stream there is only one way to do it—one step at a time.  I place a foot on a rock with a little weight to test how stable it is.  Then I step to put my whole weight onto it.

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The Best Choice Is The Heart Choice

So with all these unexpected problems appearing, I had to constantly stop and consider what would be the best way to proceed in each case.  I had to explore and research to understand the choices and sometimes the best choice wasn’t obvious.  Over time, I’ve learned that when I am ready to make a choice, it is best to turn inward and ask what feels right in my heart because my mind often holds on to comfortable, old ideas that may not serve me well.

Clearing away the debris and blockage in life requires us to let go of what is no longer of value and be open to something new.  We become attached to ideas, people and things, and it is especially difficult to let go of them when they have been meaningful or useful to us.  When we find ourselves resisting, it is important to take the time to explore what we feel we will lose if we let go.

We May Need To Do Mental Spring Cleaning

We often need to do some mental spring cleaning.  Growing up, spring cleaning was the time we cleared out old clothes or toys from the closet—sometimes reluctantly, cleaned the windows and inside the kitchen cabinets, and waxed the hardwood floors.  We made space for new things, gave order to the disorder, and found that looking through clean windows always made the world brighter.

When we feel blocked in moving forward, it’s a good time to stop and think, “Why am I afraid to let go of the things I no longer need?”  Even if we don’t like where we are, it feels more secure than stepping into the unknown, or we may be afraid we will make the wrong choice.  When our minds are cluttered with too many possibilities, it is also difficult to truly focus and see clearly the pros and cons of each choice.

Quiet May Bring Us Peace

However, when we are in meditation or in a quiet moment, all seems well.  We can just be.  We can choose not to resist.  We can be the observers of our own lives, and may be able to see how the blocks that have appeared have led us to better situations.  We remember the peacefulness of flowing with the breath.  We can let go of our fear and know that if we are in touch with our inner selves, the solutions to problems will appear as we explore the possibilities. We will be guided to the best choices and the next step.

Challenges May Lead To Better Solutions

Not all the challenges that arose last month have been solved the way I expected, but the ones that have been solved led to something better.  Because I had been given inaccurate information about the phone and cell tower activation, I was given a nice credit and an opportunity to choose a new phone of my choice.  I found a better insurance policy at a much better rate.  As for the yard, there’s still work to be done, but if the yard hadn’t been dug up to fix the drain pipe, I would never have had the ivy in that area removed, and I’m so glad it’s gone and will be replaced with grass.

This is all a reminder that when we trust the flow of life even the difficulties tend to lead us to something better.  The next step may not be what we expected, but that could be a good thing.  It’s all in how we look at it.

Have you changed your way of looking at an event or person lately?  Please Comment.

Related Articles: Change Your Thinking (Wayne Dyer Video Interview), Trust Is Shorthand for Going with the Flow (Marianne Williamson), How to Develop a Deep Trust in Life, Letting Go of Your Old Ideas

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                                 ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

AWAKENING TO SHADOW’S TREASURE

“It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are without any self-deception or illusion that a light will develop out of events by which the path of success may be recognized.”  I-Ching

Do you always avoid negative emotions and stuff them down inside?  Are you comfortable expressing all your concerns and emotions to those you love?  How much of who you really are do you keep hidden?

Finding Treasure in the Darkness

As we move deeper into winter, days grow longer and the darkness envelops us.  For many people, it is an uncomfortable time, but like every season, it may hold hidden treasure if we are willing to look for it.  Deep within our unconscious, we all have what Carl Jung called “the Shadow.”  As the weather pushes us indoors more and the light decreases, it is the perfect time for reflecting on what we need to heal and release.

Scorpio, the Transformer

Beyond the change of seasons, other influences are affecting us.  Scorpio, the astrological sign, urges us to dig deeply and explore the part of ourselves we prefer to deny.  It is a time when the changes we make can be transforming.  Visit www.astrodelight.com,  Belinda Dunn’s website, for some very interesting information on Scorpio’s influence.

Mercury Encourages Reevaluation

In addition, Mercury is in retrograde.  Okay now—don’t leave me.  Trust me—all these influences that appear so negative really are gold if we know what to do with them.  The good news is that Mercury goes direct again on the 26th.  I’ll be glad, believe me, because I’m tiring of all the phone calls it has taken to make one simple appointment.

Mercury is about communication.  When it’s in retrograde, it’s a good time to review and revise what we are doing with our lives.  It’s also a good time to clear out what is no longer useful.  It’s not a time to start something new, but it’s a good time to plan for the future.

Becoming Conscious of  Shadow Issues

While this period and its influences may make us uncomfortable, it’s a time when we can do some serious inner work.  When I read the I-Ching quote above, I immediately thought of Carl Jung whose thinking has always increased my understanding of human psychology.  In his book Psychology and Religion, he said, “Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.  If inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it.  Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications.  But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.”

Let’s say that it makes you angry when people are disrespectful to you, but you’ve been taught it’s unacceptable to feel anger.  How do you deal with that?  Most people repress it and keep repressing it.  When we do that, we tend to project the anger onto others in situations that have nothing to do with the situation at hand.  Our reactions to situations become distorted.  The wife who feels her husband spoke disrespectfully one day but said nothing may lash out at him the next day for forgetting an item at the grocery store.

What is kept unconscious will come out in other unhealthy ways or will manifest as illness, for the mind and body connection is very powerful.  Over a long period of time, these repressed feelings poison our physical and mental health.

We Must Release Fear To Become Conscious

If this is true, why do we choose to live so unconsciously?  Because we are afraid.  When we live this way, fear rules our lives, and only when we allow that fear to surface, can we really begin to free ourselves from it and heal.  To do that, we sometimes have to go against cultural norms.

In our Western culture, we emphasize having a positive attitude to an extreme degree; therefore, we are discouraged from looking at our Shadow and its fear content.  But denying our darker side rather than dealing with the related issues only prolongs the damage this dysfunction can do in our lives.  When we allow our buried feelings to become conscious, we can see what is going on, we can heal and release what is limiting us.  We create an opening where the light can come through, where new ideas and ways of living can evolve.

After the Darkness Comes the Light

It took me many years of releasing my fears to come to a point where I could actually publish my memoir Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness.  But when I committed to that and faced all the fears that came up, I also committed to a healing journey.  It was very painful sometimes, but it led to a place where I am happier than I’ve ever been, where what is lurking deep inside isn’t scary any more.  And I know now that no matter how uncomfortable dealing with the fear is, releasing it will lead me to more light.

Be willing to go deeper and find the buried treasure within and transform your life.  Peace, Love, and Joy to you on this amazing journey.

If you are in the Asheville, NC area, join us for my “Release Your Fear” workshop at Crystal Visions Bookstore tomorrow night from 7-9:00 pm. $15 at the door.  Releasing your fear is a good way to begin retrieving your Shadow’s treasure.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce                                                     ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  The Hidden Value of Mercury RetrogradeSuppression and Repression, Memories, Dreams, and Reflections by Jung

AWAKENING TO A CLEAR PLACE

“The more you have, the more you are occupied.  The less you have, the more free you are.”  Mother Theresa

Do you always do your spring cleaning?  Is your life cluttered to the point that you feel it controls you rather than you controlling it?  How much are you willing to simplify?

I just finished reading Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild.  It is the story of her trek along the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert to Portland, Oregon, traveling with only the pack she could barely carry on her back.  While the book touched me in many ways, her journey, living months with only what she could carry, particularly resonated with me.

Letting Go of the Old

Since spring, I have had an overwhelming desire to clean out the clutter in my life—not just the physical stuff, but activities I no longer enjoy as well.  I had to skip my usual spring cleaning this year because writing my book was so intense and time-consuming that I had time for nothing else.  Now at the end of summer, it has become almost an obsession to get the cleaning out done.

When I feel energy pressing against me in this way, I know it’s a signal that I need to pay attention and take the step it is pushing me toward.  There is something good around the corner that I must make room for.  I must clear out the old and make room for what is to come.

The irony is that my house is not cluttered.  I have a lot of books in bookcases with paintings and stones placed around, but they are all arranged neatly and not excessive in number.  Even my closets are neatly arranged, but I have a large number of files containing information on the past that I no longer need.  So why am I having such a difficult time letting go of this?

Letting Go Creates Fear

Letting go creates a vacuum and that often feels uncomfortable.  It may feel like a loss and remind us of painful losses we’ve experienced, and we may feel fearful about what will replace the stuff, or friend, or activity we have released.  So, part of letting go of the clutter, in our houses or our minds, is letting go of the fear that we will need it, or not find a friend or activity that is more beneficial to replace it.  My fear almost always is the same—I’m afraid I might need it again.

Clearing Clutter Allows Us To Grow Spiritually

H. G. Chissel, a feng shui practitioner, says, “Clutter is a physical manifestation of fear that cripples our ability to grow.”  We can’t grow when we’re stuck and attached to the past.  What we need now in our lives may be very different than what we needed five or ten years ago.

Why do I find it so difficult to let go of the medical files from the years when I had chronic fatigue?  When I explored this, I discovered that I was afraid I might have a relapse, that the new doctor might need these files.  But this is irrational because I’ve been free of the condition for over ten years.  I know what caused it and what cured it.  I live a life based on that knowledge and am very healthy.

We draw to us what we focus on, so the best way to insure that I don’t need those files is to let go of them, to affirm that I know I am healthy and know I will not be ill again because I have changed the circumstances that created the illness in the first place.  Hanging on to old ideas like this only keeps us attached to it, and, as Chissell said, “cripples our ability to grow.”  Just as Cheryl Strayed had to let go of emotional as well as physical burdens on her journey, I have had to do that in my life and chronicled that spiritual journey in my book Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness.  The more I have been willing to let go of what no longer serves me, even if letting go is painful, the more I am freed to find what truly serves me.

Creating A Place For What We Need Now

When I envision having cleaned out all the extra stuff in my files, I feel weightless and excited because I feel free.  I am surrounded by light and am joyful.  There is now space in my life for new activities, new friends, contemplation, and new stories to write.  This space I have cleared makes room in my life for what I need now.  It is a transition from the old to the new, and I am excited about the new things that will come into my life because I trust that what I need will come to me.

What have you let go of lately that was difficult to release?

© 2012 Georganne Spruce                                                                ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

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THE SPIRITUAL TREASURE OF MOVING ON

“How do geese know when to fly to the sun?  Who tells them the seasons?  How do we humans know when it is time to move on?  With the migrant birds, so surely with us, there is a voice within if only we would listen to it, that tells us certainly when to go forth into the unknown.” Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Letting Go and Moving On

The first red and yellow leaves of autumn fall in my yard, and it begins: the dropping away of what is not needed, the extraneous, the extra weight of burdens, the sadness we kept hidden while the light of the summer sun lured us into denial.  Tears surface for no apparent reason, feeling like toxic waste that our cells and minds have finally released.  Autumn reminds us that in our own lives, it is the season to let go and move on.

The towering oaks shed their acorns, and the squirrels, filled with delight, fly from tree to tree like circus acrobats on speed and gorge on the nuts, becoming plump.  Some things will die, while others come alive, gathering the rich harvests before the first freeze like the bears preparing for their winter hibernation.  The Spirit in all of nature whispers guidance for this transition, where to find the best blueberries or the best migratory path to warmer lands.

Choosing Wise Paths

That voice whispers to us as well.  Walking in the forest after several days of rain, I turn my face to the patches of sunshine filtering through the trees, drinking it in as if it were water in a desert.  My friend and I start to take a different hiking path and have no idea where it will take us.  We have to be home at a certain time, but when the trail starts to curve away from the stream we know will lead us back to our car, a quiet voice inside whispers.  We reluctantly turn back, agreeing we will explore this path another time.

During autumn, here in the Appalachians, the variety of color and the length of time it lasts, gently and sensually eases us into the introversion of winter.  It gives us time to think about where we need to go in our migration through life.  It gives us time to explore what changes we need to make and what habits, thoughts, or attachments we need to release. We are gently reminded there are some things we cannot control.  Change is inevitable.  Parts of our lives will fall away. But deep inside there is a voice that will tell us when to let go.

Spiritual Gifts of Accepting Change

Now in the autumn of my days, I have learned to quiet my mind and listen to that voice.  I love the richness of this time.  Like autumn shedding her leaves, I must shed some attitudes.  If I expect my body to perform as it did twenty years ago, I will incur injury; yet, by scaling back the intensity of the activity, I can do almost everything I used to enjoy.  I can be the squirrel running up and around the tree if not the squirrel flying from branch to branch.

Just like the beauty of autumn leaves, being willing to transform and move into a new mind-set, relationship or job, even if they are not what we envisioned, can bring beauty and wisdom to our lives.  Without the change of seasons we live a boring existence.  We would become so attached to our limited ideas of what a life can be that we would never move on and venture into the unknown where treasures we cannot even imagine lay buried, waiting for us to unearth them and become transformed.

As the cool breezes blow and the brilliant autumn sun shines through the branches of the trees it is time for us to reevaluate our lives.  Where do we need to be in our own hearts and minds when winter arrives?  What path do we need to take on our journey to reach an abundant and warmer land?

As a reader, what topics would you like for me to write about?  What issues concern you?  I appreciate so much the comments you all share, so let me know how I can be more helpful to you.  You may leave your suggestions in the comment box.

© 2011 Georganne Spruce

Related Readings: How to Let Go of Negative Feelings – Abraham Hicks (video), Graceful Exits: Knowing When to Move On, Moving Through Change