So you ACTUALLY want to Let Go?

I get private messages from people often asking very personal questions or deep questions. Sometimes I wonder about this journey of mine. It all started when my life was falling apart and I needed an outlet so I chose the wildest and craziest thing I could … A marathon to train for and the weight room … along with a “tracking app” called Instagram. I started documenting and now many years later I am still sharing this journey although it has a mind/body balance mixed in with athletics. I get asked athletic questions but I don’t hide the fact that I am in this for fun. I rarely, if ever, track anything and frequently stop to put flowers in my hair or take pictures. I love the experience of it all because to me it has always been a mind/body connection.

My favorite and yet the toughest questions I get are deeply personal. Anxiety. Depression. Divorce. Religion. What now? Looking for hope. I can relate to each and everyone of them and I keep confidence and even though it may take a million years to write back, I always try to … Because I was there and reached out to anyone I could that it “appeared” had walked my path. I have built some strong bonds with those people that remain to this day.

I got a question awhile back and I have been dodging it. In essence it boiled down to:

How do you ACTUALLY let things go?

To give perspective I was asked this a month ago. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about it. And yet I didn’t feel qualified to answer it because I was struggling with the concept, once again, for like the millionth time in my life …

Until now.

So here is my answer and my weekend recap because they VERY much intertwine.

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Friday night …

Mom and I had a night in. I was wrecked from the week. I had a lot of reflection to do with my kids and life. So mom and I made dinner. I poured myself a glass of wine and started talking and didn’t stop for a couple hours! Haha! It was this insane release of joy, fears, anger, motherhood, love, the “what now” saga, ect. ect. ect. Mom chimed in every now and then and as always was beyond supportive. Unconditional love. She allowed me a safe place to vent all my inner most feelings and but the end of the talk I felt light as a feather. We laughed. I cried. We celebrated. We had FUN just being there for each other. It was the clean slate I needed. I think my Mom should run for President!!!! HA!

Part one of LETTING GO is letting it OUT …. To a safe place. To a friend, family member or counselor. Just LET IT ALL OUT!!!!!!!!  Nothing should stay bottled up inside. Nothing sounds too ridiculous to loving ears. Find a safe place to let it out and you are on your way to LETTING GO … like ACTUALLY letting go.

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Saturday …

Mom and I headed down to run on the lake. Well, I was going to run and she was going to walk and we BOTH were going to enjoy the sunrise! And WOW. It was the BIGGEST sun I had ever seen. If there is one thing I know for sure … It is that the sun ALWAYS rises. For EVERY single person. Around the whole wide world no matter race, gender, political views, religion … the sun doesn’t discriminate. It just knows its job is to rise every day so that the world can have hope each morning.

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My RUN was amazing. It was the longest run I had done in about 8 weeks. It was 6 miles in the muggy and HOT Chicago heat. It was so beautiful out and the sun was shining so brightly that even though I was drenched in sweat I couldn’t stop smiling. Every single step I felt lighter (probably because I was sweating my weight in water!) but from a soul-perspective, I was releasing all the remnants of the previous nights talk with Mom. I took pictures. I stopped to watch birds. I smiled at people. I stopped to tell a woman who was doing Maternity pictures that she looked like a goddess and belonged in a magazine … 1) because she was stunning in a flowing white dress showing her belly and 2) because EVERY pregnant woman deserves to hear that and 3) There will never be a time more important to me than pausing to compliment someone or try to bring a smile to someone’s face.

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By the end of the run I was literally filled with light. And love. And was soaking wet from sweat!

Step 2 to LETTING GO … Go sweat. There is a reason why people RUN to beat addictions and mental illness. It is a healthy release for the body. On a lighter level … It is a place to process the emotions and grief associated with Letting Go. Find a sweaty outlet … Do it MOST days … And you will find Letting Go is profoundly easier. The ACTUAL kind of Letting Go.

We spent the rest of the morning soaking in the beach vibes, a swim competition in Lake Michigan and people watching. I was thankful to share “my space” and routine with the person I love.

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Sunday …

This day. After a late night on Saturday I was NOT feeling my early wake up call. BUT … As I lay there in bed I was thinking … I can either have some half ass sleep the rest of the morning OR I can go watch the sun rising over Lake Michigan and RUN again! Hmmmmm …. I decided to get coffee into my mouth as quick as possible and scurry down to the lake.

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On the drive I was listening to a song someone had just sent me. When it was over I found myself bawling. I wrote this on my Instagram Page about the experience:

I cried as I was headed to my favorite running spot in the city this AM. Like really cried. Once I was afraid to cry and held it in. Not anymore. Now I believe and know crying is our body’s way of release. Today I wasn’t crying because of sadness or anger. Today I was crying because of the overwhelming JOY in my heart and HAPPINESS in my entire spirit. I couldn’t hold it in. You guys … I have felt scared. I have felt alone AND lonely. I have felt like quitting. I have felt like NOTHING will ever work out. I have felt all those emotions.  But it’s amazing how in a moment life can turn. How you can in one breath look back and realize every single heartbreak and devastation and long night brings you to THIS moment. And sometimes … Like for me today … THIS moment is absolutely beautiful. This moment is full of possibility and hope. Of LOVE. Where the dreams you’ve been showing up for every.damn.day. begin to manifest. Where you can clearly see the plan the Universe and God have laid before you. To guide you. To TEACH you. To strengthen you. THIS moment made me bawl this morning. My life isn’t figured out. My life is so far from neat and perfect. BUT I caught the vision this morning. Of the Past … Present … Future …  And I can tell you every single emotion I described above has prepared me. And I am grateful. At my breaking points I always realize I CAN take that next step and breath. YOU can too. YOU have it in you to design the life you want. It isn’t easy but anything worth having doesn’t come with ease. It comes with passion. Grinding. Picking yourself back up every time you fall. Walking away from ANYthing and anyONE who doesn’t make your spirit soar higher. Letting go. Moving forward. Loving fiercely. And most importantly BELIEVING in yourself and TRUSTING the process. Of showing up. Every.Damn.Day. I have cried many sad tears but today … In this moment … I can’t help but feel PEACE. Hope. Bliss. And the energy of my dreams unfolding.  Happy Sunday my loves and remember that YOU are worth it and have divinity in your soul that you can’t even comprehend.

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I wrote this immediately when I got to the lake. I sat and watched the sunrise and wrote. And these were the words that flowed.

Step 3 of LETTING GO … Music. Art. Writing. Really the baseline here is get creative. Balance the right and left sides of your brain. For me Writing and Music play a massive part in ACTUALLY Letting Go. Art Therapy is something I believe strongly in.  I teach Art Therapy for a reason and it is because creativity is POWER. A visual release. To Let Go … Let it out creativity.

On my RUN I couldn’t stop smiling. I knew I had LET GO myself. Like ACTUALLY Let Go. Of a few things and ideas/perceptions that I had held onto. And I felt freedom and empowered and so damn smiley that I looked like a cheeseball running along the lake smiling and waving at everyone!

I stopped at the end to meditate and do some yoga.

Step 4 of LETTING GO … Feed your spirit. Whatever that looks like. We are all unique and beautiful spiritual beings that are fed and uplifted differently. When you Let Go you create space. For the NOW and NEW. Fill your spirit immediately with beauty and LOVE. Love from within and the divine. The Universe wants to give your abundance so when the space is free then let it fill. For me, Yoga and Meditation fill my heart and spirit. I listen to my body and the messages from the Universe and my God. I become one. Mind. Body. Spirit.

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Finally Step 5 of LETTING GO.

Surround yourself with the ones who LOVE you unconditionally. For me yesterday it was my mom, brother, kids and neighborhood in the evening. My people. My tribe. The ones you can say anything to and they laugh and smile along with you. I have a small tribe but it is fierce. Find your people and never let them go. Lean on them and let them help you. Be vulnerable. Be brave. Let yourself REST in their presence. Literally take a nap (I did this on Sunday with my mom and brother cooking next to me) or just feel the peace when you know you are with safe and secure loved ones. Soak it in. Fill your heart.

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And I lied … LASTLY … For reals.

To ACTUALLY Let Go … YOU MUST KEEP MOVING FORWARD.

We only have a rear view mirror to look back for a moment. To see what’s behind us or to the side of us. You can’t drive a car looking in the rear view mirror. You have to look through the BIG and expansive windshield.

Forward motion.

One step in front of the other.

Showing up every.damn.day.

BUT most importantly …

Believing in yourself. Your worth. Your abilities and talents. You will ALWAYS be your biggest advocate.

LETTING GO … like the ACTUAL Letting Go … takes time. Be patient. You WILL have your “aha” moment. Time is everything and the most frustrating thing. Letting Go isn’t easy … It is a process just the same as and even paralleled to grief.

Be kind and gentle to yourself.

You have the POWER to Let Go.

And you will know when you do. Because the freedom and lightness will consume your mind. Your body. Your spirit. And once you feel that. You won’t look back. Except in gratitude for the lessons learned while trudging through the flames and fire of life. Humility will have a new meaning.

And you will be FREE.

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6 comments

  1. Becky says:

    I love this passage! I found a huge thing to letting go is all of these and most important true forgiveness to yourself and others to the point you love both despite the faults the mistakes and the blame and judgement you have summed up in your head…..for you can always find fault in everyone and especially in yourself! You rock way to keep things moving foreword and growing despite curve balls thrown your way! Life is love!

  2. Meggie Meyer says:

    Love, love, love this! I also became a runner during a very difficult time in my life when many things were happening but I didn’t know why at the time. I remember the release, the time talking with God, after we would get home from baseball practice, feed my boys dinner and put them to bed and I would run and it was such a wonderful time to think & pray and I always felt such peace afterwards. I now mainly run in mornings. Love the “Nothing sounds too crazy to loving ears.” SO SO very true even though I have never thought of it this way.

  3. I love your story! Running is so therapeutic and I love that alone time as well to talk to God, the Universe and myself. It is beautiful! I love running in the mornings too!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I have recently found you on IG (ha, sounds weird when I say it like that ) and yes, I’ve scrolled through almost every picture! I love seeing your progress, your food pics, etc. You are one of the handful of IG folks who have been a motivational tool as I get back into running. Thank you for putting yourself out there!!!!

    • Ahhh Thank you!!! I appreciate you leaving this comment! Good work getting back into running! It can seem daunting but I have been there! Small steps and consistency will get you where you want to be! I’m excited for you!

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