Letting Go, Letting In

posted in: Mindful Living | 2

Letting Go, Letting In- Joanna Ciolek

Inspired by Kerstin, and fueled by lots of transformative changes I made recently, I’ve come up with a list of things I’m letting go and things I’m letting into my life right now.

I’m letting go of…

  • Caring what others think of me. Spending time wandering what others think of me is a waste of my energy. I can’t and don’t even want to please everyone. I can only be me (however quirky, different, imperfect, or unconventional) and those who will accept me for who I am are those who I want in my life. Others have their own lives to live, whatever form that might take. As long as no one is getting hurt, we should be free to live our lives our way. And that leads me to letting go of…
  • Criticism & judging, be it directed at my self or others. No one judges us as harshly (and closely) as we judge ourselves – and by doing that we kill our spirit, self-esteem, and defeat ourselves before we have a chance to give it our best. I’m learning to quiet that voice inside me that thinks I can only grow through criticism & pushing myself beyond what feels right. That voice has been in control for far too long. It’s time to take over and show it there’s a more loving and peaceful way to motivate ourselves and others to do and be better.
  • Worrying about the future. As a parent, this seems impossible but I figured worrying brings nothing good & is just another energy suck I don’t need. I’m learning to trust that my path is there for me to uncover and that there’s an order in the disorder. I truly believe that we’re only given what we can handle and the human potential for handling adversity is vast.
  • Trying to control everything and everyone as if I’m personally responsible for it all. There’s only so much we can control and be truly responsible for – mainly our thoughts and actions. We can influence but not be responsible for our kids, our partners, our parents, and so on. We can only change ourselves, be it through taking control over our thoughts, adjusting our attitude or taking a specific action. Embracing the new and learning to accept change is the only way we can find peace in this crazy world. There’s too much uncertainly and nothing is ever permanent. Resisting or avoiding change will only lead to pain. Being open & flexible is the only way we can stay sane.
  • Doing everything for everyone. We’ve been overcommitting ourselves to please others but it’s time to learn to say “no”, without the guilt.

I’m letting in…

  • Making art every day. There’s something magical about just sitting down and creating things with our own hands out of our own imagination that is both restorative and empowering. We’ve squandered creativity for far too long, being all grown up and responsible. I’m taking my time to remember how to play too, and it’s both therapeutic and inspiring.
  • Taking care of myself for a change. As women, we are taught to take care of others first, and that often comes at our own expense. We put our needs, and subsequently lives, on hold. It hit me like a brick that I’ve been putting myself last for most of my life. These days, I’m doing better at remembering that we don’t live through our children, our families, our careers. These day, I’m stopping to think, “What will make me feel happy right now?”, and doing just that, to an extent it’s possible. It doesn’t have to be grant either. Smallest things like taking a long restorative bath send a signal – to ourselves and those around us – that our needs matter too. Along the same lines, I try to eat healthier, sleep more, and stay physically active. I also love listening to guided meditations or inspirational talks.
  • Writing, which is something I love but never really paid attention to do. I’ve been blogging for few years now but it’s not the same as expressive writing with pen & paper. So, I started journaling this year. Now I have few journals: one for my artistic inspiration/notes/ideas, one for processing my feelings & thoughts, one for my gratitude list that I do at bedtime. Writing transforms – it’s good for your body and mind. I’ve noticed, I’m more calm, balanced & grounded when I write. Journaling helps me release stress, process and “throw away” negativity, and clear my mind. It’s both cleansing & restorative

Happiness is a choice we make every day by letting love-based things in and fear-based things go (tweet this). Unfortunately, we tend to look for happiness in the external world full of “shoulds” and “not enoughs”. Yet, our attention needs to focus within. I’m learning to listen in, let go of what doesn’t serve me and focus my energy on creating a simpler, more balanced life that’s right for me.

Do you have a “Letting Go, Letting In” list?

2 Responses

  1. Love your list! (thanks for the shout-out)
    I also love your art – seeing it in my Instagram feed makes me very happy – you’re so talented!
    Excited to follow on your journey 🙂 (P.S. – do you have a place where I can subscribe to email updates from your blog? I could not find it) xo

  2. Thank you for your kind words, Kerstin! Also, for making me dig and realize I have 20 subscribers that I didn’t even know about (I setup feedburner years ago, then forgot all about it)! Subscription link is up on the right – thank you!