Letting Go of What Doesn’t Serve Me:
Recently I read a story about a nun who had prayed every day for 30 years for God to take away a lifelong problem she’d had. Finally, one morning as she was praying once again, she heard a gentle voice in her head- I can’t take it unless you give it up.
Give It Up:
I can’t get rid of any problem that I’m not willing to release. Most of us hold tight to our grudges, our worries, our problems, our conflicts. On some level, we are addicted to them. I used to have a strange subconscious (deeply subconscious) belief that worrying about my kids would keep them safe, like some kind of bass-akwards prayer. But now I know that worry is like praying for something I don’t want. Unless we are in this moment hanging from a cliff by our fingernails, our problems aren’t really problems anyway. Most of our “problems” are created in our mind, where we are fixated on something in the past, or worried about something that might possibly (but probably not) happen in the future. How do worry and negativity serve my life? How does anger, judgment or resentment make any situation better? Those emotions are like uninvited guests who live rent-free in my head.
In order to reclaim joy, I have to create space for it – I have to kick those Randy Quaid-like uninvited guests to the curb.
Science has proven that nature abhors a vacuum, and that everything in the Universe is made of energy, including you and I. So when I release negative energy from my life, there is a vacuum that pulls something new and positive in.
Time and again I have seen proof that this works, and yet it’s so easy to slip back into old habits. So once again I’ve made a conscious choice to release negativity, worry, fear, insecurity and feelings of worthlessness. Already I’ve felt the immediate benefits of being more centered and calm. But life will always throw a few challenges. For instance, yesterday my phone line went out and my computer broke down. I had to cancel a conference call and lost a whole day of work. It took 3 and 1/2 hours at the Mac store to get my computer fixed. Needless to say this was not the day I had planned. Usually, I would be really upset, but what purpose would that serve? I decided to release being upset and be at peace with the situation I was given. When I released the negative emotion, some wonderful blessings flowed in to fill that space. Instead of working, I was able to go hiking in the beautiful mountains, spend time with friends and have some really inspiring and uplifting conversations. It turned out to be a great day.
This is my favorite one-minute meditation. I close my eyes and slow my breathing, listening to the rhythm of my breath, accepting all the background noises as part of my natural surroundings. Then, I let go of all my problems for one second. In that one instantaneous moment, I feel a shift. This is the most transformative one-minute meditation, and anyone can do it. I did it this morning and feel like I just had a mini-vacation.
Go on, try it. Let your worries go for one second. Just one second. See if your mind allows you to do it. (Don’t worry, they’ll still be there after the second has passed.)
If you are resistant to trying this one-second experiment, ask yourself why? Are you hesitant to let go of your problems and let joy occupy that space?
*For more on this, read my blog: What I'm Giving Up