I’m stealing one from Elsa in the movie, “Frozen,” who sings that song, “Let It Go.” Listen to it once and you’ll never get it out of your head. Thank you, Disney.
As I write this, the holidays are upon me. Everything is festive, decorated, and pretty. Yet, many I’ve encountered in my travels and errands seem to be so rushed, angry, and impatient.
I’m grateful for my daily yoga practice I’ve had since September 1, 2015. I do notice the rush and impatience of others, but I find I maintain my center. I feel calm and unhurried. I feel better with my health, more able to manage my stress and emotions.
This year has been one of letting go. I don’t like to do a yearly review like some media outlets or online folks do because I don’t think my life is that interesting or important. I’m just one of billions on the planet.
I will say though…I’ve let go of a big load this year.
Last year at this time, I arrived home from living in Graz, Austria for a few months feeling like I wanted to simplify my life, after being able to live out of a suitcase easily. I decluttered a bit.
Fast forward to late spring 2015, my mom had a complication related to her past cancer and was in and out of the intensive care unit for a month. She had been in remission for a few years.
During her last visit in the ICU, she didn’t make it. She passed. It was such a shock. She was only 63 years old.
As we drove home from doing the thank you cards from my mom’s funeral, we received a phone message that my husband JT’s aunt (his mom’s twin sister) was in hospice. She died shortly afterwards. It was very sad. Cancer sucks.
My good friend’s mom passed this fall too. Ugh.
Just recently, my great uncle passed too. He was in his 90s, but still, sad for me. (My late, maternal grandma’s brother).
I have been working really hard to regain my health after a relapse of chronic fatigue. It’s been a couple of years of nutrient intravenous drips, supplements, tests, and being forced to rest. I’ve made some big improvements such as getting my hormones balanced, healing up my adrenals, and a significant weight loss, returning to my own version of normal.
As I type this, I have a daily yoga and guitar practice. I also have been staying off Facebook until after 5pm daily for a while now. I feel empowered, happier, and more peaceful.
Over the summer, I had my baseline colonoscopy and it was normal. I feel blessed, given my family history. I’ve lost my two best friends from colon cancer, my mom and her mom.
Since August, I’ve had massive dental work, including two fillings, two root canals and their crowns. I’m waiting for my crown #2 to arrive before Santa comes, heehee! I’ve had massive dental pain, sinus stuff, allergies, migraines, and an inability to focus. It’s sucked!
Okay, I guess this is a yearly review sort of post, haha! But, it’s not linear or just the glamorous parts, right?
After my mom passed, I decided to do all the stuff I had been putting off. I still need to go for a baseline breast thermascan. I did, however, do a HUGE step with my path as a musician. In the middle of October, I did my first open mic! I sang and played guitar, doing my three songs. It was during a week my teeth didn’t hurt thankfully. Having tooth pain really affected my ability to sing.
This fall, I had some tests done to figure out why I was losing my hair. Over the past year, I lost 30-40% of the hair on my head. It turns out I had very severe anemia. I’ve been taking iron supplements and thank goodness, I’m getting some growth!
Losing my hair was really the final straw. It was time to let go!
At the same time of my hair loss, I had these weird dreams about vampires, ghosts, zombies, and dead bodies, not just because it was close to Halloween. I felt my life force being drained out of me. I felt like the ghosts of my past failures were haunting me. I felt like a zombie, half alive without a morning cup of coffee. I dreamt of zombies trying to grab me. They were my old dreams, trying to remind me to keep pursing them and that gave me additional anxiety during my waking hours. I dreamt of tripping over dead bodies, which were really, my dead dreams.
Clearly, my subconscious mind was saying, “Hello, girl, you have some letting go to do, don’t you?”
Recently, I had some time to go deeper into my grief over my mom’s passing. Oh man, more to let go of, huh? My approach to grief is to do things to help alleviate others’ suffering. (Yeah, I’m a Buddhist.) I enjoy the planting of good seeds for myself and others. I figure my mom did kind things for others, so I can honor her by doing the same.
One day, I was sitting with some of my anger over my mom dying so young. Ooh, yes, anger.
As I sat with my anger, I asked it what it was about, instead of pushing it away. The anger showed me that I was sad that my mom had never let go of her business, not even after a cancer diagnosis years ago. She kept soldiering on, taking care of elderly women in her home-run business of an adult foster care. My mom didn’t even make time for simple things such as eating healthy meals. (She had studied to become certified as a raw chef even.)
I grew up seeing my mom work so hard in her prior career as a physical therapist. I was really selfishly looking forward to her retiring within a year or two. I wanted to take her places, maybe a girls’ weekend trip like talked about to Miranda Lambert’s bed and breakfast. I wanted to have that mom back who did lunch and shopping. I wanted to sit with tea and giggle with her. It’s all been taken away.
My anger also showed me my mom’s last year of her life. She had spent quite a bit of time and energy decluttering her late mother-in-law’s home. Of course, she had help from her husband in doing so, but to think about all that work. They had some garage sales too.
As I sit and embark upon finishing up my decluttering journey, I’m at that place of deciding whether to sell stuff or just donate it and let it go. I really am leaning towards letting it go through donations. That’s what I usually do. I like to trust in the universe to bring me what I need and I get to help others.
So, all of these things flooded into my mind and being over the past few months especially. In her book and classes, decluttering expert Marie Kondo has you ask, “Does this spark joy?”
When I thought about my online business, I wasn’t feeling joy. I felt my life force drain when I thought about simple things such as updating my web graphics using cool, fun fonts I bought. That usually sparked joy, but no longer did. Then, thinking about marketing made me feel like vomiting. You gotta market if you’re a coach and author.
I do enjoy writing, so I created this blog here to continue sharing about my path. I figure if I can help one person, it’s worth it. That’s always been my approach and it might not be the “best” one, but oh well.
You see, I put my heart out there with my online business, book, and journey as a coach. I shared very honestly and openly. I shared the sad places and my broken down places. Then, I showed them after the cracks were filled with gold, my Kintsugi self to the world…and not many cared. (Side note: Read about Kintsugi pottery in the tradition of Japanese art. It’s so lovely!). I was shocked. I felt “victorious,” as if I really had done something good that could help others. But…nope.
I could handle the disappointments and feeling of failure with my book stuff. I got over my depression, anxiety, and fatigue. I let go of the heartache of having friends and acquaintances leave my life ‘cause I wasn’t their sparkly, shiny beacon-of-hope thing any longer. I let go of my disappointments over my publisher not supporting me more. Also, folks I had hired to help me were really disappointing me.
I could continue on, even after loss of special loved ones in my life. I still showed up each day to post on social media and each week to send out email newsletters. I even did a 100 Days of Guitar self-guided challenge to show that I’m human and also, that I walk my talk as a Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach. None of it made me happier. I had zero clients this year. I gave away tons of free service. Again, none of it seemed to matter…to anyone.
I told my husband it was all a lot like having a full-time job where you work 40-60 hours per week and you don’t get paid…and, folks complain about everything you offer them, even if it’s free…and also, you have to PAY to do this job…and, it makes you sick and unhappy. (Talk about a major truth bomb!).
The letting go also is here as I write about all of this. I figure it doesn’t help me to keep it bottled inside. I also want you to understand where I’ve been and why I’m letting go, since some of you have asked.
I’m no longer living hidden in the shadows with my pain. I sit with my feelings and give them love. I give them voice. This is some of the work of an artist, a wild and free, creative spirit.
(Copyrighted by Lisa Selow 2015)