Letting Go

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Have you ever experienced a lot of chaos in your outer world? Construction happening around you on a regular basis? Snafus at work or drama amongst your friends and family? Have you ever considered that this outer chaos may be a direct reflection of what’s going on in your inner world; what’s happening within your Self?

One night at work, I was standing calmly behind the bar as a few customers, there to celebrate a 50th birthday, were making gestures that they thought I was a bit stoned. I had just had a bit of a personal meltdown, pushing and swearing at a bullheaded co-worker, stepping outside to re-center myself, shedding a few tears, and returning to my place behind the bar.

I eventually approached these customers to politely let them know that I was not, in fact, “stoned” but rather completely and utterly exhausted and that it was this fact combined with the tears I had shed that created the dazed look and red, puffy eyes. While I was still reeling a bit at my strong emotional response that evening, trying to make some sense of it all, I continued to have a few laughs about “being stoned” for the rest of the party.

But when chatting about this with a friend, about why this happened or what I could take from it, I was reminded of a theory I had read about, one that suggests that there was a reason why Princess Diana’s death happened as it did. That there was a larger, dare I say, more spiritual purpose.

In the book it suggests that her death was perfect; that every experience is, in fact, perfect; that her death occurred to allow for the opening of the heart chakra of England, a country known for its “stiff upper lip”. I mean, let’s face it, the sheer magnitude of mourning over her death was incredible.

The emotional and physical meltdown I experienced when I finally got home after 12 hours of laborious work, and an emotional outburst, was overwhelming. My body was trembling, my sobbing was uncontrollable, and I eventually called a wise friend who just sat with me on the other end of the phone while I went through it.

“Oh, this is a BIG one,” she said calmly.

Emotional release is so important to one’s wellbeing. And the physical body plays an important role in not only allowing us to do this, but in giving us signals to indicate when we’ve fallen off track or lost our center.

I was also in the midst of a deep liver and gallbladder cleanse. The liver is associated with emotions like anger, fear, hurt so, during a detox, pent up emotions like this can also re-surface in order to be released. And situations will present themselves to allow for this to happen, such as this stressful night at work and that co-worker standing in my way and refusing to help.

That really pissed me off.

When we cleanse or detoxify our bodies, it is for a much greater purpose than simply removing toxins from our overloaded systems in order to gain more energy and combat any underlying health issues that may be affecting us as a result.

Detoxifying is about letting go.

Letting go is scary. Nobody wants to “lose their shit”, literally or figuratively, especially because letting go can be utterly exhausting, a bit embarrassing, and quite painful.

But pain can be necessary for real growth.

My wise friend told me she once spent some time wailing like a child on her kitchen floor, slamming her fists down in a tantrum, and lord knows I’ve had my fair share of emotional meltdowns curled up on the floor over these past ten years. But boy did that feel great!

This is what I have been working on: how to heal my Self.

After struggling for seven years with various psychiatrists and psychologists analyzing my life, trying to dig up the past to determine what was “wrong” with me and prescribing medications for depression and anxiety in order to “fix” it, with much of it resulting in being prescribed other drugs, I’d finally had enough so I quit, cold turkey.

I’ve explored numerous forms of holistic healing ranging from acupuncture to cranial sacral work, deep tissue massage, chiropractic, colon hydrotherapy, Jungian dream therapy, Buddhism, Reiki, yoga, meditation and more. I’ve read all sorts of books and researched things online and now have certification in Reiki energy healing, working primarily with crystals.

In fact, I had also been working with a large piece of Rose Quartz during this most recent deep cleansing process. Rose Quartz is a stone of love whose healing properties include encouraging self-love and allowing unexpressed emotions and heartache to be released.

I’ve also explored all sorts of artistic disciplines from filmmaking to dance, to spoken word poetry and acting. All of which were very therapeutic in their own way.

I took an Improv Acting class once. I was the only woman in a class with eight men. As a writer, I live primarily in my mind and thoughts so, while I had a few funny breakthrough moments – including one skit where I found myself on a treadmill, hitting the button to go faster and faster in an attempt to get away from a guy who kept asking me out – getting out of that thinking mode and opening myself up to being in that moment was incredibly challenging for me. I often found myself in tears when I got home and, at the end of the eight weeks, a classmate even said that he was surprised I kept coming back!

My dear friend and actor, Madeleine Sherwood, put me through a series of acting exercises in her living room once, to get me into my body and out of my head. She also made me sit down and write. When I began to cry she asked me if I’d been told that it was not okay to express my emotions. Coming from a family where both of my parents are from England, I’d say it was simply in my makeup and was more of a learned behaviour.

“It’s okay to express your emotions”, she said.

I remember when my mum came to stay with me and I took her to her first yoga class. It was a restorative class allowing for long held, restful poses on the mat. When we got home, I ran her a hot bath with Epsom salts, to release the toxins, and to allow her some privacy should she need to have a bit of a cry: a natural and welcome part of practices like yoga and another great way to release toxins.

It wasn’t until the next morning that she said, “I really enjoyed that yoga class but felt a strong need to cry afterwards. Is that normal?”

My dear friend and actor, Julia Mackey, has written and performed her solo show called “Jake’s Gift” over 700 times over the past 6 years. It is a show about D-Day veterans that is both funny and sad and it often evokes a strong emotional response from the audience.

Julia told me that during one performance, she could hear someone sobbing uncontrollably in the balcony which was a bit disconcerting for her down on the stage. I suggested that she was allowing that person to experience some deep healing. What a gift.

My colon hydro-therapist told me that after the series of treatments I had with her, and this liver gallbladder cleanse, I would feel “amazing”. That once I’d detoxified and had my system working properly to eliminate toxins regularly, nothing would phase me, that things would just roll off my back. And she’s right. I do feel pretty amazing.

I now feel as though anything could happen and I’d be alright with it. That even if it evoked a strong emotional response, I could simply sit with it and welcome it as another opportunity to let go.  A far cry from those depressed days ruminating over the past and worrying about the future.

Ironically enough, while I was finishing this essay, I closed the document without saving it, losing over half of what I’d written. While a tad bit annoyed, I laughed at the fact that I had to let go of an essay about letting go. It was actually pretty perfect.

We can’t always choose our moments to let go, to decide when and where it will happen, we just have to welcome the opportunity when it presents itself, as “ugly” as it might be – like crying in a theatre balcony, pushing a fellow co-worker, or losing a week’s worth of work.

And we won’t always know what the reason for the emotional release is, be it childhood trauma, past relationship distress, unexpressed grief over the loss of something. But it doesn’t matter. We don’t need to know. In fact, it’s probably better that we don’t. We just need to give ourselves permission to LET. IT. GO.

It really is amazing how much lighter it feels.

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