Like outfits that we no longer fit into or feel our best wearing, sometimes the expressions that we once called our identity, and in which we may have once felt best suited, can evolve to points where they no longer serve us and who we are in the present.
While it can often feel like a huge undertaking to repurpose our old garments and to embody our new self once our old one has expired, and, this may even involve having to let go of things that were incredibly expensive and maybe even once cherished, releasing and making room for something new is vital in order for us to fully grow into who we are today and to move forward in, and with, greater joy toward who we are in our truest and purest form. This is a natural part of life and our development within it. And no one, especially anyone who is continually working to grow, learn, and improve her/himself can avoid the inevitable joy and misery that comes with metamorphosis until he or she gets the hang of managing the emotional intensity of change without too much identification with what needs to be released or without being able to handle any discomfort that may come up in the first place.
We all know that letting go is often accompanied by grief and it’s associated pains of sadness, anger, discomfort and so forth, but like everything else, becoming good or better at letting go is a skill that we have to develop and master over time. Why most people fail at, or have a hard time, shedding the old (which is the first and most important stage of any transition), however, is that while we are all somewhat familiar with the process of letting go, and some of us may even understand the concept very well, familiarity does not automatically make a person good at the things that they know. The skill of actually putting any understanding into practice (actually enacting and embodying what we know) is not coincidentally, intellectually, or passively acquired or expressed. The skill comes from practice.
You cannot simply wish change-mastery or any other skill into existence. Change mastery (or at least competence), like all other skills, is only truly developed and strengthened through experience, reflection, and meditation on one’s experiences. Just like with all internal growth, learning to let go does not come without the necessary work.
There is no shortcut, highway, zipline, or underground market that will get you the internal muscles that you need in order to become masterful at managing change well enough to create them consciously. Just like developing physical strength, dexterity, agility and flexibility, developing internal strengths and muscles like resilience and/or psychological empowerment, requires concentration, effort, and practice, and often also requires pushing through pain and discomfort that may be unpleasant to experience in the moment even while it is simply indicating that a desired shift or transformation is taking place.
The good news (or bad depending on your level of resistance to this understanding), however, is that life will provide us with plenty of opportunities to practice and get better. And, the better news is that your practice does not have to be unbearable torture.
Because change is almost always molding you into a new, more suitable, form for your well-being and survival, most of your work involves simply paying attention to what is needed and taking the necessary steps in the desired direction. Once you are able to pursue a desired path with passion and enthusiasm, but without attachment so that you can more easily to let go of all that does not align, or assist, with this path at any given time, you will begin to have a more enjoyable journey toward your ultimate dream destination, no matter what changes occur (or need to occur) along the way.
Now, Press Play To Listen To This Week’s Visualization Exercise:
Or, Read On In Order To Opt For The Text Version of Our Exercise:
To bring our metaphor from the very beginning of our post to a full circle, let us perform a brief visualization: First, I invite you to relax into your body and into the space that you inhabit.
When you are ready, close your eyes…Allow all external noises to be drowned out by the words that are being shared here, letting go of everything else that is on your mind for now…Know that you can always come back to the thoughts that are predominant in your mind at a later, but for now, you are just going to take a moment to use your imagination to do some important and much-needed work.
Make your mind fully available for our visualization today by imagining that everything except for these words have been stored away in a file somewhere to be safely retrieved at a later time if you wish to do so…Once everything has been safely put away for later, you are ready to begin.
Picture a change that you need to make in your life. See this picture as a scene playing out on the screen of your mind’s eye, or as a single all-encompassing still image. You may wish to pause for a moment to really absorb all of what your mind is presenting. Once you have your desired picture of change clearly in mind, integrate it into your being by reaching out and placing it into your heart.
Once your desired change is stored away firmly and safely in your heart, take another look at the screen of your mind’s eye. See how it is now replacing the picture of your ideal change with a picture of something that needs to be released in order to create that desired change in your life, work, relationships, community, etc…is the picture that is now appearing an idea, belief, action, thought, person, or an actual physical object? Pause for a moment if you have to and allow this full picture to come into view…
Once you have a clear picture of that thing that needs to be released, imagine that thing being surrounded by swirling, sparking, warm white light. Watch the light get brighter and more sparkling as it surrounds this thing that needs to be released on the screen of your mind’s eye. Now watch that thing that needs to be released being transformed into physical form and into the most undesirable and outdated outfit that you can imagine or even think of imaging! Watch the outfit magically appear on your body. Picture and feel what it is like to know that this is the outfit that you will be wearing everyday for the rest of your life if you do not let it go.
Pause for a moment to really observe how this makes you feel…
Now, picture yourself transported, via this swirling white light, into a safe space in which this outfit can be safely removed…physically feel yourself internally releasing any attachments to that outfit that you are keeping yourself stuck in…
As you go deeper into this feeling of releasing, watch how the undesired outfit begins to dissolve in that same sparkling white light from which it emerged…Watch and feel that outdated outfit fade out so that you can fully step into your desired change without feeling out of place…As the unwanted outfit dissolves, look again to the screen of your mind’s eye. See that a new outfit is appearing under those glimmering shiny lights again. As you now deeply feel what it feels like to accept your desired change into your life, watch as the most perfect and suitable outfit that you could ever imagine appears…Watch as the lights transform into something that you can now wear in order to express your new and best self, living out that change that you desire so much. Picture yourself relaxing into that desired outfit as it magically manifests around your skin.
Feel how soft, pleasurable, and comfortable your new garments feel against your body, smell the enjoyable smells that emanate from your outfit, admire the beauty of how perfectly these clothes drape your form and feel and see yourself appreciating the beauty of your form in this outfit, whether that form be your form as it currently exist in the present or whether it be a desired form that you will manifest in the future…simply enjoy how your outfit complements you beautifully.
Once you have fully felt out your new outfit, thank the light for allowing you to see these important things today, and picture yourself being lifted up into a gentle, soft, and safe cloud into the bright, inviting, blue sky. Safe and secure, the cloud gently caresses your body and lifts you into a place in the sky where you can gently close your eyes and start feeling them again in your skull as you come back into your space, slowly feeling your toes, fingers, and body becoming present again...
When you are ready, if you have not already done so, you can now open your eyes and pick up your journal or sketchpad in order to document everything that you just experienced in your visualization. Write as much detail as you can to describe what you saw, smelled, experienced, and felt as the visualization took place. Then, take some time to write about what all of these observations mean for you and your life.
Write down your observations for as long as you need to do so, and then immediately start working on this week’s prompt below!
* Please be sure to document your insights and/or take-aways from this post in your journal or sketchbook as a part of our meditation and practice for this week, and to be sure to check in on this site, or on my Linked-In or Twitter pages, for periodic updates throughout the week.
Lastly, be sure to join me for this week’s reflection on Saturday!
Thank you for reading and take care for now! I hope that you will create a beautiful rest of your day and a spectacular week ahead.