I have a vivid memory of when I was a child and my brother and I were holding balloons outside. Suddenly, I accidentally let go of my balloon and it floated up into the sky. I cried and cried as my mom reassured me that it was just a balloon- it would be okay. Of course, as a kid, it takes awhile to get over something that we lost, especially if we felt attached to it.
Fast forward to a time when my own child had a Birthday Party and we had a ton of balloons left over. I encouraged some of the kids to let their balloon fly into the sky. Surprisingly, they were super excited to do this as they did not feel attached to the balloons at all. We joyfully released the rainbow of colored balloons and waved good-bye as they got smaller and smaller into the clouds (side note: I don’t think I would do that now, as I realize the environmental ramifications).
What were the differences between these two scenarios? I was attached to my balloon; my child’s friends were not.
There are many times in life where we realize that it’s time to let go of our balloon. We are holding onto deep anger and bitterness, or fear or jealousy. We may hold onto a negative memory, afraid that if we release the memory that it never happened. What we hold onto becomes our identity so we keep that string tied tightly around out wrist, for fear that letting go will bring us into a whole, new, scary world. A world of greater transparency; of freedom that we are not prepared for.
Over time, we may notice that our balloon is getting heavier and heavier. It weighs us down so much that our thinking gets cloudy, we lose sleep, we do not put ourselves first. We trudge through life saying “if only I had enough will power”. “If only I could lose weight”. “If only I could find greater peace and happiness.” All the while not realizing that we are unwillingly holding ourselves back.
Today, I looked out my window and to my pleasant surprise, noticed a hot air balloon. I quickly called my kids to the patio door to watch it. Then, I noticed a few more, and took a picture of one of the balloons. As I enjoyed the sight, I recalled the sense of freedom that “letting go of our balloon” brings.
I know this is the time of year where we get ready to make our “New Year’s Resolutions”. For some of us, the word resolution is like a curse word. We have tried many years in the past to meet our goals and we miss the mark. I personally think that resolutions are fine– at the very least, it helps to realize what we would like to see change in the coming year. However, for most of us, before any transformation can take place, we need to learn to release what is holding us down. Maybe something happened in our past and it’s keeping us from accepting our body or finding enjoyment in food. Perhaps deep anger is causing you to use food for comfort (it’s okay to eat for comfort, however many of us struggle with feeling out of control with food).
What can we do as we prepare for the New Year?
Here are a few things to try:
1. Meditate: There are different kinds of meditation– some where we quiet our mind and focus on our breath or a specific mantra, and others where we are guided into our thoughts and certain imagery. You can find guided meditations online. As you meditate, think about what no longer serves you, then imagine you are holding a balloon and letting it go. As you do that, imagine yourself feeling much lighter and free.
2. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or “Tapping”): I just barely started getting into this and I love it. It’s very powerful. You Tap on certain points of your body making statements about how you feel and how you accept yourself. It’s a great way to unblock pent up emotions. To learn more about it, I recommend this website.
3. Journal: If you enjoy writing, take a few minutes in the morning to jot down all of your emotions– good and bad. Don’t be afraid to write down anything that comes to mind and do not feel guilty about your emotions. On one piece of paper, list those negative emotions that pop up ( For example: “I hate how my family member treated me. ” ” I feel guilty about how I treated someone.” ” I feel sad that this person is no longer here with me.”) Think about what you can change and what you cannot. Then, rip up the piece of paper (or burn it in a camp fire).
4. Affirmations– We can release our past and replace our burdens with an affirmation such as “I am completely loved just the way I am.” or ” I find peace in the here and now. My past does not define me.” (this is also done as part of EFT)
5. Prayer— all of these areas listed above can be done in the spirit of prayer, if you are connected to God/Spirit (whoever you call your Higher Power).
I hope you all have very HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!
Do you have anything to add to this list? If so, please share in the comments!
p.s.– I am hosting a Vision Board Workshop, for those who live in the Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ area!! During this time, we we will talk about our goals, and releasing what no longer serves us. And of course, we will make our own Vision Board together! Sunday, January 12, 2014 from 4-6 p.m. at Scottsdale Skin Rejuvenation. Cost is $10 per person. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP!
To your peace and joy,
Health Coach Kellie