As busy moms we are always trying to get more things done. But just as we put a dent in our list, more things seems to pile on. What if we are missing an important question? What if instead of adding more to our plates, we paused to think about what we can actually let go of?
My mind has been roaming on this topic for a couple weeks now, and I prepared to chat about it in my Unstoppable Moms Club room on Clubhouse. I am so grateful for these conversations and the ability to learn from other amazing women.
Here are some of the things that have come to my mind:
1. Let go of pressure.
2. Let go of the outcome or result.
3. Let go of trying to get somewhere.
4. Let go of trying to be perfect.
5. Let go of comparison.
6. Let go of doubt.
7. Let go of meaning.
When I got to let go of meaning my mind really went wild. At first I was thinking about all the pressure and the results and the trying to get places. I thought back to my days as a college athlete. I remember absolutely loving it, then at some point after a lot of success, getting off track and becaming paralyzed by the need to win. Trapped in need-to-win-mode, my performance was laced with tension. I felt so much pressure on every single shot. And in tennis, each point can have lots of shots. It was intense.
But when letting go of meaning entered my mind this past week, it kind blew the lid off if you know what I mean. Like, if there really is no meaning, things just happen, we just accept them as is without judgement or story, then there is so much more freedom.
What does it mean to live without meaning? To clarify, I’m not talking about meaning like your purpose. I am a huge proponent of living into your purpose and living intentionally (see my post on that here). Instead I mean living in the moment without letting our thoughts react or make a judgement about whatever is happening. (Ironically I can’t even define it without including the word “mean”.)
If you stop to think about it, things just happen. We are the ones who assign value or judgment. For example,
PRESENT: It is raining outside
POSSIBLE MEANING/INTERPRETATION: That stinks. I miss the sun.
PRESENT: it is raining outside.
POSSIBLE MEANING/INTERPRETATION: That’s amazing we desperately need it. It’s so cozy inside listening to the rain.
And that is the most mundane and simplistic example.
When you dive in to a personal level, our propensity to make meanings is MASSIVE. I don’t know about you, but in addition to that, I also find I am much more critical of myself than anyone else. (You could also be the opposite though, and find yourself more easily drawn to making meanings about other people.) Either way, at the end of the day, I’d venture to say that we are all just looking for some space. We are looking for more room to just be. To be ourselves, to live our lives. To give ourselves grace and love. Cause in that space we will be more caring toward ourselves, our friends and especially toward our children.
When you think to yourself about what you can let go of, what comes to mind? Do you feel like you ever COULD let something go? Do it sound freeing or scary? Again, if we try to think about this from the perspective of an observer, we might be able to gleam some insights for ourselves or approach it from a new angle.
What is holding you back? What “stories” do you tell yourself that you believe about yourself or your situation that in fact are likely to be holding you back? What if none of that were true? Or what if that weren’t true in the way that you believe it to be? What then?
Whether or not it’s true, thinking about it from an angle of letting go meaning gives us somewhere to look from. By giving up one tiny part of our life that isn’t serving us, we can create space. Maybe that tiny space will serve as an opening for something new, or maybe that tiny space can remain just that, a tiny space to just be in our day.
Both sound wonderful for me.
[Want to join in these conversations? Join us Wednesday nights at 8pm PST on Clubhouse in my Unstoppable Moms Club Room. Reach out for an invite to Clubhouse- iPhone only in beta- or with questions.]
PS- Other things we talked about letting go of include expectations- of other people and of ourselves. Letting go of the need to be productive all the time- like we can just sit on the couch and read a book, even if the house is messy. (Cause let’s face it, it never stays clean!) We can let go of saying yes to everything and practice delegating and outsourcing! And then remembering not to just fill that space back up too quickly with more doing. Finally we talked about letting go of comparing our kids to each other and embracing being present to who they are in the moment. We also noted that leaning on our friends and communities has been super powerful in helping us! So come be part of our community on Wednesday nights 🙂