Every choice we make determines our life in big and small ways.
But with the state of our soul and the pace of our lives, are we giving ourselves the room we need to make thoughtful decisions, much less ones that actually reflect who we are and what we feel called to?
We are finishing up this season of Lent and many people gave things up, the sugar, the Netflix, the small obsessions that hijack our focus and the larger ones that keep us numb and disengaged.
So in this season of giving things up, I wanted to enter the conversation with a question. What does it mean to let things go? Maybe not just for a season, maybe for good. What do we need to release?
For anyone who wants to uncover some of those things so that you can move forward in love, I give you this — A Soul Minimalist’s Guide to Letting Go.
Stop rushing clarity
For the last three years, I’ve had some ideas for a few projects. Some I’ve done and others I can’t quite move on yet. It’s not for lack of motivation or conviction that the thing ought to be done. But I’ve had this unequivocal sense that I need to wait like a hand is stretched out in front of me.
I’ve walked through all the familiar stages of new project things with this idea, the talking, the praying, brainstorming, writing down notes as ideas as they come, paying attention to the world around me and the world within me as it relates to the subject. But the progress doesn’t seem to come.
When the next steps are unclear, doubt is often the most logical conclusion. Maybe I don’t know how to hear God’s voice after all. Maybe all this is just my idea.
We can start down that road of doubt and questioning if we want to. But just because the doubts show up doesn’t meant you have to let them sit down. They won’t linger if they’re not welcome.
“Clarity cannot be rushed.”
If you need help in learning how to trust that voice that comes from within, listen to Episode 27 of The Next Right Thing Podcast or read the transcript right here.
Stand on your head
One of the most unlikely practices that have helped me learn to release some things is by standing on my head. Not metaphorically, but actually, physically standing on my head.
I’ve been delightfully surprised at the simple lessons I’ve learned while physically practicing this inversion – but the truth is we can practice standing on our head even if we never get upside down. It’s all about perspective.
In my own personal practice of letting go this month, I’m realizing I need to let go of the version of myself who feels like she always has to be productive. Standing on my head keeps me playful, open, and light.
“When I hold on to the wrong things, the wrong things hold on to me.”
If you would like to hear the 3 ways the headstand can help us let go in order to make room for something good, listen in to Episode 28 of The Next Right Thing or read the transcript right here. Good news: you don’t have to actually stand on your head to get the benefits of letting go!
Remember the real art
Years ago, before the store was a store, she had a dream to create a place where they take the old, beautiful things, the wooden chairs and side tables and other broken pieces people tend to throw away, and give them new life. They wanted a place to do what they always did: make the used into art.
They had their last big mark-down sale and cleaned out the back rooms both the crannies as well as the nooks. Our community said goodbye to the little shop called Chartreuse.
I can see how that might seem like sad news, that our friends who had a dream have now closed down their shop. If you only looked from the outside, you might lose hope.
The art lives on because the true art was not the shop.
The real art isn’t a shop any more than it’s a song, a book, a painting, or a degree. The real art is something more, something deeper, something good.
When you hold your dreams with open hands, you let them breathe, grow, and have life. This can be scary because living things move, they change, and they take shapes we can’t predict or control. Instead of seeing it as a letting go, maybe instead it’s a making room. Let go of what no longer fits. Make room for something good.
To hear how my friends let go of what they thought the dream was supposed to look like and how they opened up to a new idea, listen in to Episode 29 The Next Right Thing Podcast or read the transcript right here.
Hold one thing at a time.
In my experience, a practical roadblock of doing the next thing in love is we are carrying too many things in the first place. What if we gave ourselves permission to hold just one thing at a time?
There is power in simplicity.
I am never more open to advice, to perspective, and to other people’s opinions than when I have a decision to make. I’m never more aware of my need for God, for hope, and for direction than when I have an unmade decision. I’m open, I’m ready, I’m listening for any clue as to what I should do next.
But often the clues remain within us, unheard and undiscovered. When we take the time to follow those clues we might find out things we are holding onto that we no longer need and what desires we might need to lean into and where we might need to let go?
Wouldn’t it be so great to take your next right step with this decision you are carrying and to do it today? If that sounds good to you, listen in to Episode 30 of The Next Right Thing Podcast or read the transcript right here.
I created a practice guide for you: How To Make One Decision At A Time. It’s free to download right now.