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Transform Exhaustion, Overwhelm & Anxiety into
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  • Dr. Sandra Y. Lewis

Release, Relax, Relate

Some years ago, I heard this phrase from one of my favorite and easy to nurture students. She was worried about an assignment. As we talked, she uttered, “Release. Relax. Relate.” It was her way of calming the raging storm and inner high tide that her emotions had become. She repeated, “Release. Relax. Relate.”

As I said last week, Fall has arrived with an opportunity for us to do the same.

The BIG RELEASE is in order. You can just LET STUFF GO.

(I avoided inserting an expletive here but I think you get the full feel for what I’m saying. If it feels better to you, add the expletive between LET & GO. My Mama is listening and my grandmamas are shining from heaven, so I’m watching my language.)

This week I’m sharing some of my favorite letting go strategies. My years of dedication to personal development have helped me build a good list of them. I really want you to take advantage of spirit/energy of the season. The Universe is on our side. We can RELEASE! We can RENEW!

Years ago I used to attend a weekend retreat. It was developed and organized by 9 men but there was usually a session or two just for women. Once we did this activity where we wrote our troubles on slips of paper.

All the women were so intent. We contemplated. We looked deep within. We wrote. Once our slips were ready, we put our troubles in a metal can and burned them. Those slips of paper were transformed into dust. Yep, what seemed so burdensome was now dust.

It was thrilling. The room was full of energy. Everybody embraced the freedom and space to be new. To be more of who we came to the world to be.

After the slips were ashes, we walked to the river, singing and laughing. Then we released the ashes in the flowing water. We kissed those troubles goodbye and danced back to our retreat lodge.

On New Year’s 2012, I modified this one. I wrote the things I wanted to release on slips of paper about 1-inch wide. I took a cast iron skillet and put it on the stove. I put one slip of paper in and lit it with a fireplace lighter. When it was ashes, I added the second one and lit it up. When #2 turned to ashes, I went on to #3, #4 and so on until I finished the list. I scraped those ashes into some foil and folded them up. Then, I went to the river and let them blow away in the wind.

In fact, you can simply use the wind. Go on a nature walk or sit beneath one of you favorite trees. When the gentle Fall breeze comes along to scatter the leaves, speak your troubles, excess baggage, or whatever you want to release into the wind. Let the breeze take it right away with the leaves. Repeat as needed. You’ve got a full 3 months to partner with nature for a BIG RELEASE.

For added effect and pumped up personal power, you can listen to one of your favorite artists. Some people love Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive. Personally, I love some Sweet Honey in the Rock or some Bonnie Raitt. They tend to help me remember anything is possible.

You can also recycle your troubles. Make a list of things you want to say, “bye bye” to. Title that list, Release. Then, make another list of things that you will use to replace what you’re throwing out. Title that list Relate. As you write on the Release list, exhale completely. As you write on the Relate list, inhale deeply.

For example, you can exhale the grief of a relationship gone wrong, Then, inhale openness to loving relationships. Exhale neck tension. Inhale peace in your body. Say, so long to excessive worry and rumination. Say, hello to trusting yourself to make decisions and plans that move your goals forward.

Shred the Release list. You can rip them or use a paper shredder. Do what makes the process feel like a COMPLETE, FULLY ENERGIZED, ENTRANCE TO LIBERATION. Then put the shredded pile in with the recycle paper products.

You’ve just transformed your troubles into your triumphs. These old things will be turned into new things that someone can use like reusable grocery bags or decorative note cards or personalized stationery.

Read your Relate list regularly. Make affirmations for the things on your list. Say, them every morning, evening or whenever they come to your mind.

Whatever you release, consider what you’ll have in its place. Will you have peace of mind or relaxation strategies or will you make room to grow in your relationships. What will it be for you?

Fall is making room for new things. You won’t be able to convince the trees to hold on to those leaves they no longer need. They know this is their time to let go. Those old leaves will act as fertilizer for the earth that supports their growth.

Turn your troubles, unwanted habits, poor eating, cellulite or whatever you want to LET GO into compost for your dreams and goals. This is your mega-pumped up with the power of nature-chance. No gamble needed. Take the win.

© Sandra Y. Lewis

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