The Art of Letting Go…(Holding On Isn’t Always The Answer)

letting go sand

“When it’s time to let go…let go.”
~Nicole Justine Cavanaugh


Every year, I create an Intention for myself for the year. This year’s Intention is “Release.”

Why did I choose that?

I chose it because I have a tendency to hold on. And that tendency to hold on to things – way past their time – holds me back from living life. I want to be more fully engaged in life. And life is all about receiving and giving, holding on…and letting go.

Sometimes, it is important to hold on. The lesson may be to stick with it for a while, to learn to be with discomfort, or to learn commitment.

But when we hold on to something past the point of vibrant energy, then we are holding on to stale, dead energy. And stale, dead energy begins to rule our lives.

This may take the form of:

  • Holding on to clothes that no long fit you physically or express who you are now, or are not even comfortable, for fear of stepping into who you really are, or fear that you’ll gain or lose weight and need to keep those clothes just in case (thereby keeping yourself from evolving)
  • Holding on to friends who are no longer in alignment with where you are heading, for fear of hurting them (thereby hurting yourself instead)
  • Holding on to a romantic relationship that is not upholding your best self, for fear of never finding anyone better (thereby not allowing great love into your life)
  • Holding on to time commitments that drain your energy, whether work, social, or volunteer activities, because it’s “what you’ve always done” even if if it’s not “what you really want to be doing” (thereby cheating yourself of spending your time on what truly lights you up)
Holding on to what is not working is done out of fear. It’s fear of loss, fear of abandonment, fear of emotions, and fear of stepping into true alignment and your greatness. It is a way we cheat ourselves of our evolution and growth, of the emerging and unfolding passion and joy in life.

What is important to note is that once these things and people and activities served you. Letting them go now does not erase the importance they may once have had in your life. It simply means, they came, they taught you,  and now it’s time for them to leave.

So, when it’s time to let go…let go.

A wise person once told me he keeps an altar in his home, and he puts new objects on there that have fresh energy and meaning to him. I asked him how he knows what to put on there, and when to change it. He answered, “When the energy is stale, I remove the object. It’s no longer needed there.”

And what removing the object does it that it opens up clean space for something new to arrive. Something that wants to emerge in the Now. Something that couldn’t come in because there was no space for it before.

There is a process of grief with release and this is normal. But do not let this derail you from your emergence. Grief is part of the process of life, too. It’s a natural part of the art of letting go.

To practice the art of letting go, choose one of the following that feels most resonant to you and begin taking a step towards it today:

  • Let go of clothes that no longer fit you physically or emotionally, trusting that you are creating space for your new style and more comfortable clothes to find you (thereby allowing your evolution)
  • Let go of friendships that are not in alignment with you are now, trusting that you are releasing both yourself and your friends to find what is better for each of your at this time (thereby honoring the truth of yourself as well as your friend)
  • Let of of a romantic relationship that isn’t upholding your best self, trusting that you will attract someone who brings out the best in you, as you do in them, when you choose to love yourself enough to go go for it (thereby allowing great love to enter your life)
  • Let go of time commitments that drain you, whether work, social, or volunteer activities that are draining your energy, and replace them with activities that revitalize and nourish you – or even space to just be (thereby giving yourself the gift of delight and joy and vibrant energy).
The Art of Letting Go is a practice. It is a muscle that needs to be built just like anything else. You don’t do it all at once; you do it bit by bit, step by step.

Letting go may be uncomfortable at first. Of course it is. When you let go, you are facing your fears.

And when you face your fears, you are saying: “You no longer own me. I release you so that I may truly live.”

Until next time…

With love and light,
Nicole Justine Cavanaugh