I wrote this blog article on a holiday with my family in Iceland. This holiday was a good occasion for me to take inventory and sort my priorities. I looked at what I was carrying around with me and identified some superfluous burdens. In everyday life I am often not aware of the unnecessary things that I am holding on to.
I am a healing practitioner and letting go is one of the important issues I help my clients with. Turns out that my pictures of Iceland fit very well to the experiences with letting go I share here.
You can read this article in German, too.
In Iceland the wind blows everything away
Everybody has an affinity for different places. Some people are drawn to an island in the Caribbean and others enjoy Spain. For recharging my husband and I like to visit the Baltic Sea. It is about an hour from Hamburg and a short visit there feels like a holiday to us.
Iceland is a magical place for my family and me. All of us can relax and let go there easily. The crisp air and wide-open landscape resonate with us; it helps us to just be there. This time we spent two weeks in the northern part of the island.
Letting go is work in progress for me
I started into the subject of letting go right at the beginning of our journey at the airport. We were late and searching for our check-in counter when I realised that my oldest daughter was wearing a light jacket. I could not believe my eyes! She forgot her winter coat and we were travelling to a country were it would still be snowing!
Instantly I was in “Mom Worries Mode” At first I blamed myself for not checking for the third time whether she took the right jacket like I did with the rest of the family.
In the airplane I finally calmed down. Theoretically I know that I can´t and don´t want to be responsible for everything. This incident shows that letting go is still a work in progress for me. When I found out the next day that my middle daughter had accidentally packed last year´s too small winter boots, I only laughed.
We solved the jacket problem of the older daughter with layers of sweaters. Luckily the weather was agreeable so that my second daughter did not get wet feet, they were only cold sometimes.
In this situation the Icelandic saying Þetta reddast! was appropriate. It means: All will be well. Icelanders are very laid back and spontaneous people. For them appointments are loose arrangements. This can cause problems, for example in tourism. I know that German travel companies prefer to do business in Iceland with German expatriates because they are more reliable.
On this holiday we also experienced the positive side of the Icelandic ease when help for our punctured tire arrived the same evening instead of the next morning. Our friendly repairman said he came earlier because he was bored.
Icelanders are experts in making good coffee and I gladly borrow some of their ease. For me they are not ideal examples for letting go however; their mentality is too different.
Letting go liberates energies
When we let go of things we create free space. This is true for objects as well as for immaterial things. This means when we let old stuff go, we have more time and we are more open for new ideas.
At the end of 2016 I let go of my cooperation with my Icelandic friend. For four years we had offered workshops for women in the Westfjords of Iceland. When I told her about my decision to stop she was very glad I took the initiative. She is in her mid-sixties and wanted to work less.
Now I am looking forward to new projects in Iceland and continue to learn Icelandic. On this holiday I could already talk a little with the natives.
The Icelandic joint venture must have cost much more energy than I was aware of, because afterwards I was much faster with my own projects. Since 2017 I have more national and international clients and I started two blogs: This one about the Fairy Tale Dimension and personal development and my German blog about my work.
It is hard for me to let go of my children
My oldest daughter used to be quite timid. When she was in nursery school I was relieved when I found out that the teachers there worked hand in hand with me. All of us supported her by helping her to stretch her boundaries without demanding too much. I learned then that it was helpful to share some of my parental responsibilities.
A continuing challenge for me is my son´s school situation. He started school in a big chaotic class with a lot of very difficult kids. The headmaster was not able to alleviate the situation and I was very much afraid that my quiet sensitive child would suffer. Luckily my son was okay because the teacher managed to give him a feeling of security despite of the difficult situation. She was not able to devote much time to his reading problems and so I arranged with her to support him at home as well as I can.
Even though my son has found wonderful friends in his class it still is a conscious effort for me to let go of my worries.
Enough with self-limiting beliefs
Only when we are aware of our self-set boundaries, which direct us undetected and inhibit us unseen, we can let them go.
I discovered such a superfluous belief just before my 50th birthday. My husband asked me what I wanted to do because I was not keen on having a big party. I would love to have a picnic by the sea was my spontaneous answer. At the same time I heard an inner voice telling my, that this was not possible because my birthday is in February and in winter it is much too cold for picnics. I realised that I had found a totally useless self-limiting belief. Why should this not be possible? I was shocked to see that I am obviously still limiting myself unnecessarily.
My husband and I had a wonderful picnic at the sea-shore in February. This experience has inspired my motto for the next decade of my life: “Enough with the self-limiting beliefs!” Since then I have been watching out for this little voice telling me what I should or should not do.
Letting go in my Healing Practise
Letting go is a central part of my energy work. I help my clients to understand what they are holding on to at the moment and why. Only when they are aware of what is going on they are able to let go. Afterwards we work together at finding out ways to change routines that are not beneficial any more.
A few days before our holiday I got a phone call from a client who had been very tired since our healing session. I found out that she has used this session as a starting point to let things she did not need any more go. Why was this making her tired?
When we let go of things we have leaned on for a long time, there suddenly is a void. We can compare this to changing important parts of the foundation of our house: The whole construction can start to wobble. As a consequence we need additional energy to maintain our balance as well as adding new pieces to form a new basis. I have experienced this often myself and the only thing I can do then is to take good care of myself.
My client was so tired because she was busy reconstructing her foundation. I was very glad to witness this. She is well on her way to become the person she wants to be.
Get to know your autopilot
Automatic reactions cause us to cruise through our lives automatically. Because we are not in the driver´s seat we sometimes end up in places we had not wanted to go. We need to be more aware in our daily lives to realise when we are on autopilot and just follow worn-out tracks. It takes a conscious effort to leave old roads and try some new ones. Being aware and turning the autopilot off literally opens new avenues for us.
Humour helps me a lot
What happens when we laugh? Genuine laughter involves the whole body. The face muscles move and tension in other regions of the body, for example the stomach or the neck, disappear. When we laugh heartily we turn our attention to something fun and aggravation and resentment don´t have a chance to cling to us.
Especially in my profession humour is very helpful. It keeps me grounded when I don´t take myself too serious. My humour helps me to maintain a healthy distance to the subjective input I get through my energy work. This is the reason why humour is very welcome in my practice.
Less structure gives me more freedom
Since I was in Iceland for the first time I have changed a lot in my daily life. In the past detailed plans gave me safety; I was the Queen of lists. Slowly I realised that I did not need so many structures anymore. They felt confining to me and I wanted to have more creativity and spontaneity in my life .
Today I use lists and structures to organise my daily tasks efficiently and create room that I can fill with creativity and surprises.
I also don´t define my goals in great detail anymore and don´t spend as much time trying to figure out how to achieve them. I live much more in the here and now and, with the help of my inner compass, check regularly whether I am still on the right track.
Even though this change has made my life more insecure, my quality of life has increased considerably. I do much more what I like in my everyday life. The things that, in my opinion, need to be done I try to do in a way that resonates with me. My family supports me in this.
I believe that before implementing a complex time management system it is much more efficient to order ones priorities and get rid of unnecessary things.
It is very liberating and a lot of energy can be saved by letting go. I very much recommend you to take inventory and look critically at your personal priorities in regular intervals, ideally when being in a place you resonate with.
© Inge Schumacher