The Art of Letting Go

Letting Go

Letting go may be the single, most important factor in creating a joyful life. (click to Tweet)

It’s not what we don’t have, it’s not what we do have, it’s the stuff we drag behind us…the weight of the expectations, the fears, the disappointments and perhaps, even, the weight of the betrayal that pull the joy right from our hearts.

I learn so much on my yoga mat, I’m not sure why I don’t go to it daily. Yesterday, setting an intention for my practice, I chose “letting go,” because

Maybe you’ve noticed, I used to publish this blog every week – but, recently,  that’s stopped. Truth is, the current political climate took a lot out of me. I’m pretty sensitive to “harmony” and when the world becomes a cacophony of discord, it eventually kicks even my inner cheerleader’s ass.  I like to keep our topics relevant, yet light, because my truth is, we all take life a bit too seriously. But, that’s not the only reason you haven’t heard from me. Here’s what’s been filling my plate: Continue reading “The Art of Letting Go”

Lightening the Load

Load of baggageThere’s been something on my mind lately. It has to do with lightening the load, letting the past go, forgiveness. Basically, it’s about not dragging your baggage behind you…forever.

I’ve wanted to write about it, but realized I’ve written something similar before and I don’t want to be redundant. Let me repeat that, I don’t want to be redundant.

Yet, I realize, life is a spiritual practice. Truly, it is.

Sometimes, I find myself repeating the same lessons over again. I suppose it’s either because I haven’t fully learned them, or perhaps I just have a short memory. Did I ever tell you that? Does it happen to you, too? Which, you ask? Whichever.

Anyway, lately I’ve been shedding stuff. You’ll remember I let go of the stuff with my neighbor. I’ve also let go of some past relationship baggage – where I’d felt wronged. Maybe, rather than feeling we’ve been wronged we should feel we’ve been “informed.” Seems easier on the soul. (click to Tweet)

I’m not sure what triggers that moment when we choose to drop the load and move forward. It’s strange, but we drag it behind us – the stories, the wrongs – sometimes for a long, looooong, time. They begin to feel like part of us, this extra weight. Maybe eventually we don’t even notice it. These things become part of our identity.

Maybe that’s why we refuse to let them go. We think things like, if I wasn’t a “victim” of so and so, who would I be? If I hadn’t had that bad employment experience, who would I be? If I didn’t have that difficult relationship with that awful person, who I make wrong so I can be okay being me, who would I be? I’m not sure exactly who I’d be, but I’m sure of WHAT I’d would be….lighter. I’m sure I’m okay without the bags.

Seems some of the bags I carry aren’t even my own; they’re the bags of those evil twins, judgment and expectation; the twins who steal our levity, our joy, our liberation. They keep us in the world of our stories, which may or may not be true…but who really cares? 

So, as I move ahead, I thought I’d share my inner-ramblings with you. Because, while I’m a bit crazy, I’m no more or less crazy than you are… and you’ve probably carried some bags, too. I think you’ll find, if you put down the bags, the colours are more vivid, the heart is lighter, life is sweeter. So….

Check your bags,

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Michelle Andres is a writer and artist. She Writer, Artist, Coachwrites this blog to share tips for a well-lived life and finely run art business…just for you! 

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 9.05.02 PMThe “2016 Art and Inspiration Calendars” are HERE!!! Buy one for you and one for friend while I still have some in stock! Each month features a painting and quote from the blog. The cost is $20 plus a shipping fee of $3.99 or they can be picked up in my R. Street Studio. 12 months of art and inspiration!!! You can order them at the bottom of my art page (see the tab at the top). 

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The Pebble

“You can be walking on the most beautiful beach you’ve ever seen and if there’s a pebble in your shoe, that’s all you can think about.”  ~ Jim Hardy

Irritations, change your viewWe all have our pebbles. Small, sharp sticking points that demand our attention. As a friend told me, we can have the most incredible, full lives and we look for the one little thing that is out of place…then we focus on that.

Isn’t that the most inane thing you’ve ever heard? And, don’t you do it? Sometimes? Come on! I’m getting ready to confess, so slide on over in the shriving pew with me (click to Tweet). Yeah, you might need to Google that –  “shriving pew.”

Maybe the pebble is worry, a friend that you had a row with, an disagreeable political climate, or the brown spots on the lawn. Sometimes, there is nothing within your power to change the pebble. The thing you have to change is yourself. That’s my pebble. Usually, if I can take action to rectify something – brown spots – I am more at peace. It’s those pebbles that we can’t change that create the painful limp as we stroll along the beach of life (click to Tweet). This week I’ve found myself focused on my pebble. It gnaws, pokes, irritates me. This is no way to live a well-lived life.  My view is is myopic and, I’ll call it like it is, UNGRATEFUL.

Focusing on the pebble is like slapping good fortune in the face. What insolent children to have such an epic fail in “Gratitude 101.” Do the brown spots or worry suffer at all? Nope. Who suffers? ME. YOU. Not only do we reject good karma, we unwittingly end up punishing ourselves.

I’d like to think I’m smarter than this…but that jury on that is out having a European lunch break – and sipping a nice Chianti, I’m sure. (click to Tweet).

So, how do you let go of the pebble? How do you shift your attention to the stuff that matters. Are we using the pebbles as excuses?

Reframing irritation
Cairns are big pebbles – they mark the path (ironic)

Are they distractions to keep us from stepping fully into our joyful, well-lived lives, doing our best work? Brene Brown talks about waiting for the other shoe to drop. Sometimes, if things are really good, we can’t tolerated it…we wait for the storm to hit.

Not sure who I’d be fooling if I claimed to have the answer. Maybe the answer different for every person. Maybe it’s different for every pebble. Not sure.

This is what I do know. I will focus on gratitude. I will enlist my superior intellect (haha) to focus on not just the beach, but the ocean. Life is full of blessings…I will embrace and be thankful for each one.

But, WAIT THERE’S MORE…

I will be more intentionally of service and be more giving. If I focus on others perhaps I’ll forget the pebble all together. In that spirit, I am giving free 45 minute coaching sessions to the first 6 people who contact me via the “Coaching” form on this website. Just send it in, this podiatric patient is there for you! We’ll consider it a sort of penance.

So my prescription is SERVICE, GRATITUDE and A CHANGE OF VIEW. Do you have a pebble and a plan? If so, feel free to share it here, on the blog. I’d love to hear from you.

Until then,

Don’t judge me until you’ve walked a mile in my Jimmy Choos,

irritation

 

 

 

Special thanks to the late, Jim Hardy whose wisdom has guided me through some challenges. May you rest in peace, Jim.

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Michelle Andres is a coach, writer and artist who teaches creatives business behaviours that boost their productivity and happiness…all the while honoring their unique and artsy selves.

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Call of The Wild Hair

Wild hair of adjustmentMy parents got a wild hair. At the ripe, but not rotting, age of 75 years they decided to shake it up.  Last month during a casual phone call they told me there was a “For Sale” sign in their yard.  They have always lived within a 20-mile radius from me. I was stunned. It seemed the Deep South beckoned them. After several decades in California, my mother moved here at the tender age of 3, they would start a new chapter…a new adventure, consisting of alligators, gumbo and sticky sticky. “We love it there, “ they chirped.

Whatever.

I had long decided I would take care of them as they aged. They informed me there was no need.

Whatever.

So, as a fully-grown woman, I am now faced with the bittersweet loss. Really, as I write I am gazing through tears, but I’ll never admit it to y’all. No more Sunday bar-b-ques, no more birthday outings, no casual stop-bys. They leave Friday…the day this blog is published. Since they’ll be on the road, I’ll get a running start.

In my selfish moments I whine about my “orphan hat.” I mumble the phrase my old boss used to mumble, “I’m a better friend to you, than you are to me.” But it’s really not about me at all. Simultaneously, I beam with pride that two graying (sorry, Mom), bright, inquisitive oldsters can strike out in uncharted territory…well, Lewis and Clark WERE there first…where they will sip the sweet nectar of fresh, new adventures (click to Tweet).  I come from youthful stock!!!

I guess there’s a time in your life when you realize you only live once. Pipe down, you Buddhists! (click to Tweet). You still have an appetite for new things and are free of obligations to others. You have earned this time. The world is your oyster, or crawfish, as the case may be.

Most of us occasionally make small adjustments in our work, our homes and our lives.  If we aren’t quite living our dream, small adjustments can keep us appeased…at least for a while. Then there are the big adjustments, the ones that assure us we are fully engaged and following our joyful hearts. For me, a big adjustment occurred when I left full-time corporate work and decided to indulge that artistic tug, the pull to live a creative life. When I made the choice I KNEW I was aligned with my heart. Being a coach, I knew I had to do it. I had watched many of my clients take those brave steps. I want my parents to be aligned with their hearts.

Are you denying a big adjustment to avoid the fallout, the shakeup, the impact it might have on others? It’s scary and exciting to overhaul your life.

If you’re dissatisfied,but unsure, you might try some small adjustments. If you’re brave and willing and ready, take that bigger leap. Be aligned with your joyful heart. If you aren’t sure what that is, go seek it. There are people who can help you. So, what’s on your mind?  What’s not being said? Done? Let’s talk about it. Please, you are invited to leave a comment below.

Live with Mistakes but Not Regrets,

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Michelle Andres is a coach, writer and artist who teaches creatives business behaviours that boost their Art coaching, building your art business, belongingnessproductivity and happiness…all the while honoring their unique and artsy selves. Follow her on Facebook on Twitter

For a free gift that will help you boost personal productivity “Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog!