Let go : If you fight for your limitations, you get to keep them

String of Thoughts — Let go, 2018

When I look at this painting, I see a being emerging from another being, almost like it’s shedding its old skin and flying out of it. The blue string is either unravelling or pulling the being out. This reminds me of the concept of letting go of your old self in order to evolve, to keep growing, to keep flying.

Let go of what no longer serves you. I’ve done this many times in my life. The most recent instance was when I decided to let go of excess weight I had been carrying around for a couple of years: 30 lbs to be exact. I had tried to do it on my own for many years, I had journals of pictures of what I wanted to look like, lists of habits I was going to adopt, pictures of the types of food I was going to eat, but nothing really changed until I started to work on who I thought I was and who I wanted to be. Funny enough, I wasn’t even thinking about loosing weight when I started the process. I was thinking about figuring out what to do to be happier and feel more fulfilled in life. Something was just not right anymore so I did a lot of soul searching, a lot of reading, and a lot of journaling. I started to change certain habits, I joined various tribes of individuals also on a similar path of personal development. I joined many groups, some didn’t last, some I simply outgrew or took a different route, but I kept on working on myself, slowly adopting new healthier habits and gradually I started to change from the inside out.

The latest tribe I’m currently part of, is a mastermind that meets on a weekly basis in order to discuss what is happening in our lives and essentially help each other identify our blind spots so that we can make adjustments. With a little over 2 years into it, I don’t feel like the same person anymore. I feel better, more confident, happier, more aligned with my true self and purpose, more comfortable painting and creating: All this because I chose to let go of who I was in order to become who I wanted to be.

I remember this particular instance, during one of our meetings, where I was recounting an experience I had. It was one of the weirdest things that had ever happened to me. I was visiting my sister for a weekend and decided to attempt to run with her. ( I’m not a runner). A few minutes into the run, I started to cry uncontrollably for no apparent reasons. It was very confusing. At the meeting, my friend reminded me that emotions, are energy in motion. I had been working on my mindset, going through a lot of emotions but I hadn’t done a lot of physical activity to move those emotions out of my body. That run was my first opportunity in a long time where I was able to release some these emotions in a safe environment. Unbeknownst to be I had been holding these energies in my body and through physical activities, I would be able to release some more. This was a sign that it was time for me to look into taking on some sort of physical activity more seriously. So I did.

I hired a personal trainer, who thankfully also happens to be part of my mastermind group, and started working regularly on my body. Soon I was enjoying the changes happening not only to my body but to my mind as well. I felt lighter in more ways than one. It’s like I completely stepped out of my old body with new one, just like the painting. I felt it in my mind, in my body and in my soul.

What I’ve learned from this experience is that our body can hold emotional energy as excess weight. Think about when you eat food to make you feel better: That’s emotional eating. We don’t even realize that we’re doing it. We eat more sweets and more fats. We drink more alcohol. We smoke cigarettes. If we don’t pay attention, it becomes a mindless habit. We don’t go exercise because we’re not in the right mood but we easily grab another glass of wine to “relax” and not think about it. It’s all emotionally driven. Instead of dealing with it, we shove the emotion down our throats into our belly and cover them up with sugar, fat, cigarette, alcohol and more. It doesn’t take a long time to see their effects on our body. However, as soon as we make the effort, first mentally, then physically, to start addressing these emotions, things start to change for the better. This is essentially what I did when I joined my group of friends where we get to talk about uncomfortable truths and dig deeper into them so that we can make the adjustments to improve our situations without needing to rely on unhealthy and potentially harmful habits.

I also remember a time when I was talking to my friend and trainer and he said something that created a paradigm shift for me, he said that in order to get the body I wanted, I had to turn into the version of me who had a body like that, I had to change who I thought I was in order to become who I wanted to be. The fit body is just a consequence of habits, a representation of what’s going on inside. Our body just responds to our habits and behaviours. Consequently, you can read a body like you can read a book. It tells you everything about what’s going on inside and behind closed doors. So if you want to change your body, you have to change inside first. Think about it: How different would your thinking be if you thought of yourself as a professional athlete? How would that thinking affect your behaviour? You have to become the type of person who ends up having a fit body if you change your mindset. If you’re ready to let go of your old thoughts and replace them by new ones.

This works for every aspects of life too : A better parent, a better teacher, a better child, a better sibling, a better employee, a better boss, a better wife or husband, a better girlfriend or boyfriend, a better citizen, etc. The change must come from within, that’s how you can make lasting changes. It’s a moment of awareness that affected my behaviour and ultimately led me to shed my old skin and evolve to a newer better me.

Now it’s your turn. Take a look at the painting again. Turn it around if you need to and take note of what you see in the painting. Whatever comes to mind, write it down, it could be a specific event that happened in your life, a particular person, a particular object or a description of what you see. Start with that and see where it takes you. There’s no wrong answer, this is just for your to allow yourself to explore your own mind and see what gem it has for you. Maybe it’s the shape of the clouds. Maybe it’s the shape of the ribbon. Maybe it’s the combination of colours. Maybe it’s the subtle shape in the background. Whatever captures your attention first, go with that. Trust your own judgment. If you still don’t know where to start, take my lead : Think about what could you let go of in your life in order to become a happier you.