Insights: Spring is Time for Letting Go

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As Tolstoy once wrote, “Spring is the time of plans and projects.”

This is a wonderful time of year to start looking at cleaning out the old and bringing in the new.  I love to garden and this is such a great time for new planting.

I so enjoy watching the flowers blossom on my lime and lemon trees.  It reminds me of how each year we get to see the new come in.

This is also true for our lives.

This time of year I ask myself, “what is it that I need to clean out of my life this spring?” If we do not clean out the old, there is no space for the new.

I see this often with relationships.  We are afraid of letting go out of fear of regret, yet once we let go of what is not working, we realize our fears were unjustified.

I actually work to live out spring all year round, meaning I continually look at what I need to let go of.  It helps when I can come from a place of being excited what might be now available to me by letting go.

This goes back to the idea of “less is more.”  There is a part of us that naturally thinks more is more, yet when we really stop and think about it, this is usually not so. Having more tends to complicate things.

I downsized my home about five years ago, and decided my energy and money was going to be more about experiences and relationship rather than having.

It was extremely difficult going through this process.  I was terrified of having regrets that I would miss what I had given up.  I would sit there in front of a box of things, tormented about what will happen if I may need that thing.

Five years later I cannot tell you what was in any of those boxes. I have no regrets and love the simplicity of my life now.  There is such freedom in this way of living.

One of the ways I love letting go of anything is the idea of reusing. For example, I had a beautiful plumeria tree in my yard yet it did not really work for me. I had a difficult time taking out the tree, so instead I cut off branches and planted them in pots and gave them away to friends.

There is a wonderful feeling when we give clothes and other belongings to charity or the homeless. Repurposing things is a great way to be green in the world, and someone else will get to truly enjoy it.

What I also find is that just because something worked a year ago does not mean it works now. Don’t we do this with relationships? When letting go is difficult but you know it is best for you, this can be painful. Yet holding on to something that does not work for you is actually more painful.

Allow yourself to grieve the loss, do not fight it. Get support from others. This will help with the letting go process. Get out and be active after your grief, this will change the chemistry in your body to help you feel better. Remind yourself of why you need to let go. Remember this allows the space for something better to come in.

Ajahn Chah, a Thai meditation master, said, “If you let go a little, you will have a little peace.  If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.  If you let go completely, you will have complete peace.”

Contact Dr. Shelly Zavala at or [email protected].

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