Signs That It’s Time to Let Go of a Relationship

fighting

 

No man (or woman) is an island, as the famous poem states. We all need other people in our lives, in various types of relationships. In fact, we are often defined by them in our families:

Mother
Daughter
Sister
Aunt
Wife

Or:

Father
Son
Brother
Uncle
Husband

 

Outside our family circle, we decide who people are to us, and who we are to others:

Friend
Best friend
Boy/girl friend
Lover
Domestic partner
Business partner
Colleague
Boss
Person who reports to us
Support staff in the office or building
Freelance worker

And so on.

 

We can’t choose our family, it is true, but nor should we punish ourselves trying to make a negative relationship work by constantly compromising who we are or what we believe in. We may not be able to let go of the relationship with a parent or sibling, for example, but we can let go of the idea of being obligated to please them – especially if they are a difficult type of person who is never pleased.

We can choose friends, lovers and spouses. However, that choice will often come into question when different things shake the foundation of the relationship, such as trust, and the assumption that the person cares for you and wants the best for you, and vice versa. If that is not the case, then you might find yourself thinking more and more about letting the relationship go.

Signs That It’s Time to Let Go

No one likes to waste time and effort, but it also does not make sense to hang on to things in our lives that drag us down and drain our energy. It’s also true that the more you hang on to baggage, the heavier it will become, and you won’t have your hands free to embrace other things. So here are a few signs it might be time to let go.

1. You constantly feel hurt or resentful

The person has done something so bad, it is almost impossible to get beyond it and try to forgive them.

2. You are the one doing all the heavy lifting

You are the one putting most of the energy into the relationship – calling, emailing, organizing get-togethers, and so on.

3. You are at different places in your life

The other person might be ready to settle down and have a family, for example, but your career is just taking off, or you want to travel the world and do other exciting things.

4. You can’t agree on the essentials in your lives

Marriage, children, where and how you want to live, are all big questions. Sometimes loving a person isn’t enough to get over the bumps in the road that become exposed when your two views of an ideal life don’t mesh with one another.

5. When you have to make too many sacrifices

Some people might make sacrifices in order to maintain the relationship, but end up disappointed and bitter. For example, they promised if you had children together, they would be there doing their fair share, but they are still spending long hours in the office while you’ve given up your career for a house full of dirty diapers. And of course it is much harder to let go of a relationship once you have had children, due to co-parenting.

6. The other person is not trustworthy

They may not lie outright, but they don’t turn up on time or follow through with their promises, or they deceive you in various ways. People are often evasive about money, or how they spend their free time. Don’t jump to conclusions, but do insist on honesty.

7. Dealing with the other person is draining

Surround yourself with positive people who uplift you. If you know any “energy vampires” who are constantly draining you and leaving you no time to for yourself and the things you really enjoy, it might be time to let go.

It’s never easy to let go of a relationship. But if you recognize one or more of these signs, it may be the best decision you can make in the long term.

Have you had to  let go of a relationship?  What were the signs for you?  Any words of advice?  Share your thoughts in the comments below…

Can You Create Perfect Harmony?

A lot of people feel out of balance in their lives, and wish they could create perfect harmony in relation to their job, family and so on. While there is really no such thing as “perfect”, many people are able to achieve a greater balance in their lives through a range of self-help practices.

One of these is the practice of mindfulness.

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a type of meditation practice that has been used for thousands of years in order to focus the mind and improve concentration. It has the added benefit of making you more calm and relaxed, and can help you enjoy yourself more. It can best be described as learning how to live in the moment.

Don’t We All Live in the Moment?

A lot of people might think they live in the moment. However, the fact is that most of the time we are just lurching from one item on our to-do list to the next. This can lead to stress and even burnout, which can in turn lead to poor health, difficulties at work, and tense relationships.

The Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation

Most non-Western medical schools of thought, such as Ayurveda from India which has been practiced for 5000 years, believe in holistic healing. They try to treat body, mind and spirit, all at the same time. The goal is to get them all into balance and harmony.

Meditation can help with all three. Mindfulness meditation in particular can help develop inner peace and harmony internally and externally. A little mindfulness practice every day is like a mini-vacation and trip to the spa all in one.

Body

Mindfulness meditation helps lower blood pressure, reduces stress, and even decreases pain. It triggers relaxation and an overall sense of well-being even during sessions which might be emotionally difficult. The deep breathing oxygenates the body and helps improve the immune system. It also helps detoxify the body.

Mind

To Buddhists, who are masters of meditation, the mind is either an unruly wild elephant or a monkey, rampaging through our lives or swinging from thought to thought. The only way to tame the elephant and stop the monkey mind is through meditation.

To meditate means to think. We can all think. It’s just a question of what we are thinking about.

In the case of mindfulness meditation, we are either observing our thoughts, or observing an action we are performing – such as walking through a park. Through the process of observing, we become more familiar with our racing thoughts and learn to tune out the ones that are not helpful, and focusing on the ones that are.

Mindfulness is often called living in the present, because we are no longer dwelling on things that happened in the past or worrying about the future all the time. We are giving ourselves permission to enjoy life as it unfolds, moment by moment.

Mindfulness meditation improves focus, concentration and the ability to get to the center of a problem more easily. With mindfulness practice, you will notice a big difference at work and in your relationships. The difference is termed a “flow state” – a type of harmony in which everything feels effortless and even fun.

Spirit

A healthier body and a less stressed mind leads to a more harmonious spirit. Your own inner sense of well-being is enhanced. This will often result in you feeling more connected with others, and with the outside world. Stopping to smell the roses helps you enjoy your life and feel you are making the most of it, not just sleepwalking through it.

If your life seems to be nothing but endless turmoil, try mindfulness meditation and experience greater harmony than ever before.

Do you have a practice for aligning your life?  I would love to hear your thoughts.  Chat me up in the comments section.

You Got Too Much Stuff

Erykah Badu said it best,

 

Bag lady you gone hurt your back
Dragging all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you
All you must hold onto, is you, is you, is you

One day all them bags gon’ get in your way
One day all them bags gon’ get in your way
I said one day all them bags gon’ get in your way
One day all them bags gon’ get in your way, so pack light,
Pack light, mm, pack light, pack light, oh ooh

Bag lady you gon’ miss your bus
You can’t hurry up, ’cause you got too much stuff
When they see you coming, niggas take off running
From you it’s true, oh yes they do

One day he gon’ say you crowding my space
One day he gon’ say you crowding my space
I said one day he gon’ say you crowding my space
One day he gon’ say you crowding my space so, pack light
Pack light

 

Do you have that one piece of old baggage or energy drain that you’ve been carrying around for what seems like forever?

 

It reminds me when I pack too heavily for a trip where I need to take a flight. I have all these suitcases and I forget that I need to get them in the airport.

 

I’ve got one bag over my shoulder…

 

One duffle is under my armpit…

 

I’m holding one in my hand…

 

…and I’m running late to get to the gate!! YIKES!!!!

 

There are a lot of us that are trying to carry our figurative bags all day, every day and we wonder why we’re not seeming to get anywhere as fast as we want.

 

I’m not immune to this myself. I have some emotional “stuff” that I think I’ve been holding on to for way too long … and my damn shoulders are hurting and slouched…

 

The good thing though is that we don’t have to keep dragging our bags! That’s great, right?

 

Most of us don’t want to carry all the “stuff” around with us but just like the luggage, after holding on to it for so long our hands and shoulders and back become cramped and strained … all because we wouldn’t let go! Guess what? That first instant where we decide to let go, it hurts like hell!! We’ve trained our extremities to become warped and uncomfortable and it takes time to get the blood flowing and for the tingling to stop.

 

Well, it’s the same concept with our emotional baggage… Because we’ve trained our minds to be uncomfortable, the first sign of relief is almost unbearable. We have to think past that initial struggle and think about that moment after, and the next moment, and the next moment and so on and understand that true relief is right around the corner!

 

The very first thing we have to do is decide, “Hey, I wanna put these damn bags down…” Then we take a deep breath and let go…Then we need to work the kinks from our emotional mindset – just as we do physically – with proper movement, training and simply learning to not do the things that got us to that feeling of discomfort.

 

Here are some things that I’ve done when letting go of baggage:

 

  • Take part in counseling or therapy
  • Listen to relaxing, meditative music
  • Stay a bit busier than normal so I won’t “fall into old patterns
  • Reach out to friends to catch up

 

We have the tools within us to begin the healing process for ourselves. If we can decide, “I want a change in my circumstance,” the following steps we need get a bit easier if we stick to our goal…whatever that may be.

 

What do you think? Do my thoughts make sense? What are some things you do to “release your bags?” I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below. Let’s chat!

 

Facts about Mindfulness

Mind… Body… Spirit

 

 

 

Many people have heard of mindfulness, but aren’t sure what it is or how it can help them. Here are a few useful facts to consider when thinking about adding a mindfulness practice to your daily life.

 

What Is Mindfulness?

 

Mindfulness is a type of meditation practice that has been used for thousands of years in order to focus the mind and improve concentration. It has the added benefit of making you more calm and relaxed, and can help you enjoy yourself more.

 

What Is Mindfulness Meditation?

 

To meditate means to think. Mindfulness meditations make you think in a certain way. The way you think depends on whether you are focusing on your internal experience or your external experience. In general, both forms can be described as focusing on trying to live in the present.

 

The Importance of Living in the Present

 

Living in the present is important because a lot of people are so busy that they are really going through the motions during their day as if they were on autopilot. Mindfulness forces you to focus and to pay attention to what you are thinking and doing. It can also help you enjoy life more, so it is not racing past and passing you by.

 

Life passes a lot of people by, because they are not really living in the present. They are dwelling on things that happened in the past or worrying about the future. But the fact is, you can’t change the past. If you carry the baggage from it all the time, your hands will be too full to embrace new possibilities.

 

And if you are worried about the future all the time, you will always be stressed and have a hard time relaxing and enjoying yourself. Living in the present is much more calming and soothing. It’s a chance to “stop and smell the roses” and really appreciate the simple things in your life.

 

Doing an Internal Mindfulness Meditation

 

With an internal meditation, start by calming the mind through focusing on your breath. Count an inhale and exhale as one. Try to count up to 5 without getting distracted by your racing thoughts about things that happened in the past, or your to-do list for the week.

 

When your mind is a bit calmer, start observing your thoughts as if you were watching TV. Just watch as they float across the sky like a cloud. You don’t have to follow the thought and get caught up in it. There’s no need to relive something embarrassing that happened to you when you were 15. You’re an adult now. Let it float past you.

 

Sit comfortably with your thoughts, for a few minutes in the morning and evening, not trying to judge good or bad. You should soon find yourself calmer, more relaxed, and less stressed, and better able to concentrate on the things that are really important to you.

 

Doing an External Mindfulness Meditation

 

An external mindfulness meditation can be done anywhere, even while moving. Using the five senses as a checklist, live in the moment by noting the sights, sounds, smells and so on around you. For example, if you are walking in the park, what do you see? Take time to look at it and enjoy it.

 

If you are eating a meal, slow down and really savor every mouthful. Don’t just shovel the food in your mouth while you are watching TV. You will enjoy things more and not sleepwalk through your life, but rather, be able to make the most of it.

 

Mindfulness meditation can help us all appreciate the present and get the most out of life.

 

What do you think?  Do you have a differing opinion?  Share your thoughts in the comments.  Let’s chat!

 

Remember Who You Are

I recently watched Disney’s “The Lion King” live action remake and had a surprising reaction…

 

I actually felt good when the movie was done!

 

Don’t get me wrong, I had my issues with this version of the movie but there was one thing that really stood out to me – and that’s what I want to focus on with this post.

 

There was a line from the movie that I hadn’t remembered – “Remember who you are…”

 

This statement jumped out at me in such a huge way that I’m writing this post at 2:53 a.m.!!

 

Why so important?

 

I recently turned 40 years old and while I often take stock of where things are in my life (sometimes good and sometimes not so great) I had to stop the film from playing. When the original Lion King came out in 1994, I was a mere 13 year old!

 

While there are definitely things that I’ve learned in life as I’ve gotten older and wiser, I can say there are some things that I’ve forgotten that in hindsight that I shouldn’t have:

 

  • Walk with little to no fear
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Life is about looking forward

 

Having no fear

 

Whether this comes from being “young and dumb” or because as younger little humans we haven’t really experienced life to a great extent, (I’m not sure), I’ve realized that there is more fear as we strive into “middle age.” Is this because we have more to lose? Is it due to experience?

 

Sometimes I miss “stepping out on faith” as it were. That’s not to say I didn’t have any fear as a kid but when I look back, I think I viewed life differently than I do now. If I was afraid that something wouldn’t work out, “Oh well, there’s always tomorrow and another opportunity…”

 

Not sweating the little things

 

This is oh so hard for me today! Things stay with me much longer and I don’t bounce back emotionally as quickly as I did when I was a child.

 

Remember the book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” – Boy would I love to interview the author of that book! That’s another post for another day…

 

Eyes forward

 

I was in JROTC in high school and I recall standing at attention with my eyes forward. When you can only look ahead, you lose sight of what’s going on around you. You are focused – almost with blinders on – just like a racehorse.

 

As I’ve aged, I feel like my head is routinely scoping out things that are near me as well as far off.

 

“Will this knock me off balance?”

 

“Let me plan for this possible happening…”

 

Sometimes this way of thinking is discombobulating.

 

What the heck am I saying with this post?

 

All the rambling I just did above, this is my conclusion:

 

Remember who you are…

 

Fearless…

 

Excited…

 

Full of courage…

 

Marry that with who you are today:

 

Cautious…

 

Wiser…

 

Still full of courage…

 

When Simba, (Yes, we’re back to The Lion King, LOL), travelled back to his Pride, he was able to join his younger self with the “person” he had become. When he took that fear, excitement, wonder about life, understanding that people will deceive you and so much more… only then was he able to overcome himself to truly “come home…”

What Does It Mean to Live in the Moment?

To live in the moment, or in the present, refers to a state of being aware, conscious, alert, in tune with your senses, and focused on what is happening at that particular moment in time. It is the opposite of “automatic living”, that is, just going through the motions.

More importantly, the present is a time during which we stop dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. We are able to enjoy the here and now.

Our Mind Creates Our World

Our mind is a powerful thing that processes all of our life’s experiences, and is also the instigator of our actions. However, most of the time, we are not even aware our own mind and its full power and potential. We lurch from one thought to the next with no rhyme or reason, and often feel the world is external to us, outside ourselves, and that we have no control over it.

The truth is that living in the present can help you gain the skills you need to take control of your life, through focus and concentration.

We Value What We Pay Attention To

When we concentrate our attention on the present, we focus on the task at hand, such as washing the dishes, gardening, or spending time with a loved one. We are not just sitting next to them on the sofa, with both of us fiddling with our cell phones. We are making eye contact, speaking, listening, and perhaps being affectionate. We give our full attention to what we are doing and we let go of the rest.

Being Mindful

The practice of living in the moment is referred to as being mindful – in other words, paying attention. Being mindful when we eat means we enjoy our food more, because we are not wolfing it down. Being mindful as we walk through the park means we can enjoy the beauty of nature, such as the flowers and birdsong. It is about quality not quantity, brief moments in the present that take us out of our busy day. We can stop running around propelled by stress and take a short “mini-vacation” through mindfulness practice.

How to Start Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness practice starts with observing things more closely, and then trying to describe them. Imagine washing the dishes. Think of the sight, sound, smell, touch and so on. What does it feel like? How do you feel when you are doing it?

For most of us, this is a dull chore, and one we usually do on autopilot without thinking about it. But thanks to mindfulness, it can become interesting and even fun.

Stopping to reflect on one or two of our actions throughout the day can help us discover the beauty and wonder of all we do. We stop taking things for granted.

We also start to feel more positive energy because we are being less dragged down by the baggage of our past, and are giving ourselves more and more permission to enjoy ourselves and have fun. We are creating special little moments, and through those moments, can feel confident we have more like them to look forward to.

Live Every Moment Like It Counts

Life is too short to sleepwalk through it. Adding mindfulness as a daily practice can help you truly appreciate all you have. You will notice your work improves, your relationships get better, and everything starts to feel more effortless and less stressful. It does take practice, but the result is a happier, healthier you with a rich life full of meaning.

The Positive Impact of Living in the Moment

Living in the moment may seem like a dream come true and an impossible goal at the same time. The good news is you can learn how to live in the moment with a bit of practice.

Why Focus on Living in the Moment?

Life is just a series of moments, one after another – here for a second, then gone the next. When we are children, every moment seems exciting and full of wonderful possibilities. We might fall down trying to ride a bike, or hate spinach, but in general, we are full of joy as we watch things unfold.

However, by the time we get to school age, our days start to become determined more and more by a fixed timetable of where we should be and what we should be doing. The time for spontaneity decreases as stress increases. We worry about working hard so we can get good grades and have a bright future.

We sometimes dwell on things that were difficult in our lives. In fact, we might focus on them so much that it holds us back from the success we deserve. For example, if you kept failing math tests, you would think you were bad at math and that would hold you back. You would be nervous at every test and this could make you almost sabotage yourself because of your expectations of failure.

As adults, the tendency to worry about the future and dwell on the past can become even more pronounced, preventing us from enjoying the good things in life. We get a job, have a family, and start to live on autopilot, while all the time feeling that there has to be more to life. Well, there is. It’s called living in the moment.

Enjoying the Here and Now

Living in the moment might sound “new age” or irresponsible, but it is actually a valuable life skill that can help you in your career, with your relationships, and more. It improves concentration because you are focusing on one thing, not trying to multitask.

It improves relationships because you are truly paying attention to what your family, friends and loved ones are saying, without an automatic, “Uh hunh.”

We still set priorities and go for our goals, but living in the moment, and what is termed mindfulness meditation, now become part of our daily routine. For a few minutes each day, we tune into our thoughts and observe them without judging or getting caught up in them. This is usually best done sitting down, in the morning and evening.

Throughout the day, whenever we wish, we can also become mindful of an action we are doing, such as washing the dishes. We enjoy the experience by noting what each of our senses is telling us. This makes us more focused and less stressed. We can recharge and renew. We let go of the past we can’t change and the future we can’t control, and allow ourselves to be a human being – not a “human doing” racing from one task to the next.

This allows you to feel more enjoyment from life, grounding you and making you feel more peaceful and alive. You will feel less anxious and fearful and more in command of your own life. You can give yourself permission to play and have fun.

Living in the moment through mindfulness can transform your outlook and relationships. Try it and see what a difference it can make to your life.

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Do you “live in the moment?”  How do you practice that?  Share your thoughts in the comments.  Let’s chat!