After the long, hot summer we had in the UK, leaves are starting to turn colour and days are getting shorter. This can only mean one thing;
I used to hate this time of year because of the dark months ahead. But now I view it as an opportunity to learn three lessons from what nature does at this time of year. Think about it, this is the time of year to;
Harvest what we planted in Spring,
Let go of what we no longer need,
And plant new seeds to take root over the winter.
Let’s start with letting go.
Why you must let go
I know you tried with all your heart and body to be a mother; however, holding on to any tiny dream you still have of it coming true is keeping you stuck. Your heart knows this. You’re not yet sure what life is waiting for you, but trust me, you must first let go of the dream of motherhood and everything that goes with it, before you can move on to a new life.
What if letting go made space to let more in?
I understand how tough this is, I’m asking you to let go of the dream that kept you going for many years. But what if, instead of thinking about letting go, you viewed this as making space to let in more dreams?
Yes I know, when I first heard this I wasn’t sure either. My yoga teacher Emma Peel suggested it and here we are discussing the idea (and other interesting subjects) in more detail.
I love this reframe to a far more positive concept of opening up and letting in, and it has absolutely been the case for me, especially recently. To publish my story in Finding Joy I had to let go of a lot, primarily what will people think. It wasn’t easy but doing so let in many more possibilities, I’m calmer and more relaxed and, most importantly I stopped worrying and enjoyed every moment.
Trust me, there is something special waiting for you but it can’t manifest because there’s no room for it. As Emma says, the tree has to let go of its leaves before new ones can grow. It must first allow the leaves to fall and provide fertiliser to create more growth. It’s the same for us. Holding on to that life you wanted is keeping you from living fully, right now.
If you’re not sure here’s a question to get you thinking,
What’s stopping you from achieving your greatest potential?
Holding on to your dream is keeping you in this stuck and unhappy place and holding you back from achieving everything you can in life. Deep in your heart, you know this.
What if you didn’t have to ‘let go’?
I know I’ve just spent time convincing you that you must let go of your dream of motherhood, but what if there was a slightly different way?
What if you took wisdom from America, and instead let it ‘fall?’
Think about a tree; the act of withdrawing energy from its leaves them means they fall gently.
You can do this too. By not giving energy to your dream of being a mother, it will gently fall away. There’s no need to push it away, if you stop paying attention to it, it will gradually release its hold on you.
Now to harvesting and planting
Being completely honest, this is an interesting time for me. For 18 months writing and publishing Finding Joy took everything I had, so I’ve been using the harvesting and planting metaphor to assist me to determine what I might do next.
This is as simple as asking myself questions such as:
What have I learned these past few months?
How am I different now?
Who am I now?
What specifically have I achieved?
And my favourite task was to look back and:
List the specific moments which stood out and describe how they changed me.
I really loved this exercise, and it coincided with having the last session with my therapist. It was an opportunity to read through my journals (really positive to see how much progress I’ve made as well as highlighting other areas to work on) and to get creative with coloured pens, always great fun.
Listing those transformational moments is something I haven’t done before and I really enjoyed it. It was a bit like having a gratitude practice, I didn’t realise how many there were until I started looking. Of course a number were related to Finding Joy (eg seeing the cover designs, reading my copy on the train), others to my yoga practice, and there were a number (such as spraining my ankle) which, took time to unveil themselves as gifts.
These answers are effectively my harvest, and to decide what I want to plant as seeds the question is therefore,
What do I want to keep from this and how might I take it forward?
As I write this, I’m still processing my ‘harvest.’ I’ve spent a lot of time looking at and reading what I’ve written and absorbing it all. In my last blog I explained why I chose courage, peace and joy on my #IAMME photo and these are three ‘seeds’ I want to nurture and plant, others include a curiosity to learn and to keep trying new things (eg a friend recently asked me why I have glitter on my nails. My answer to this and other new things I’m trying is ‘why not?’).
I’m not yet sure what other seeds will take root, and that’s ok. My heart knows what’s best for me and I trust that it will reveal it to me in good time. For now I’m waiting and am excited and interested to see what emerges.
And apologies, two more questions
Of course it wouldn’t be one of my blogs if I didn’t include some gentle but tough love to encourage you to move forward. So here are two more questions:
What would it take for you to let go of the dream of motherhood?
As I said earlier, your heart knows that hanging on to the dream of being a mother is holding you back from living, right now. Trust me, once you’ve let it fall, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how much space there is to let in more dreams.
Wouldn’t you like to find out what’s on the other side of letting go?
Every day I’m surprised by how much joy there is in my life since I let go of those dreams and beliefs that were holding me back.
You can have this too.
Yes you can.
What do you think?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on our video and the questions. Please leave a comment below (you don’t have to use your own mane).
You’ll find more on letting go and how to do it in Chapter Seven of Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness and if you purchase the book you’ll have access to 10 more videos interviews with the story tellers and other downloads.