Nov 17 2011

How to Let Go and Embrace Simplicity

Peggy McPartland

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
- Raymond Lindquist

Letting go isn’t easy.

It’s cold and the sun is setting. It’s been raining and the cedar boughs send their deep fragrance over me.

I stand alone, watching.

The gray SUV pulls out onto the road, the tail lights glowing in the darkening day. On top of it are two well used sea kayaks.

They used to be mine.

I feel a piece of my life heading down the road.

They represent who I am or was – a strong adventurous person. It’s as if I’m giving away my life piece by piece.

Letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.

Our belongings give us a sense of identity. We cling to them believing they represent our past, our history, and in some ways our life.

There’s strength in being able to let go. We can spend our lives acquiring things and never really feel as if it’s enough.

What you own is not who you are. It doesn’t define you as a person although it does feel like that at times.

Living more simply provides the freedom to open up to new experiences. If you’re less focused on acquiring, maintaining or hanging onto your possessions, you’re able to more fully focus on the things that bring joy and meaning to your life.

You’re not letting go of yourself; that stays with you. You’re only letting go of the things that no longer have a place in your life.

Imagine a future less cluttered and less encumbered. Imagine what life will look like living more simply.

Being settled in a simple space surrounded by your family, your friends and those things that truly have meaning will bring a deeper sense of joy than being in the most luxurious surroundings.

Rather than looking for external validation, strive to live fully and presently with a sense of openness. With that openness your creativity will flow more freely bringing a new clarity to your life.

Allow this simplicity to come from a place of abundance rather than scarcity. This isn’t about giving up anything, but making room in your life for what’s really important.

The familiarity of our things feels safe. Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t have anything left. You’ll still have the things that are important yet feel freer and less encumbered.

Letting go brings a clearer sense of your authentic self. It adds lightness and joy, giving you more energy to fully interact with the world.

Ask yourself what your belongings represent to you. Are they enhancing your life or holding you back?

Discover what they mean to you and what letting go represents.

Let go bit by bit. Find creative ways to recreate the feelings those objects represent. Let go of the uneasiness of feeling as if you’ve lost a part of your identity.

You can make the choice to live a simpler life. The rewards are tremendous.

Today may be all you have. Do you want to spend this day crowded with excessive belongings or filled with rich experiences and the people you love?


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Photo credit: rickydavid, flickr

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Jun 30 2011

See the world as a child again

Peggy McPartland
The really great stuff begins when we push beyond the edges of our comfort zone. 

Remember what it was like as a child? We didn’t over-think everything. We were constantly pushing our limits and experiencing every new thing wholeheartedly.

We experienced life fully as we jumped off the high dive for the first time, chased butterflies while laughing hysterically and made best friends in an instant.

But something happened along the way.

We began to believe that we needed to conform, be responsible and live our lives in a certain way. We took on the single-minded focus of doing what we thought we were supposed to.

What happened to our sense of exploration and creativity?

It’s still there! It’s just waiting to be set free.

Trust that you can push beyond your comfort zone and embrace your curiosity and inquisitiveness.  The fear that we feel as we do is only confirming that we’re doing something that matters. And isn’t that ultimately what we all want?

When we lose our fear of being wrong or being judged, we’re able move into a more meaningful life, one that’s filled with passion.

We do fail at times. We’re human. But isn’t that ultimately how we learn and grow and become stronger, better people?

That fear of being out of our comfort zone is simply part of the process. It’s how we relate to it that makes the difference. So embrace it. Know that it means you’re pushing the limits. Touch it and befriend it. Let it be the fuel that propels you forward rather that the stone that holds you in place.

Trust yourself. Listen to your heart. Laugh. Play. Explore.

And see the world as a child again.

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Photo credit: Digital Latte Photography

Jun 23 2011

Three things I learned from the Green Lantern

Peggy McPartland

Ah, the Green Lantern. Comic book hero and superpower. And not a bad role model! I found I learned a few things from the Green Lantern.

It takes courage to face fear.

A Green Lantern must have the courage and strength to overcome his fears.

We all find ourselves faced with fear many times throughout our lives. It’s not fear itself that’s the problem, but rather the lack of courage to face that fear. This is often where so many of us get stuck. We become paralyzed by fear and uncertainty.

We have great ideas but we’re afraid. We’re afraid of what people will think. We’re afraid to fail. We’re afraid to step out of our comfort zone. But that’s all so normal. It’s important to feel the fear and understand what it represents rather than being overwhelmed by it.

It takes courage to accept our fears for what they are – a message that we’re pushing our boundaries and moving out of our comfort zone. And that’s exactly where we want to be. We do have the ability to overcome our fear. Sure, it’ll be uncomfortable but if we face  it with determination and welcome what it represents, we’ll conquer it and be able to challenge ourselves in new and surprising ways.

We often have strengths that we aren’t aware of.

The ring never makes a mistake. It sees something in us that we don’t even see.

So often we’re unaware of our own strengths. They have become such a part of us that we no longer see them as anything unusual. Those around us can easily see things in us that we don’t even see ourselves.

Have you ever had someone tell you that they’d never be able to do what you do? It’s surprising to hear. We think, but can’t everyone do that?  It seems so normal, something we’ve never considered unusual and  think is nothing.

We often underestimate our unique strengths. Open up, trust your abilities and you’ll begin to see yourself in a very different way. Every one of us has incredible talent, passion and strength. We just need to get in touch with that and embrace those limitless abilities.

Community is powerful.

The collective willpower of the Green Lantern Corps can bring harmony to the universe.

There really is strength in numbers. There’s an amazing group of  bright, talented people out there going through exactly what we’re going through. Reach out to them. They openly and generously support and inspire each other. That sense of community is vital to our well-being. We’ll find more in the collective knowledge, experience and sense of purpose in the amazing people we surround ourselves with than we ever will alone.

Embrace the people around you, reach out, ask questions and share. It’ll bring a new sense of stability, balance and strength into your life.

Like the Green Lantern, when we pull together with the strength of the community we can accomplish amazing things.

Minus the cool green suits though.

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