When we think about our health we often think about our body and how it looks or feels. But what about our minds? What about the health of our spirit and soul? Health is such a general term and it encompasses every bit of who we are as humans. Our bodies, our minds, our spirits, our friendships, our families. Health is in every part of our lives.
Last week was busy. OK, maybe even crazy. We had friends stay with us for 3 nights as we helped them prepare for their wedding day. We were so excited to spend every moment with our out of town friends before they were off on their next adventure in life. We’ve had 3 sets of overnight guests, and a lot of wonderful friends visiting each day.
Our house turned into wedding central. Boxes everywhere, burlap being ironed on the floor, dishes piling up from amazing meals shared together, late nights, wedding decoration crafting, and even a spontaneous 10 person dinner party. Overwhelming and crazy? You could say that. Now add trying to squeeze in some hours of work, taking on last minute tasks the day of the wedding, and planning for our next round of guests arriving the day after our wedding festivities are completed. Not sure what one level past crazy is… but this was it.
I tried something new last week. Something the old me would never have been able to do.
I let go.
I let go of needing to be in control.
I let go of letting the mess bother me.
I let go of my desire for privacy.
I let go of the dirty kitchen (that was the hardest).
Most importantly, I let go of my need to plan everything to be perfect.
I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of freedom and relaxation that came to me that week. It came easily to me for one simple reason:
I focused on what really mattered: our friends committing themselves to a lifetime of love and happiness together.
I asked myself: What matters most to me- soaking in every minute of time with friends we rarely get to see, or spending time cleaning the house and having everything organised? Reminding myself of this was a reality check for me. Focusing my attention on the important things in my life kept me feeling balanced and grounded. My friends, helping others, laughing lots, and being joyful. These are what really matter to me.
I learned a lot this week. Not only about what I was capable of, but also what my friends were capable of.
These are the 5 things I learned when I finally let go.
- Everything works out as it should.When you sit back and let things take their natural course, everything will happen as it should. Last week I took a step back (hard for me) and let others take control in my house. I’ve made an effort to stop trying to control things around the house (ie, planning for dinner, cleaning, organising…) and simply remained flexible and watched it all unfold. My husband cooked and cleaned on his own accord, our guests took the reins on cooking breakfast and dinner, they also cleaned a lot of dishes, nothing catastrophic happened, everyone lived, and I found myself feeling more relaxed and thankful because of it. I prepared myself mentally ahead of the busy week to be ready for anything and to let go of my need to have a clean house. I’m so glad I did. I was able to cherish the time with my friends and felt more balanced and relaxed all week.
2. Others are happy to take charge if you let them.
Always planning ahead and taking charge myself, I rarely let others step up to the plate. Stepping back and letting others step forward was very eye opening last week. I was amazed at how willing people were to offer help with any house work and were very respectful of what was going on. If I had taken my normal role as “controller of the universe” I would never have given others a chance to step up and take charge. Thank’s to them lending a hand, I was able to focus less on the nitty gritty details and more on spending quality time with those around me.
3. I feel less stress and more joy by letting go.
By stepping back and taking it all in, I noticed from a new perspective that I was more relaxed and happy to go with the flow. The old me would stress about every detail and the state of my unorganised house. But, somehow by stepping back I allowed myself to let go of this stress and realise that everything worked out just fine! Everything got done that needed to (dishes, cleaning, meal planning) and no one died! There was more room for spontaneous adventures and soaking in every moment of time with our friends. I gained hours of valuable time with great friends by letting go of silly household tasks.
4. Deeper connections and gratitude for those around me.
On the night that I had a deadly migraine, we had 10 people for dinner- last minute! People were happy to bring food and so thankful for us opening out home to them. As I wasn’t in much of a mood to chat like I normally do, I spent a lot of the night listening. I learned so much about both new people in my life as well as old friends. I was amazed by tuning down my chatter, how much I could learn and grow my relationships with those close to me.
5. People genuinely are happy to help.
By stepping back, I learned that most people genuinely want to help out where they can and are glad when you give them the opportunity. When you open your home to someone, they want to help and thank you in turn for helping them. Always taking control in the past has left little room for guests to lend a hand and give back to me. I accepted help last week and not only was I less busy and stressed because of it, but my guests were also thankful for the opportunity to give back to me for my hospitality.
So what happened at the end of the week?
All the laundry got done, the kitchen was clean, the floor was swept, my belly was full and my heart grew 7 sizes. The love and support from those around me was a revolving door this week. It was beautiful and I will cherish every moment I soaked in with my amazing friends.
Surrounding myself with people who fill my life with joy and happiness has left me feeling nothing but full of gratitude. I am refreshed, even though I haven’t slept in a week, and I know that I made a huge difference in a very special time in my friends’ life. I stepped back and put others ahead of my own crazy control needs and it felt amazing. I’m confident that I am growing and learning and finally letting go of the things that don’t really matter in life. It is a work in progress, but i’m on the right track!
I hope you too can learn to let go this week. Let go of the little things. Focus on what really matters. And be joyful. Because after all…..
When you look back, do you want to remember the clean and organised house or do you want to remember laughter, adventures, and time spent with good friends?
Love & Letting Go,