Let It Go

By Jennie Hastings
[Savvy Self-Care]

In the last installment of this column, the theme was “Just Do It” (March/April 2016, page 28). I wrote about the benefits of ending the wait for inspiration and moving into action. This is a form of self-care because, as we move into action, we gain confidence, relieve anxiety, and create space for playfulness and other positive emotions. The next step after “just do it” is: let it go.

You know it is time to let it go when your mind (and perhaps even your body) is too entangled in calculating all the variables of a situation. We can never be in charge of all the variables. If we want to move forward, we have to take action—not always knowing exactly where it will lead us.
For example, maybe you have heard business networking is a good way to grow your practice. However, it makes you nervous to walk into a room full of people you don’t know, who seem a lot more business savvy than you. It takes a lot of psychic energy to put on your nice clothes, think of a smart way to introduce yourself, and get yourself to the meeting.

You decide to just do it. Then, you’re at the meeting. Some people seem politely interested, others seem distracted, and, then, there are the ones only interested in selling you something. At the end of the evening, you drive home wondering why you just did that. The experience was uncomfortable, it took you away from home for an evening, and you’re not sure it was useful.
This is the moment to let it go. You will probably never know what person noticed your smile, felt your heart, or heard your words and is going to mention you to someone she knows, tell her chiropractor about you, or invite you to the next meeting where you will meet the perfect referral partner.
Instead of trying to find immediate evidence for why you participated, give yourself a huge pat on the back for putting pennies in the bank of your business-building account. Let go of the need to know how it will come to fruition. The truth is, that particular evening may never come to fruition, but if you let that stop you, you will never stumble into the opportunity that seems exactly the same on the surface but bears huge fruit. At the very least, you’ll feel more comfortable stepping out and joining in the next opportunity.

Take Action
I was just reading an article about cold calls. You know cold calls: those awful sales calls from a stranger who can’t pronounce your name but wants to tell you about a great opportunity? I usually hang up on those people. But here is the thing: they keep making cold calls because cold calls work. And the only way they can keep doing it is to let it go. They have to let go of all the negative reactions, the hang-ups, the curses. Now, I am not suggesting that cold calling people is in your future, but I am suggesting you realize that taking action toward what you want will not always be received the way you want it to be received. But rejection or disappointment is not a reason for holding back.

If we become clear on why we do what we do, it becomes much easier to follow our path. If we know we are massage therapists and bodyworkers because it is the best way we can serve humanity, and that we also deserve to have flourishing businesses that support ourselves and our families, we need to become accustomed to offering our services to a wide array of people. We won’t know ahead of time who will greet our invitations with love and excitement and who will find them annoying or extravagant.
What other people think of us is not our concern. We are so good at empathy that often we know how the people around us feel even before they do. We need to get better at letting them have those feelings without those feelings affecting us. If you walk into a business networking meeting and confidently tell people you offer massage that helps busy professionals find inner peace and it costs $150 an hour, some people may look at you like you’re crazy for thinking you can charge that much, and some people will say, “Great! That’s exactly what I’m looking for!” You have to be able to let go of the people who think you’re crazy to get to the people who think you’re perfect.
The easiest way to do this is to focus on your mission. Forget about what other people think, and focus on what you are doing: I am providing a needed and valuable service. I am using my talents in the best way possible. I am creating a life and a business that is sustainable and rewarding. Keep focused on your mission, and let go of anything or anyone who doesn’t understand.

Let Go of Hesitation
I am using a business example to illustrate letting it go, but this applies to a lot more than just your practice. With any action you take, instead of doing it for the reward, do it because it is the right thing for you to do. This applies to exercise, or giving a gift, or eating healthy—anything really. If you know something is good for you to do, just do it, and then let go of any hesitation. You will never be able to guess the way taking a positive action will work toward your benefit. Take it anyway, and then let it go so you are ready for the next one.

Jennie Hastings is a board-certified massage therapist, and teacher. She is the creator of The Blossom Method and author of The Inspired Massage Therapist (Massage Blossom Books, 2012). She wants to be your friend on Facebook. Sign up for her monthly newsletter and check out her blog at www.massageblossom.com.