Week 35 – Saying Goodbye: The art of letting go
We had a provocative telegathering with Andre Dubus last week. Andre is the author of The Oprah Book Club pick, “The House of Sand and Fog,” and a new book, “The Garden of Last Days.” We talked about the creative process, a writer’s life, overcoming fear, honoring the integrity of our art, and much more. This is a “must listen” for writers. You’ll find the mp3 file here.
On September 24th I’m excited to be giving a talk called “Life Lessons from our Furry Friends,” to support the good work of the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society in Massachusetts. I’ll be sharing photos of my cat, Poupon, and if you live in the area, I’d love to have you join me for this event. You can get ticket info here.
I’m looking forward to presenting at the “I Can Do It” conference in Tampa, FL, the weekend of 10/3-10/5. It’s an action-packed event with great teachers like Wayne Dyer and Brian Weiss, and it’s a chance to make new, like-minded friends. For more info on my program (and the conference), click here. And, don’t forget to check out the Kripalu retreat in Lenox, MA, on 9/19-9/21, here.
Finally, our “Summer Self-Care Special” ends on Monday, 9/1 at midnight. This is your last chance to get 10% off of your entire purchase (before S&H), on things like the Mesmerizing Oggz Eggs, our new Kai Body Buffer, books, CDs, and more. Just enter the following coupon code on the checkout page: 388706. You’ll find the store here.
Have a wonderful week…
p.s. – Need a little Divine Direction? Use the “Touch of Grace” button on our homepage here: http://www.cherylrichardson.com.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
–Little Orphan Annie
Topic of the Week – Saying Goodbye
Saying goodbye. It’s something we all do at various times in our lives. Some of us do it consciously and intentionally, while some of us avoid it like the plague. This week, as the summer comes to an end and kids go back to school (or off to college for the first time), I wanted to rebroadcast a newsletter from last year when Michael and I were leaving our home of twelve years. Although we knew there was an exciting beginning waiting in the wings, we were sad to say goodbye to a place that had been near and dear to our hearts. The sadness prompted me to share what I’ve learned about saying goodbye over my lifetime. I hope it touches you in some valuable way.
1. Saying goodbye is a process not a destination. Whether you’re saying goodbye to a relationship that’s ending, a child who’s gone off to college, a pet who has passed on, or a job you once loved, it takes time to fully acknowledge and appreciate all that has occurred. When we say goodbye, we never say goodbye to one person, one event, or one thing. We say goodbye to many experiences — the lessons learned, the challenges won and lost, the unfulfilled promises, or the unexpected joys. This takes time, patience, and a willingness to sift through and experience all of our feelings.
2. You must fully embrace the ending to create a new beginning. The best way to create the space for a great, new beginning is to fully participate in the ending. This means acknowledging “what was” with eyes wide open. I’ve learned to say goodbye with meaning and purpose by using the power of ritual. I couldn’t imagine moving out of my present home, for example, without taking the time to walk through every room with Michael, to reminisce about what happened there over time. The ritual of revisiting the memories (and the feelings), both good and bad, allows us to honor and appreciate the home we’ve been fortunate enough to share together.
3. Surrender to the sadness. In my youth, I spent enormous amounts of time and energy trying to avoid the pain of saying goodbye — resources that could have been put to better use. I’ve since learned to accept and embrace the sadness as a normal part of the process. After all, the sadness simply means that we’re experiencing the loss of something that held significance in our lives. It’s earned the right to pull at our hearts. If you allow yourself to go through it instead of working hard to go around it, you’ll save yourself a whole lot of energy. You can’t feel joy without cultivating the strength to feel pain.
There’s so much more to be said about saying goodbye, and this is simply my attempt at a start. I hope it helps you in dealing with an ending in your life. If the pain feels like too much, remember this: There’s a new beginning waiting to unfold. It’s just not time yet. When you fully honor what was, what will be, will be worth the wait.
~*~ Take Action Challenge ~*~
This week, do some kind of ritual that honors an ending in your life. Throw away paperwork from an old job, write your college-bound son or daughter a letter, light a candle for someone who has passed on, or put away photographs from a relationship that’s no longer in your life. Whatever you do, do it with love and intention. After all, your endings are just as important as your beginnings.
In the News
- Have a question for Cheryl? Call in during her live Internet radio show, Coach on Call, on Mondays at 5pm ET (2pm PT, 10pm GMT) at www.hayhouseradio.com. Simply dial (866) 254-1579 if you live in the US, or for international callers dial, 1-760-918-4300 after your country code. Cheryl discusses a variety of topics related to practicing Extreme Self Care and living a high quality life.
- We have a variety of unique life-changing gifts in our webstore at www.myextremeselfcare.com. You can have books personally signed for you or a loved one with a note of encouragement or support, include a hand-written gift card with your order, or find a special item to support your own self-care. There are heart ornaments, books, audio programs, lotions, and our popular Mesmerizing Oggz Egg (you need to see it to understand :). Check them out here: www.myextremeselfcare.com.
Life Makeover For The Year 2008 (sm) is written and produced by Cheryl Richardson. If you have any questions or comments, please send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org. © Copyright 1999-2008
Cheryl Richardson, P.O. Box 13, Newburyport, MA 01950. All rights reserved.