- michelle m. davis
Letting Go to Be
Sometimes we feel off, burned out, or unable to uncover the root cause of what’s no longer in alignment. Nothing may be physically wrong, yet we’re stuck, uninspired, or merely going through the motions. We still accomplish everything required of us, but it’s as though we’re not all there; we’re simply checking items off our list. Our vibration is low, and we don’t know why.
Often, we try to fix this sensation by working harder, sleeping less, exercising more, altering our diet, or taking on additional responsibilities or projects. It’s as though we believe doing more will help us regain the flow and ease missing from our life.
This is how I felt the past several months. At first, the sensation was subtle. I figured it was due to time changes, having traveled back and forth to the east coast twice. But then I started having trouble sleeping. I’d wake up in the morning, unrested, but went through my day, determined to accomplish my goals. Despite not being one with my body, I pushed ahead, focused on writing blogs, articles, newsletters, and social media posts. Recently, I was asked to write for a local magazine, High Desert Living. While this was an exciting opportunity, it was also one more deadline. Suddenly, I found it difficult to find time or energy to put into my next book. I was stuck. I couldn’t find the joy in playing with plot, theme, and character development. But I figured it was normal. Don’t all authors complain of writer’s block from time to time?
For many years I thought I should work hard—in everything I did—at all times. However, this philosophy shifted six years ago when I started digging deep within. The more I examined my belief systems, the more I realized that when the words should and work appear, it’s time to pause. It’s not that striving to excel is wrong, it is the motivation, the “why,” behind it that’s important.
In essence, I had forgotten this “aha” and had fallen back into an old operating system. Therefore, I had to unravel why this happened and then figure out how to change it in order to find that beautiful balance once again. When I paused to examine the situation, it suddenly became clear how I’d lost my alignment.
This past spring, knowing I’d soon be publishing two books, I felt as though I should make shifts to lay a foundation for promoting both novels. After all, everything I read stated the importance of social media and expanding how I presented as an author. Naturally, I followed the experts’ advice. I began an entirely new publication – “elevater”—where I highlighted individuals who’ve inspired me. I felt honored to share these people’s stories, as they impacted me in my journey. Additionally, I sent quarterly newsletter to let readers know what I’ve been doing as well as what’s next in the horizon. Plus, I worked with a talented individual to up my social media game, committing to increase my presence on Instagram and Facebook. Still, posting on social media felt inauthentic. Nevertheless, I believed I should be doing it. After all, if I wanted to be a real author, shouldn’t I do what real authors do?
However, as much as I worked on doing all of this, something was wrong. There was no ease or flow in my life. However, I didn’t heed the warning signs. Instead, I ignored the clues and tried even harder, set higher bars to reach, not only professionally, but also my daily life as well. I kept up with my astrology studies, listened to endless podcasts, and read countless online articles. I signed up for yoga teacher training, and I scheduled multiple activities, perhaps unconsciously hoping to find what was missing.
But then, during a session with my brilliant coach, everything surfaced. I resented those tasks I felt I should be doing because they kept me from what I love—writing books and blogs. Only then did I realize I’d stopped journaling, a practice I’ve enjoyed for years. What I thought I needed to do as an author was suddenly controlling my life. Instead of expressing myself through the written word, this art became a chore. I had fallen out of alignment, out of love, not only with my work, but also with my daily habits. In the process of ignoring myself and my body’s messages, I jumped onto a train of doing, never stopping to get off at a station to rest and just be. I’d lost my inspiration, my ease, my flow. I fell out of alignment with my true self, my purpose, my reason for being.
I know this experience is not uncommon. It happens to many of us throughout our life. Perhaps it’s meant to be a red flag to stop and reassess what is important, what is necessary to move us along our path. It’s through these situations that we grow. It’s how we reestablish our goals, refine our practices, and streamline our efforts. It’s like a recalibration of sorts.
When I stopped doing in order to be and assess, it was no surprise what I wanted to eliminate—social media posts, “elevater” of the month, and newsletters. Yes, these were all good intentions, but at this time in my life, they were not propelling me forward. The energy they required came at a cost. Additionally, I streamlined my morning toolbox—the routine I do before I begin my day. I kept the practices that most served me—meditation and journaling—and released the rest.
While I still plan to use social media to post blogs and news about upcoming books, I’m taking a break from other activity. Maybe this is a mistake, but it feels right. Likewise, as much as I enjoyed sharing my “elevaters,” these newsletters require a lot of energy, and right now, I want to put my effort towards writing novels and blogs. I’m thrilled I was able to share several elevaters’ stories, but for now, this project is on hold.
The funny thing is that as soon as I made this commitment to change, I immediately began to feel lighter. In fact, I stopped craving unhealthy foods, slept soundly, and found ease with writing. I even lost several pounds. Deciding it was OK to release what was no longer necessary allowed me to fall back into alignment. And I suspect that during the next weeks, I’ll discover more ways to narrow my focus, let go of unnecessary tasks, create new goals, and commit to habits which help to guide me toward my purpose.
Maybe it all comes down to listening to our bodies, following our intuition, being true to ourselves, and showing up authentically. While others may find success in following prescribed methods for promoting their writing, I now know this system is not for me. By releasing the shoulds in my life, I’m rediscovering the spark. Maybe it didn’t totally go out. After all, when there’s not enough air to breathe, how can a fire thrive? That’s why I felt compelled to create space—to allow unforeseen opportunities to present. Yes, it’s difficult to let go. But if we want to invite in what can help us expand, we must give up certain elements in our life.
The process of releasing what once served us but no longer does is all part of elevating, growing into who we are meant to become. Every experience of our life benefits us in some capacity, whether it’s taught us a difficult lesson or provided an opportunity to prosper. However, we cannot carry it all with us as we move forward. We must decide what to surrender.
Trust, allow, let go … so you can elevate and lead your greatest life.