The mind is a funny thing. In many ways it serves us and grows with us through our experiences, allowing us to embrace change and recognize the positive. However, the mind can also be a silent buzz kill and hinderance to growth in kinda sneaky ways in how it can keep me quietly stuck in parts of my past that are ready to be released. But I see it and I’m responding; so this is a letter to myself, giving me permission to release what’s no longer for me.
This particular growth curve I’m in right now began a few months ago when I was informed by my spa director Calli that our storage unit that I use for both my business and my personal life was closing, so we’d be downsizing to a new space. And that’s all great, except my storage unit was packed to the edges with stuff from my former lives. In this storage unit was a sprinkling of several different lives; there was furniture and decor from my spa before we did our remodel last year, there were boxes of intake forms from when I first opened my business in 2003, there was furniture I inherited from my parents, furniture I’d collected and loved over the years and boxes of winter clothing from when I was obsessed with lululemon and I weighed 100 lbs. As you can see, such a space was ripe for self reflection, healing and letting go. And this letting go came in phases.
Phase 1: letting go of my old business
When I first opened my day spa Align in 2003 I didn’t have much money. I took out a $45,000 line of credit from the local bank (which I talked my way into) and I maxed out about $25,000 worth of credit cards, but I did it. And along with that version of the spa came various pieces of furniture and nik naks that still give me sentimental feeling. So during the summer of 2016 came phase 1 of that letting go. With the help of my spa staff, we emptied out all the old furniture from the storage unit and we hosted a parking lot garage sale. I saw pieces of furniture go that I’d had since before college and I’d used as spa decor, and I saw pieces of furniture that I remembered paying a lot of money for at the time I got them be released for under $20 and I’d cringe. But the irony was that I literally didn’t need these items anymore, yet I was still having a hard time with the letting them go. We’d just redecorated and redesigned my spa, making these items obsolete, yet it often felt like pulling t teeth parting ways with those pieces of my past. But once all the items had found new homes and the storage was a little less full, it felt good.
Phase 2: letting go of an old versions of myself. So once upon a time when I’d knocked my front teeth out and had to wear a removable retainer with teeth on it for 9 months, I lost a lot of weight. I was single during that time so in order to make the best of this experience of losing my teeth, I took up yoga and acquired a new expensive winter wardrobe primarily from lululemon. And this new wardrobe was cute, flattering and wonderful until I returned to my normal body weight. So this winter wardrobe from 2011 Harriet was waiting for me to go through this trip and decide what stays and what goes.
So I collected 4 bins of clothes and took them to my mom’s house and tried them all on. I reminisced about particular experiences or people that each piece of clothing brought up, and I did my best not to beat myself up that the clothes from 2011 Harriet just didn’t fit 2018 Harriet anymore. And did I want to go through the trouble of seeking a value for each and putting it up for sale? No. That’s where part of the growth and acceptance were; in letting go of the items, I was letting go of what I paid for them and letting go of who I was when I bought them. And as I watched the 4 bins get packed up into my spa director’s car in order to be released for free to my spa staff, I began to feel grateful for all the space I’d just opened.
Phase 3: release of my cold weather self.
I used to have a story that I hated warm weather and I couldn’t wait for cold weather. And now that I’ve been living in Costa Rica for nearly 6 years, it’s time to take a look at that story. What cold whether did for me was allow me to bundle up, adorn, protect and cover myself, but I’m seeing now that’s not what I want anymore. I enjoy tank tops and loose and flowy warm weather gear, and that’s strange to even write down given how deep my old story was about my preference for the cold. However the last 2 weeks as I’ve frozen my ass off occasionally, I’ve really gotten clear that I’ve grown out of my preference for the cold and I’m saying thank you to the warm weather that’s been reshaping me.
So these ah ha’s and released of clothing and beliefs may not seem like a big deal, but for me they’ve truly felt like a game changer. An acceptance of who I am now, and a release of who I was with gratitude. So this is a permission to be myself and release the me I’ve outgrown.
More stories coming soon.