Imagine a balloon. Your favorite color balloon. This is no ordinary balloon – it is a vehicle that will whisk your cares away. You take the balloon into your hands, close your eyes, and imagine all the worries, concerns, anxieties and things that keep you up at night. Then you take a very deep breath….and blow ALL those thoughts into the balloon, where they will stay. You then tie the balloon and add a lovely ribbon, which allows you to carry it, as it is now like a helium balloon. You walk to a beautiful open spot, and, looking up, you say these words: “I release this energy. It is no longer part of me. I trust it will be taken away, creating a space for the answers to rush in and take its place.” And with that you exhale and release the balloon.

How do you feel? I am guessing that more than one person actually exhaled, that their shoulders fell and that perhaps a slight smile creased their lips. 

I have done this exercise before and it is always lovely. That is…until some time goes by and I find myself grabbing for that ribbon and pulling it back in. Maybe I feel I “forgot something”, or that it was a cute exercise but not reality. Or that this is really mine to deal with. Or even, on some level, that I deserve it. It may be a burden, but it’s MY burden. 

You don’t have to grab the ribbon. 

Life is about choices. You always have the choice to let it go…or to reel it back in. While it seems ridiculous that someone would “take it back”, it happens probably millions of times a day, all around the world. The reasons vary but the result is the same: You cannot let go of something until you actually let go of it. 

I remember having conversations with God, saying “I’m turning it over to you…whatever you mean to happen I am trusting.” And a minute later adding “well, except for this part…I’ve got this.” And I can unequivocally tell you that those times did NOT turn out well.

Letting go COMPLETELY is NOT easy. I had yet another lesson in this recently with my house hunting. A few years ago, I was frustrated and at my wits end, unable to find a place that was lovely and would allow a large, lame German Shephard. Tearfully I got to the desperation point where I had to let go and turn it over. I wrote down everything I needed, put it in an envelope, and said “Universe – this is yours. I’ve got no other ideas. Please help.” And I gave up. THE NEXT DAY I had a thought to look on Craigslist. I tried to ignore it, but it wouldn’t go away. And sure enough, there was an ad for an apartment that fit all my needs and then some. 

Armed with that knowledge, I thought I would circumvent all that angst this time around when I decided it was time to move again. So, I wrote up my list and told the Universe to do its thing. And then I started going to open houses every weekend. And watching my Zillow app very much like this SNL skit. In essence, I had released the balloon…and then grabbed the ribbon, just in case I could do it myself after all. 

After 5 months of this nonsense, I was DONE. I was burnt out, I had no idea where I was going, had no prospects, and knew I had exhausted my options. The last weekend we went out to open houses, I vocalized these words to another person: “This is it. I am done. If we don’t find something this weekend, I will walk away and find another place to rent.” 

It didn’t even take a day.

The last house we saw was perfect: a cute cape with a perfectly fenced-in yard and room for all my stuff. I didn’t want to allow myself any hope, as it had been dashed so many times before. But this felt different. And sure enough, it was. Looks like I’ll be moving after all!

There is letting go….and then there is the REAL letting go. When you are willing to walk away and not look back. When you are DONE. That is when the magic happens. That is when the void is created to allow the solution to rush in. 

Blow up that balloon and let it go. Wish it well on its journey…and walk away. The prize – the answers, the relief, the gift – is just waiting to come on in when you allow it.