Jan 06

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Releasing and letting go

I’ve been having a profound experience of releasing expectations for the past week.

On Jan. 1, I began participating in a weight release group.  Prior to the new year, we had made our plans about how we would begin adjusting our eating and exercise habits in order to honor ourselves and our bodies.  Mine had included going back to eating the way that I know works best for me – specifically, no white stuff (potatoes, wheat, sugar, etc.)

I know how my body feels best, but I’ve created a lot of head drama around why I can’t do it.  The biggest one is that if I demonstrate restraint in my food choices, people will judge me and they won’t like me.  Self-affirming stuff, huh?!?

So I made my food plan and my exercise plan; I built it in incremental steps so that I wouldn’t be overwhelmed by trying to do everything at once; I had my support system in place.  I was ready to go!

And then I got sick.  Really, really sick.  Four days later, I’m looking at least another day in bed…maybe two…maybe more (I shudder to even admit that).  I haven’t been this sick in a long time and it’s hit me like an 18-wheeler.

And you know what the only things were that I could keep down for several days?  White pasta and Saltines.  Exactly the things that I said I’d be cutting out of my diet.  And what wasn’t I doing?  Exercising.  Ha!  I can barely stand up for more than two minutes at a time, let alone exercise!

Until last week, I might have dreamed happy-place-dreams about having four days to lay in bed and get so much work done! Well, laugh’s on me because I have been able to do exactly nothing – I’m too tired, my eyes are constantly watering, and my brain feels like it’s full of scrambled eggs.

I’ve had to let go of my desire to be perfect and stick to the plan.  I’ve had to let go of my fear that if I don’t keep to the original plan, I’ll face certain failure.  I’ve had to let go of the idea that my weight release partners might judge me for not holding to the commitments I’d made.  I’ve had to let go of my judgment about having to redo my plan and start again.  I’ve had to let go of my need to be doing and accomplishing.

In short – I’ve had to let go of my need to be in control, and let my body take the lead.  As a result, I’m becoming so much more conscious of the pressure I put on myself.

This morning I had a phone call with my weight release group. They were so supportive and loving, I could have cried.

I’ll be honest – I’m willing to learn the lesson, but I’m also really hoping that God decides I’ve learned it well enough to get the heck out of bed sometime in the next day or so.

But the truth is that…

Today’s miracle: …right now I’m releasing far more than physical weight.


For more about releasing expectations and judgments, check out the book review I just posted for “F**k It Therapy” by John C. Parkin.

About the author

Leah Carey

Leah Carey is the Chief Miracle Officer of The Miracle Journal, where she writes about the large and small miracles that happen in her life every day. She is a life coach, speaker, journalist, freelance writer, and lover of life. In all of those pursuits, she works with people to identify what’s already right in your life so you can build an even more joyful and fulfilling daily experience from that foundation. You can find her on Facebook, , Twitter, and YouTube.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.leahcarey.com/themiraclejournal/2013/01/06/releasing-and-letting-go/


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  1. Maria Pawlowski

    I can relate to this post in several ways. “What foods are good for me?” is one of the questions I’m asking these days. I’ve begun to wonder where the varying pieces of information about food, diet, nutrition and exercise have come from. Some of it has been around for a long while and some of it is new. Like information in every field, it changes. Today I decided that I would like to do a little research on the origins of knowledge about food, diet, nutrition and exercise. Whoa…way too ambitious for me, especially considering all the other mental activities that make up my day and take up time. I figured I would let my search be guided by my understanding that each of us is unique and my belief (backed by my own life experience and learning) that what works for some doesn’t work for all. I’ve also found that what works for me at one time doesn’t always work for me at another time. (This led me to list all the ways and tools I use to find personal guidance, another extensive subject that could fill a book.) Oh dear, what a state this all brought me too, one which sort of forced me to remember that there’s just so much I can do at a given time. (Another book!)
    Anyway, I am currently at peace with the idea that I am in the process of exploring my personal needs, wants and issues around food and its accompanying factors in my life. IMHO, your post shows me that you are applying a considerable amount of wisdom and thought to your own relationship with food. I think it’s a great use of your downtime. Downtime isn’t all nice and fun but it sure does give us time to reflect and try to figure some things out for ourselves. I had a nasty bug in early December that required a lot of recuperation time. It got a little easier for me when I decided to see my virus as a living thing and talk to it about how I felt regarding its intrusion into my life.

    While I affirm the strength, power and wisdom of your body to heal completely, I also hope you will not rush your recuperation inordinately. Take your time. It is your time and it wants you to relate to it as such. Oh boy, how I’m going on! Take care. Thanks for the thoughtful post. You are brave in the way you put yourself ‘out here’ for us.

  2. Charlotte Welply

    Hi Leah
    When you’re ill like that it takes a strong mind to ask your body – What are you telling me? rather than to blame it for what is happening – well done!
    Hope you’re feeling better now and all the best for your weight release.
    Take care

    1. Leah Carey

      Thanks Charlotte! It’s now several days later when I finally have energy to respond and I’m finally really on the mend. 🙂 I appreciate your support!

  3. Leah Carey

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts Maria!

  1. The Miracle Journal | Making room on my plate

    […] on Jan. 3, I got sick.  Really, REALLY sick (Read the post – Releasing and letting go).  Some of you may remember me writing about being in bed for 10 days. And then another couple of […]

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