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  • Writer's pictureJenny

Releasing What No Longer Serves

We took a vote and this theme came out STRONG. In coaching we typically focus on forward movement and upwardly spiralic thoughts, behaviours and choices AND ALSO it is very hard to travel forward and up with a heavy, overly packed bag full of things that aren’t supportive to where we want to go. Release work ends up being quite a big part of the work I do with folks. The gift of release is a really important part of self development and healing.

We are allowed to release:

  • Past versions of ourselves

  • Stories about who we are

  • Behaviours and habits that don’t suit us

  • Jobs, people and places that no longer support us

  • Understandings of the world before we learned better

  • Thought patterns and belief systems that aren’t aligned with our core values

  • Limiting ideas about our potential and possibilities

We release to lighten our loads and we release to make space for better and more (even if, especially if, we don’t exactly know what that better and more may be). Sometimes the thing we would like to let go of is a really obvious one; one we’ve been aware of for some time or one that is particularly harmful or impeding. But other times the thing is quite subtle and small. I can confirm though, that subtle shifts and releases are just as potent as the big obvious ones. I should also point out that sometimes we are ready to release something that felt supportive or comforting at some point. The thing doesn't always have to be a bad or wrong thing. You may have just outgrown it.


There are 3 essential parts to releasing something and really the work of release begins way before the actual release happens.


Acknowledge

Process

Release


And OF COURSE there is a Tarot card for that (always).

I mean, there are many Tarot cards for this work but I’m going to focus on three.

The Chariot, The Hanged One and Death (don’t panic).


We can’t release what we don’t know is no longer for us. We can’t release what we don’t acknowledge as being something we’ve outgrown or something that is doing us harm. Sometimes its way easier than other times to look straight at a thing and know it’s no longer the right thing for us to carry and hold. Other times it can be a little inkling and a wee intuitive nudge. Sometimes we can see it so clearly and sometimes it takes time with a lot of circling around it before we can own it (both are totally right and part of our personal journey with things).

The Chariot is our 7th card in the Major Arcana and comes at the end of line one. It’s a jumping off point to a different level of work and so a natural stopping point to assess and reflect. What’s coming with me? What do I need to move forward? Is there anything that is holding me back? Is there anything that feels a bit ‘ick’ or ‘off’ (yes, ‘ick’ is a technical coaching term here at Shine Time Coaching). What are some ‘should’ that I am carrying around but aren’t actually mine to own? When we assess at this point we are really looking at what’s in our backpack. Our backpack is the vehicle that carries the tools, stories, belief systems, values, resources, hopes and dreams that we want to take forward with us. With this card we get to pull ALL the things out and check to make sure they are really for us.


Once we’ve acknowledged something we would like to release, we need to give ourselves some time to sit with and process it. There can be a bit (or a lot ) of grieving that can come from identifying something we are ready to release. There can be a variety of emotions that want to come forward (anger, jealousy, fear, worry, etc). This is all totally normal and GOOD. It’s the part that we often want to skip over though because feeling our feelings is haaaaard. No one really loves this part and that’s where The Hanged One comes in. It's a surrender card. It’s a feel, deal, heal kind of vibe. There is no release without this ‘surrendering to the process’ phase (sorry!). The Hanged One is the 12th card in the Major Arcana and precedes the Death card. My Tarot teacher, Lindsay Mack, refers to this card as the actual process of dying. She likens it to the trees in Autumn time when the leaves die on the trees. The leaf has died but the tree is still hanging on to it. It’s rarely a comfortable energy for anyone to work with. There is a lot of discomfort in processing feelings and emotions and wounding. It’s also the only way we can finally let something really go. Time in this phases can be super quick or it can be a longer process but the trick is that you don’t want to get stuck in this processing phase forever.


At some point we have to move forward to the actual Release part. It’s the opening up of our clenched fist and letting the thing slip away. It’s the tree finally releasing that dead leaf so that new leaves can bud and grow. Death is never truly the end. It’s the changing of something from one form to another. The trees know this. Butterflies know this. We, kinda, mostly, know this. Death is the 13th card in the Major Arcana and it’s really the final piece in the puzzle. It’s the transition from letting go of the things and seeing/feeling the space that has opened up. Death is a massive moment of trust. Trust that we are letting go of what we are meant to let go of and trust that once we do there will be space for bigger and better.


A few example of my own release (and space opening work) are:

  • I have (mostly) unpacked the idea that my body is wrong and unlovable and something to be fixed. I should spend all my extra time and energy on fixing this wrong body of mine. This has made room for more comfort in knowing that all bodies change, always, and that I’m worthy of love and good things no matter what my body is doing at any given time. My body is my home and I deserve to live peacefully with it.

  • Another story I have unpacked is that I am lazy, impatient and never see anything through. I can’t achieve greatness because I don’t complete anything the way I’m supposed to. This has made room for me to know that I am passionate about many things and keen to explore. Now that I have given myself permission to explore things I actually like (not just things I’m told I should like) and that are inline with my core values, I am more connected and dedicated to learning all I can.

Your turn lovely one! Is there something here that can get you started with a little release work of your own? And please don’t worry if you have to revisit these things a few (or many) times. My relationship with my body is a very complex one that has come about from a lifetime of stories and beliefs placed upon me by external sources (that became internal shit). I have to revisit this one A LOT. And also, each time I do, I pull a little piece of myself back in. I release a little piece of the bullshit with every cycle of work.


If this is something you feel ready to tackle but would like some support around it, I offer a really supportive 1:1 coaching programme that you can find out more about here.
If you feel a coaching informed Tarot Reading would help you gain some clarity around this, you can find out more about them here.
If you are looking to explore getting into Tarot work for yourself, you can find out more about my two Tarot courses here.


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