Some of us are ruminators who chew on a problem endlessly—often between 2 and 4 a.m. Sound familiar? Some of us are champion grudge holders, clinging to them for months or even years. Or maybe it’s a bad habit we’re trying to release, or a relationship that no longer serves us, or a painful memory from which we would just as soon move on. And sometimes our #$!% is physical, such as boxes in the garage or a storage unit. No matter what form it takes, baggage piles up. Here are ways to find sweet release.
1 EXPRESSIVE WRITING. Write for at least 15 minutes each day. Write only for yourself, not worrying about grammar, sentence structure, or any perceived audience. Just write down what’s bothering you, focusing on your feelings and any sensations that arise as you write. Then tear up the piece of paper and throw it out.
2 THROW TROUBLES OFF A BRIDGE. Shred up some leaves or grass to create organic confetti. Head for the nearest scenic bridge—even a little footpath will do. Cup the confetti in your hands, transferring whatever stress, worry, or grievance you want to unload, and scatter it into the wind.
3 MAKE LIKE A PIRATE. Take a small shovel and walk into the woods or along a beach. Dig a little hole, and with great intention, bury that sense of shame or the painful memory you want to release. Really visualize sticking it in there. Cover it back up with the sand or soil, tamp it down, and leave.
4 DIP INTO WILD WATERS. “Being near or immersed in wild water gives the opportunity to set an intention of cleansing on all levels,” says our editorial director, Kalia Kelmenson. She recommends thinking about what you want to release as you enter a body of wild water such as the ocean, a stream, river, or waterfall.
5 SCRUB OFF. If you can’t get to wild water, a hot shower or bath with a salt scrub can help you remove what’s troubling you. Remember that song “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair,” from South Pacific?
6 BLESS THEM AND SEND THEM ON THEIR WAY. Someone cut you off in traffic? Otherwise, annoying you? Send them blessings and send them on their way.
7 WRITE WITH INVISIBLE INK. Sure, go ahead and write a flaming response to an email or social media post. But don’t put it out there into the world. Delete it instead of posting it or hitting Send (be careful with this one!). Consider it a gift to yourself. You said your peace yet kept negative energy from flowing too far afield.
8 MAKE A CLEARING SPRAY FOR YOUR HOME. In her book Wild Beauty, Jana Blankenship suggests making a spray for your home or even your body to clear negative energy. She blends 4 ounces of distilled water with 20 drops of lime, 15 drops of eucalyptus, and 10 drops of white sage essential oils, and pours it into a 4-ounce spray bottle.
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