Letting Go and Moving On

Change is an integral part of life, a few moments reflection reminds us of some of the countless changes we have already experienced. Some have been transitions which come with the process of growing up – starting school, starting our first job, leaving home for the first time. Some will have been so gradual or minor that we only become aware of them when we look back. Others – getting married, becoming parents, relationship changes, redundancy, bereavement, are all major turning points. Uprooting and moving to a new place, which many readers will have done, is another. Even when the change is a positive one, something planned and looked forward to, a dream come true, we can be surprised at how unsettled we feel. And leaving behind something which has been a burden in some way doesn’t always leave us feeling as good as we might have expected. Whether sudden or long anticipated the result of events, the actions of others or of choices we have made, all significant transitions involve adjustment. We may feel uncertain, lost, stuck, and unable to move forward. We may try to hold on to what is safe, familiar, valued – even though in reality it has already gone. It can feel a bit like being on one side of a river, wanting to get to the other, unable to get back on to the bank, but clinging on for security -and so being on neither one side or the other.
 
Although the extent to which they are experienced will vary between individuals and with the nature of the change, such reactions are recognised as a normal part of the process of managing the endings and beginnings which are characteristic of transitions. Understanding this process can help to clarify where someone currently is on this journey. It involves recognising what might be holding them back, looking at what might be involved in letting that go and whether they are ready to do so. It might involve facing the loss of a person, a place, a role, or a stage of life which is over. There may be precious beliefs, hopes and dreams which must be relinquished. Leaving behind something which has been of importance can be painful; trying to avoid that pain is often what gets in the way of moving on. Facing that, recognising and honouring the significance of what is past and identifying what we have gained from it can enable us to let go. It then becomes possible to look afresh at the possibilities and opportunities that lie ahead, the resources we have and anything else we might need to help us move forward. We can then decide what the next steps should be and commit ourselves to taking them.
 
There are many tried and tested ways of helping people to identify what they need to do, what may be getting in the way, how to work their way through any blocks. These often involve relaxation and imagination. Methods such as writing, meditation, drawing, movement, guided imagery, can lead to new ways of seeing and help make it possible to do what is needed to move on.
 
Anne Dale will run the course “Letting Go and Moving On” from February 14th – 21st and again from June 6th – 13th at Cortijo Romero, in Órgiva, Granada. Spanish Residents get a 10% discount. See www.cortijo-romero.co.uk or call 958-784252
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