Week #27 – “Let the balloon go…” (What are you holding on to?)

"Let the ballon go..."  (Photo credit: Grace Church)

“Let it go…” (Photo credit: Grace Church)

Week #27 – “Let the balloon go…” (What are you holding on to?)

I want to be honest with you…last week was a pretty tough week for me.  My birthday is not always my favorite day of the year — and because Rob and I were born so close together, this was the first birthday I ever celebrated without him.  It was hard to grow a year older knowing he won’t ever catch up…and all the while I heard his voice in my head saying, “Let the balloon, Grace.  Just let the balloon go…”

I spent a good many of my adult years worrying over things…real things, made up things, hypothetical things, future things, past things, never-gonna-happen things.  Dr. Suess’ book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” did little to prepare me for “Oh, the Things You Can Worry About!”

This drove Rob crazy.  A) Because when I was with him I was supposed to be having the best time ever (how could you not?)!  And B) Perhaps it was because his spirit was wise beyond his years and knew that time was short.

As I started to grow up and deal with my worry, I read about a technique that was good for those 2am worry sessions: you imagine the worries you are holding as helium-filled balloons.  And one-by-one you release them and visualize them floating high up into the sky.  I must’ve shared this with Rob at some point — because he knew when I was holding on to a “worry balloon.”  And he would often say to me as he watched me drift away in concern, “Let the balloon go, Grace.  Just let the balloon go.”

Do you have things you are holding on to today that you want to let go?  Anger, resentment, grief, loss, a mistake, a regret, a secret, or simply a missed opportunity you are punishing yourself over?  Or maybe it’s physical things like clutter that is standing in your way…or toxic relationships that are holding you back?

Your assignment for this week: What better time than the first days of Spring to open up space for new possibilities?!  This weekend — find a release ritual to help you “let those balloons go” and open your hands to new and exciting possibilities.  Here are some ideas:
(But whatever you do PLEASE DO NOT release real balloons into the air…they are only a metaphor!  And otherwise very bad for the environment!)

  • Write it down – then burn it (safely please, I don’t want to worry!), flush it, float it out to sea, send it down a river, sink it in a lake, or bury it in your garden.  Write your NEW intention on a fresh piece of paper and keep it front and center as something for you to build on, rather than something that tears you down.
  • Throw/Give it away – I’ve been decluttering my space and it’s been helpful to keep a tally of how many items I’ve thrown away, and in some instances even take photos of those items (and share them only with the closest of friends).
  • Love it — enough to let it go!  Sometimes the last thing we need to do to release something is to love it, to accept it, to acknowledge its importance, and to be honest about its role in our future.

They say to love something is to set it free.  I remind myself of this over and over as I cling tightly to the memory of my brother…knowing full well I must open my hands so that they are free to do my best work: the work of Happyness!

On this — the first day of Spring — what “balloons” do you need to let go of this week so that your hands are free to do YOUR best work?

Spread Happyness — “Let those balloons go!”  And share your Release Rituals in the comments!

3/20/15 by Grace Church
© Grace Church

10 thoughts on “Week #27 – “Let the balloon go…” (What are you holding on to?)

  1. Ted Aanensen

    Dear Grace
    My Friday morning ritual is to check my email, scan headline news and then read your blog. Every Friday you bring something new or old to me. Today you struck both an old and new chord. I tease folks and tell them that I used to be taller and have more hair but life and worry have worn me down. Only the later is true, I never have been tall. Anyway my mom had a great solution for worry. She would tell me to “Pretend you are a bag of sand Ted and slowly let the sand flow out of you and let it take the worries with it. From the top of your head to your toes, just feel the sand gently draining out” It actually worked quite well
    Now I try to see my dad every day. Somedays at 94, he has concerns and is anxious ( as am I for his health and welfare), I ask if he is worried, and in his rough and raspy laugh smiles at me and says” What me worry” Amazing how that silly expression coming from his lips pushed the worry away for another day
    Thanks for the reminders, Happy Birthday Grace, may the coming year bring you Peace and good health.

    1. Grace Church Post author

      Hi Ted! Thank you so much for making SH a part of your routine! Time is valuable…and it’s my sincere hope that the content is worthy of every second that is spent here! As a fellow beach-dweller…I love your description of sand draining out of a bag. Not only can I feel the release…I can feel the weight lifted! I love that this blog has brought up memories of your mother to you…perhaps she and Rob are spending some time together! Thanks again, Ted…I always look forward to your thoughts, shares, and feedback!

  2. Marlo

    First of all, that’s a great photo of Rob! I am going to try your idea because I worry way to much. You know its bad when your 12 year old tells you to just let it go. I have learned that I cannot control most things that happen and for me personally I have to take one day at a time because looking into the fututre is just to overwhelming….
    Love u SIL

    1. Grace Church Post author

      Hi Marlo…thank you, as always, for following along and sharing your thoughts every week! It was helpful for me to learn that worry is often rooted in imagined disappointment…meaning, we worry about things NOT going our way (rather than worry what will happen if something good comes along!). Learning to make peace with disappointments was a linchpin for me…the phrase “this may not work” freed me up to admit things might fall short, but to try anyway and look for the good that comes out of it. Much easier said than done…I know! XOXO, Grace

  3. JoAnn

    Every week I read your blog and every week I am reminded how amazing life is and can be. I definitely have spring cleaning to do in many ways. Clutter, goodwill, issues that I worry about, etc. This weekend I am going to clear my clutter, give away things I don’t need anymore and throw away the worry. Life is all about being happy with who you are, the people you are with and the life you live. Thank you for reminding us every week to stop and look around in the life we are in. Sometimes we tend to be so “busy” looking for other things, more things, better things, that we miss out on the great things that are in front of us. <3
    Happy Spring!

    1. Grace Church Post author

      Thank you, JoAnn! I love what you said about taking time to “stop and look around at the life we are in.” I might quote you on that down the line! 😉 And thank you for following along and checking in every week! I so appreciate knowing that Rob’s life continues to touch other people’s lives! HAPPY SPRING, Surfer Girl!

  4. anne wright

    It is so funny that the one thing I need to let go is the one emotion I had trouble expressing. ANGER. I received a call today, at the office, about a person who has caused much tumolt in my life. I felt sad. I felt shame. I felt a lot of fear. But, not anger. Anget always felt like an out of control emotion.

    Years ago I did “Stress Reduction’ events. At the conclusion I would ask participants to write whatever that is causing them stress on a peice of paper. As they were leaving they were asked to drop it in the wastebasket only if they were truly prepared to leave it behind

    A bonus was that after I did the season I was so relaxed I was able to drop a peice of paper in the can. I too released the chains of things that played havoc in my life.

  5. carol h

    Hey Grace, this grabbed me because I worry about everything and everyone. I’m not sure I can the balloons go but I will certainly try. Thank you for your beautiful words and insights Every week. Happy Birthday Grace .

    1. Grace Church Post author

      Awe…Carol! Thank you so much for following along and chiming in! I know you do a lot to take care of everyone…I hope you can take some time to take care of yourself, too! Happy Friday…and Happy Spring!


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