Women’s History Month and Social Work Month are here, along with Spring. Let’s celebrate the women in our lives and the world that have helped make a difference.
Some women to celebrate are Social Worker Martha Sharp and her Unitarian Minister Waitstill Sharp. They used a variety of aid networks to smuggle about 125 Jewish people out of Nazi-occupied France and Czechoslovakia. Polish social worker Irena Sendler created a network that hid 2,500 Jewish children, helping them escape certain death in Nazi concentration camps. Social workers worldwide continue to support children of war, communities, families, individuals and many social concerns.
Letting Go: Springing Forward
When March comes around, I remember a class project creating a calendar for each month and noting how March has two seasons in one month, shifting from winter to spring. I found it an exciting time of shedding and rebirth. The saying, “it comes in like a lion and out like a lamb,” struck me as a strong symbol to remember the change. What do you think of this time of year?
One aspect of rebirthing and coming out anew is letting go. In the Curious Voyage, there is an exercise called Washing Your Hands which is a powerful process of letting go. Try it here and let me know what it is like for you.
Letting go can be very scary if we don’t know where we will land. This is a quandary for today because there is so much uncertainty. For some people, I have found they need to develop a sense of self before they can let go of old habitual ways of being. I think of it like building a new house, laying the foundation, going to work on it but still living in the old familiar house. Eventually, I have enough created, and I feel connected enough to move. A shift happens. This shift happens both emotionally, conceptually and physically—something changes in our bodies as well as our minds and spirits.
Here are a few tried and tested steps you can embrace to let go:
Talk it Out: We heal in community. Give yourself permission to talk through with caring, trusted people what is feeling heavy and hard to let go.
Cultivate Mindfulness: Spring is a beautiful time to walk slowly and notice the birth and growth around us. Bring yourself into the moment by noticing the sounds around you, the beauty, the smells, touch the earth or spring waters, for starts. Sometimes setting an alarm at a specific time of day as a reminder is an excellent way to start the habit of pausing and connecting.
Invest in the future you: Set a mental image of a state of being you would like to grow into. For example, I would like to be more patient. As I imagine myself in that state of being, I get distracted. It is hard to be that way right now when__________ . So maybe a small step toward that is to explore my current frustration. Get creative and choose something for yourself. Something you can stretch toward. Plan a small action each week to help you move in that direction.
Parting Thoughts: Letting go requires time, patience, practice, conscious decision-making, and consistency.
That being said, by following the right strategies, you can let go and move forward to embrace and enjoy new relationships, experiences, and opportunities.
As I mentioned above, think of it as building a new house, laying the foundation, and building one brick at a time.
By following the right strategies, an emotional, conceptual, and physical shift will happen before you even realize it. It will bring about a positive change in your mind, body, and soul, empowering you to move forward.