Anyone who knows me (I was going to say “knows me well,” but I'm not sure you have to know me well to pick up on this!) knows I tend to like to be in control of things — control of my time, control of my surroundings, control of my plans, control of how I feel, control of my relationships, and control of my career. Sometimes this extreme type A personality can be a strength, but just as often, it can make life more difficult than it needs to be.
When I try to make sense of the happenings in my life in the last year or so, sometimes I think it's the universe trying to teach me one big whopping lesson in the art of letting go — particularly letting go of the picture of what I thought my life was going to look like at age 34. If you had asked me just 6 years ago what I thought my life would look like, my answer would likely sound something like — I’m going to be a television producer, married with two kids, living on the West Coast, and making it back to the East Coast regularly to see my family (which I could have never fathomed would have been absent of my mother). Instead, I have since started The Sweat Life, am single with no children, still living in New York, and have lost my mother. While there is so much in my life to celebrate, and so much to be proud of, why is it that I still spend so much of my time dwelling on what is missing and what I am yet to achieve?
I know I am not alone in this tendency to focus on what is not vs. what is. We all do it, and we all suffer from it. We all dwell on things we feel are missing from our lives or things we feel we would like to improve — whether it be our relationships, our careers, our bodies, our health, or material wealth — in a society focused on ACHIEVING, it is very hard to appreciate what we already have just in front of us. Even I will admit, as I am sitting here writing this letter in beautiful Montauk where I am “taking the week off,” and in one of my favorite places on earth nonetheless, I have spent so much of this week fretting over my life, this company, and where everything is going. I have to consciously pull myself back and just try to let it go — not easy.
For me, meditation has been one of my greatest tools for quieting my chatty brain and getting me to let go of what I can’t control in my life. As I continue to work on letting go of things such as preconceived notions of what I think my life is supposed to look like, and instead being grateful for all that I do have — I have come to realize that I cause so much of the suffering and worry in my own life. It is only in these moments when I dwell on what is “missing,” what I am yet to achieve, and what I feel I could improve, that I feel true worry, stress, and often sadness. While I am not even close to getting to a place where I can let go of total control of things (and likely will never completely get there), just gaining the awareness that this is a recurring issue in my life that I must work on, has helped so very much.
Now, I am not saying that we shouldn’t always be striving to improve and be the fullest, healthiest, and happiest versions of ourselves. However, there is a difference between striving to be happy, healthy, and content — and beating ourselves up in order to do so. And that’s what this week is all about. Letting go of what we think we are SUPPOSED to be doing, and focusing on what truly makes us happy and fulfilled.
Our content this week is all about letting go: Pure Yoga meditation guru Karen Nourizadeh gives 10 tips to let go after the hurt of a break-up; celebrity chef Seamus Mullen talks about why we should let go of our love-hate relationship with "healthy" food; IntenSati founder Patricia Moreno demonstrates how we can find our best self when we are willing to let go of all the excuses; and both celeb trainer Tony Horton (creator of P90X!) and Electric Flight Crew co-founder Jonathan Patton show us why we should not be afraid to let go of "the gym" and get active in any way that makes us happy.
I challenge you this week to let go of one thing that is taking up negative space in your life. Let go of those 5 pounds that you don’t really need to lose, let go of your worries about money or the future. Maybe wear that favorite outfit more than once, relish in some alone time, and let yourself have that dessert you love so much. Whatever it is you have to let go of — pick one and try it this week — and share it with us!
Until next week,
Founder, CEO, and Host
The Sweat Life