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Learn to Let Go of Painful Memories That Hold You Back!

Learn to Let Go of Painful Memories That Hold You Back!

One of the most popular movies of the last few years is the Disney film Frozen. It tells the story of a young witch princess called Elsa who is told to control her powers and lock herself away, so no-one knows who or what she is. She spends years locked away from the world. Because of her frustrations, her powers, instead of diminishing, only grow stronger as they are tied to her emotions.0*

Locked in her room, the years pass her by. One day (on her coronation no less!!) she finally snaps. She has to let it out, let it go. No matter what others think, she cannot be anyone, but herself. The song “Let it Go” is Frozen’s centrepiece and the central theme of the movie.

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Let it Go!

It is no wonder that this movie has resonated with so many people, children and adults alike, because don’t most of us keep big or small parts from ourselves locked away from others and even ourselves? And don’t we all wish we could just “let it go?”

What we lock away from ourselves are usually things we are afraid of. Fears, unwanted desires, traumatic parts of our history we claim to have forgotten. We lock all of this in a box which we hide in the depths of our being and go through our days pretending that what we don’t know and feel does not exist. We succeed for some time, but later all this unfinished business comes back to haunt us.

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An Identity Crisis

This is why beginning a journey to find ourselves and our true personality is hard for a lot of people, and too difficult for most. The start of the journey asks you to look inward, to open your box of fear and work through old negativity and pain. It asks us face your fears and deal with all the layers of conditioning you accumulated over the years. You have to reach your inner core, and the road to it can be long and painful To truly “Let it Go” we have to not only confront what we hide within, but also ask if our behaviours are truly ours. Is this who we learned to be over the years or is this who we really are?

Often our true identity gets “locked away” without us even noticing, because we want to be how we think other people that we love or respect want us to be. This is why many people face an identity crises later in life. They get to a point where they see half their life gone and have no idea where it went. They realise they have never (or rarely) done any of the things they truly wanted to do. They build so many versions of themselves to please others, they don’t know which one is their own. Often it’s the one they ignored the most. Which leads us back to that box of fear.

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Lamed Aleph Vav

In Kabbalah they speak of speak of the road you must travel to reach Lamed Aleph Vav, the 11th name of God and The Great Escape that banishes the ego – meaning our fears, learned behaviours and hidden emotions. We become a new person changed for the better. Well, you don’t have to join the Kabbalah to go on this journey. There is an easier way to reach this stage. But be aware, it takes time, so the most important thing is that you have to want it. To begin your journey, try the following steps

  1. Take a few minutes every day, that are just for you. Put on some music to help you concentrate, sit or lie down and slowly withdraw inwards. Look at the timeline of your life. Where and when did you begin storing things in your hidden box of fear and emotion? Why did this happen? Do you still agree with this?
  2. If not, look further inward to find the box itself. Take the box in your hands and open it. Pick out one item at a time. Focus on it, realise what it means and what you have to do with it. Now ground yourself, like a tree and LET IT GO. Feel it sink into the earth.
  3. You don’t need to go through every emotion at once. If you have a lot of pent up emotions and memories, stop after two or three emotions have been dealt with. You can come back to the box whenever you want to. Even if you have only a few issues to deal with, you may still need to do this a few times. But every time you do this, you will notice that there are less emotions to deal with. One day, the box will be empty.

“To exist is to change…To change is to mature… To mature is to go on creating oneself…Endlessly…” – Samuel Avital

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More by this author

Dannii Cohen

PsyD in Psychology, professional counsellor, life coach and self-help expert

Beautiful Ways Cremation Diamonds are Changing the Way We Remember Loved Ones How to Restore Your Hair in Under Five Minutes The Pros and Cons Of Hiring Writers To Write Your Essays 7 Tips To Avoid Procrastination And Boost Your Productivity Learn to Let Go of Painful Memories That Hold You Back!

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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