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  • Amanda Barry

The Life-Changing Magic of....Letting Go

I’ve experienced quite a few big changes in my life over the last 12 months. I got divorced, moved house and finally cleared out a lifetime’s accumulation of stuff. All these things have had me saying goodbye to what has been. Sometimes this has been easy, sometimes hard. Clinging to the familiar is a habit that can be hard to break, even when the thing we are clinging to keeps us focused on our past rather than our future.

What I’ve learnt though is that by letting go and allowing myself to step into the unknown, as scary as that has sometimes been, positive things start to happen. For me that has meant finding a wonderful new place to live, enjoying a clutter-free home and a new freedom to follow my own path. For you, who knows, but I can guarantee while embracing change is not always comfortable, it will open new possibilities not available to you if you stay with the status quo.

The Buddhists say we must practice non-attachment to prepare us for the ultimate letting go at the end of our lives. It’s a great principle yet difficult to master, particularly when the letting go relates to habits and ways of living that are familiar, even if they are keeping us stuck in unhelpful patterns or behaviours.

The Climate Emergency is demanding a major letting go of many of our modern habits and ways of doing things. Travel choices, the types of food we eat, the stuff we buy…. many of these have associated carbon emission levels that are no longer sustainable.

While letting go of business as usual and trying new things is certainly a challenge, I’ve discovered unexpected benefits of doing things differently. Car sharing allows for great conversations and connecting with new people; walking or cycling instead of driving promotes fitness and eating a mainly plant-based diet helps fight the flab.

While these changes are of course hopelessly small and insignificant in the face of the changes needed to reduce global emissions, when we act together, positive change is not only possible, it’s a certainty.

I’d love to hear about the changes you’ve been embracing – and what have you discovered as a result. As the title of Greta Thunberg’s collection of speeches says - No One Is Too Small to Make A Difference. I believe her. Do you?

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