While many of us would rather have our toenails plucked out than listen to another rendition of ‘Let it Go’ from Frozen, Queen Elsa did have a point when she sang ‘let it go, let it go, turn away and slam the door.’ But sometimes, it feels impossible to shift out of negative thought patterns, whether it be replaying an argument (where your replies are far more snappy and effective), holding resentment over an incident or someone’s behaviour, or the lingering ick when dealing with unpleasant colleagues and/or family members. We know we’ll feel better once it’s all cleared out, but with how being the question, here’s a simple ritual that can bring powerful results when you really need to let it all go (and slam the door).
What you’ll need:
A fireproof container
A paper and pen
A lighter or matches
A location outdoors or where there’s good venilation
The first step is to set yourself up in a quiet place. You might like your favourite music playing, candles lighting, or incense burning. You want to feel relaxed and comfortable before you begin the ritual.
Next is grounding and intention setting. To ground, sit or ensure your feet (with or without shoes) are firmly planted on the ground. Take in a few deep breaths, and as you do, visualise roots growing from the soles of your feet and weaving their way into the earth below. As they wind their way through soil, stone, and around boulders, imagine Mother Earth’s cleansing, protective energy travelling back up those roots and filling your entire body. Take a few minutes with grounding; on its own, it’s a great daily practice.
Intention forms the most important part of any ritual. Going into ritual without a desired outcome is pointless as the energy won’t have focus. Ask yourself how you want to feel once the unwanted energy is released; calm, confident, serene, focused? Perhaps an emotional disconnect, or more clarity on how to deal with the situation. Either way, visualise the outcome and use this as a focal point. Try to summarise it so you can quietly recite the mantra while the paper is burning. 'I am' statements are ideal; 'I am free of resentment', or 'I am no longer hurt by X's actions'.
Now it’s time to write. At the top of your page write ‘What I release’ and once ready, get that ink flowing. What you write can take any form. You might wish to document the entire event, how it made you feel, what you wish you could change, or which aspect of the situation needles you most. If the situation involves just one person, you could consider writing what you have to say in the form of a letter. Regardless of what format it takes, the idea is to get what’s inside out and onto the page, so even it’s just a bunch of random sentences, bullet points, or a list, that’ll work too.
When you feel that everything you need to say is on the paper, fold it in three. Close your eyes, and with the paper pressed between both palms, inhale deeply. On your exhale, visualise all the negativity surrounding the situation gathering in your body, pouring down your arms, into your palms and soaking into the paper. Repeat as many times as you feel necessary, enjoying the sensation of the prickly, spiky energy leaving your body as the paper soaks it all up. Remember your connection to earth, and with each inhale, draw from its power to drive all the negativity out of your being and into the paper.
When you’re ready, open your eyes. The next step is to burn the paper, but before you do, regardless of how the people/person may have hurt you, sending out thoughts of harm is a big no-no. Instead, imagine them wrapped in a ball of white light, where any negativity or ill-will they send your way dissolves around them harmlessly and can’t invade your space ever again.
It’s time to burn the paper. Outdoors works best, and if that’s not possible, pick a place with good ventilation. Over the fireproof container, light the paper and allow it to burn fully into ash. Don’t worry if it goes out and you have to relight it, just ensure the entire page burns to ash. As it does, watch the flame eat the paper, knowing that it consumes the negativity you poured into it. Recite your mantra if you have one, but otherwise, think about what you’re releasing and how space has now been created for better to come into your life.
When the ash has cooled, you can dispose of it in a number of ways. At home, you can flush it away with water in either a sink or the toilet. Away from your home, you can throw the ash to the wind, tip it into a running stream, or the sea.
A word of warning. Be conscious of polluting water and or food sources for wildlife when you dispose of the ashes. Also, because you want the ashes and the negativity they hold removed from your space, don’t tip them in the trash at home. Running water from a sink or toilet will sweep them away from your premises, but if you throw them into your bin inside or at the kerb, the negativity remains in your space. If you can’t access an area where you can throw them into the wind, then find a public disposal facility and leave them there. The point is to have the ash safely and considerately taken away from you and your home so the negativity is removed entirely. Burying the ash isn’t recommended either, as burying promotes growth, which could undo your work.
I couldn't resist . . .
You’d be surprised how cathartic this release ritual can be, and it can be repeated as many times as you feel necessary, as long as you don’t send out harmful energy with it. For extra magical juice, consider working with the moon for your release rituals. New Moon energy promotes fresh starts, reboots, and intention setting, while the waning gibbous phase, (just after a Full Moon) has your back for releasing, clearing out, and letting go.
If you try this ritual, I’d love to hear your experience. Did you find writing about the situation overwhelming? Did it stir anxiety, or did you feel empowered? When the ritual was complete, what new emotion filled the space cleared out? Did you find yourself feeling more confident, stronger, clearer in mind? Perhaps you have your own release ritual you’d like to share? I’m always up for a chat, so reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s have a natter.
If there’s a topic you’d like to see featured in the blog, or have a subject you’d like to chat about as a guest blogger, let me know. Our creative community is wide and deep, so don’t be shy about sharing your experiences and wisdom!