Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Letting Go for Health and Happiness

Sunrise - Letting Go

Life has proven intense of late with too many healthcare appointments, dreaded dental work, and double house maintenance and repairs.  And that’s just part of the picture.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that I have a problem with pushing myself beyond my personal limits.  As you can imagine, I’ve felt overwhelmed more than once in the last few weeks.  Nevertheless, the age-old urge to keep going, no matter what, kept nudging me over my line.

Fortunately, before too long, a strong voice arose:  “I cannot do this anymore.”

Chances are, I probably will and no doubt the re-balancing voice will revisit, stronger each time, to stop me once again.  That’s often how change occurs  – inching forward, inching back, leaping forward and repeat.

Whatever the process, I think it’s so important to be clear about our addictions, our impulses, and our edges.  So I offer you this question for personal reflection today:

Are you driven to repeatedly engage in a behavior that’s not really good for your health or happiness?  Is there a place in your life where you need to say, ‘I cannot do this anymore?’

September at Always Well Within

I felt so excited about the Mini-Mindfulness Challenge and still do.  I thought I could easily add a second short post each week.  But it may not be within my current capacity and given circumstances to write two posts every single week this month.  And that’s just the truth.

So here’s the plan. 

  • The Mini-Mindfulness Challenge will go on every Wednesday through September 24th.
  • My usual Sunday post will depend on whether I have the time, space, and energy to bring it together in a way that is worthy of your attention and doesn’t push me beyond my healthy limits.

The Challenge of Letting Go

I love writing for you so it’s not easy for me to let go.  And isn’t this the challenge we often face:  Holding on even when it detracts from our own health and happiness?  I’m also a Virgo and slightly obsessed with regularity.

But I know I wouldn’t be walking my talk if I were to keep pushing incessantly.  And, I’ve found, letting go of my personally created idea of “have to” usually eliminates half the stress.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be an article on the remaining Sundays in September.  In fact, I have a special guest post coming up for you in a few weeks.  But if I miss a Sunday or even more than one, you’ll know it’s because I’m listening to my body and taking good care of myself.  I suspect that’s something you’ll want with all your heart!

If it resonates, please takes some time to reflect for yourself on the question I’ve posed.  I would love to hear your thoughts on the challenge of letting go.  Tell me what you think in the comments.

P. S. If you feel stressed or know someone who does, my self-paced e-course can help –  Living with Ease, 30 Days to Less Stress.  This supportive, systematic guide to stress relief invites you on a journey of self discovery as well.  Learn more.

Thank you for reading!  If you have a moment, please help me reach others by sharing this post.   If you’re new, please subscribe for free updates by email.  With love, Sandra


Mini-Mindfulness Challenge: Smile


Mini-Mindfulness Challenge: Dispel Worry


  1. Sandra this is why I retired from a job. I had to let go of for my health. And I have been launching many other habits that are not good for my health which I am finally trying to recapture.

    • That’s so intelligent, Donna. I also love the idea of “launching” habits. It feels so freeing. I’m so happy for you.

  2. Jean Sampson

    Sandra, good for you for letting some things go! It is fine and when you DO post, we will enjoy whatever it is that you write because you are SO thoughtful and thorough in whatever you post. And besides that, it will be setting a great example for all of your readers! I am always seeing if there is something I can let go of——-sometimes it is quite a challenge! I do seem to have let go of most of what does not bring me happiness and joy——–and even the few things that I am still doing that are very stressful are still important enough to other people that they are important to me. I have gotten things the way I need them to be enough that the stress level is way down from what it used to be. Happens when you get old 🙂 🙂

    • Jean,

      You’re a wonderful model yourself! I’m amazed by how you’ve let go of most of what does not bring you happiness or joy. And, I think it’s OK to put other people first sometimes when you really care. That’s also a good example. Thank you. I’m so happy to know you.

  3. It’s so true Sandra, sometimes things creep up on us and before we know it we’re in a ‘have to do this’ space. When the truth is, no we don’t! I always love reading your posts and yes I’ll miss them. And, I’m happy that you’re practicing habits that bring greater well being into your world.

    I think what usually shakes me out of the ‘have to’ space is turning round and saying, I’m bored with this feeling. It’s just not helpful!

    Blessings, Elle

    • You’ve really hit the target, Elle! This all just sneaks up on us sometimes. And, you’re so right, the truth is we don’t “have to” most of the time. I know for myself it’s just an idea in my head. I agree, it’s not a helpful feeling and one I’m more than delighted to recognize and let go.

      At the moment, I can honestly say I don’t know what’s going to happen the rest of this month. I’m in the midst of tooth pain and it has its own ideas about what I should and should not be doing!

      Thanks for your kind words, Elle.

  4. Donna

    Hello. I’m a new person to your site and really enjoy how simple your posts are yet dense with meaningful content.

    My life…well. Could fill pages but I am a single working mom, financially on edge, no family left, turning 48 this week, have a 4.5 yr old healthy child who told me a few months ago that he was born into the wrong body and is actually a girl inside.

    And another book could be written about the angry narcissist alcoholic ex. Luckily, there is an ocean between us.

    I need to find a way to let go of resisting help from friends. Also, I need to find a way to stop feeling guilty about asking for help. I come from strong pioneer women and it feels contrary being in a position of vulnerability.

    Being mindful is new to me yet I’m finding it so necessary to making it through each day.

    So for me I need to let go and realize that “I can’t do this alone anymore.”

    Thanks for helping me journey this path!

    • Welcome, Donna! I’m so glad you’re here and find my posts helpful.

      I appreciate the challenges you’ve shared. Thank goodness the narcissist alcoholic is an ex. I’m sure your pioneer heritage has helped you in many ways, but it’s wonderful that you’re seeing where it might also be an obstacle. I think we can find strength in vulnerability too. It’s often said that giving and receiving is a natural flow and I feel your insight about allowing for more receiving is an important one. I hope this new awareness will help you link up with others that can support you on your life path – you deserve support.

      Thanks for sharing so openly.

  5. Sandra wow we are on the same page here, just last week I had a big aha re my business and my blog’s direction which means I must I need to let go and my body always knows- I have had a eye infection for the last week. Thanks for sharing- it makes so much sense
    Suzie xx

    • Suzie,

      Yes, we are! I have a toothache at the moment. It will be interesting to see how it unfolds for both of us. I fully, fully support you. All my love, Sandra

      • And even more so after I read your comment on Tess’s FB page tonight.

        My eye after 11 days and some tears today is finally healing- letting go 🙂 Need more lubrication than the drops

  6. Dearest Sandra,

    I can’t tell you how much I resonate with this…at least in my own way. It is why I stopped blogging altogether…for now. I had lost sight of what is true and real and “right” for ME. And I stress that this ONLY *my* story, *my* experience.

    I originally tried to keep up and push and push, and I tried to cut down and try different ways of doing it, as like you, I really LOVED writing and sharing (and still think I do). I even tried a variety of moderation methods of blogging and sharing, but none worked. I was getting sick, run down, and had to completely stop….FULL STOP. I had to “put the mouse down and step away from the computer”. Lol 🙂 It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I got hundreds of emails from people asking (and even demanding to know) why I wasn’t blogging anymore and I could not even answer any of those. The pull from it all was larger than I knew how to deal with or maybe wanted to have in my life.

    At the time, my website was rapidly climbing in the Google search engines and becoming extremely visible. In all outward appearances I was doing GREAT!! I would get over a million “real” visits to it, etc., etc, And yet, INSIDE, I was losing touch with a self and world and a reality that MOST dear to me. I had to stop. I knew it in my gut, but all the “ya buts” always came rushing in, and the thoughts like, “What about all those amazing people?” And, “All that incredible energy and sharing and love that goes on between us all? That is so amazing.” … etc.

    And then I started to feel down right crazy from it, almost possessed….and then I KNEW I had forgotten to LIVE who I really am (at least forgotten for a short time). I had lost touch with the grounded, very REAL, more private, creative, intimate, hands in the dirt, bare feet on the Living Earth life, Robin. So…I walked away from it all, cold turkey and did not look back.

    I stayed away from it until…#1 I knew 100% that *I* was in control again, and had cleaned out all the energy, all the pull, all the “shoulds”, all the “ya buts”, all the sense that I was “giving up something”, all the feelings of it being a bit like a frantic race with stats, and ratings and how many comments, and must reply, must respond, and must write, and must do more, and must and must and must, and how much and how many and how this and that, and so on….,

    and MORE importantly…. #2 that I had enough separation from the whole thing to once again breathe, be a total peace, and see and FEEL*very* clearly the truth and reality of it all for ME (just me personally, no matter how it was for anyone else, this was just ME that I was talking about, looking at). I had to get back in touch with what *I* needed and wanted in my life.

    Steve Appleton who is on Facebook wrote something to me when I “crashed” from it all, something that completely turned the course of my life around and set me back on a path of freedom. It was this: “Honor only that which serves YOU…right now.” When I read that I cried, and thought, “Can I REALLY do that?? Can I be THAT free? Can it be THAT easy?” And my whole BEING immediately said, “YES! You MUST be that free. You already know this.” So I began to live that in all areas of my life, and it completely changed my life and allowed me to be in society yet maintain my sovereignty. It allowed me to always return to ME, my fundamental core truth. It allowed me to stay true to myself against the often huuuuuge pressures we can all encounter in this culture, from family, through the phone (and must return every call or every email), our communities, our friends, our blogs, our jobs, the internet, and so on. I have learned there are no rules and no shoulds.

    I now know that if I am living a “should” I will fail, I will become ill, I will put Robin in bondage…. I learned that shoulds not only enslave ourselves but all that we feel we “should” for….

    ….It took me some time to totally clear out all the 1000s, hundreds of 1000s of connections and pulls and forces (albeit BEAUTIFUL forces coming at me every single day) and once again be totally in my body, LIVING the truth and reality of who I AM, and finally be at peace and removed from the pull and supposed demands of it all. So, now I can take it or leave it, and I feel far more present in the world, and with absolutely NO pressure about anything online. I am back operating from a place of what is it I want, as opposed to what is “right” or what I think I “should” do or be.

    I am working on a new website called “Through Wild Eyes”, and doubt I will have a blog on it, but I may occasionally write some new articles or sharings from time to time IF my soul and spirit feel COMPELLED to do so. I now feel calmer, freer, wiser, very grounded, taking care of my body and soul, and with both bare feet firmly planted in the Nature, my music (am performing again), and in my weaving, photography (doing prints for shops and galleries), writing again, gardening, and now living out of town. And when I am online I REALLY enjoy it, but the moment it feels too much pull or pressure or demand, I pull back for as LONG as I need.

    You dear one are a WISE, DEEP, HIGHLY SENSITIVE and AWARE soul, one I have always had the highest respect and love for. I applaud and savor your honesty in all that you do and are. And yes, I read many of your blog posts (although I rarely comment on ANY blogs anymore….right now, anyway), however….I support WHATEVER it is YOU choose to do and be. This is YOUR sacred life, YOUR sacred time, and you get to do with it what best serves YOU….right now. All those who truly love you see you as already free, and owing nothing.

    I love you, dearly, and your beautiful soul holds a very special place in my heart.

    PS: And you do NOT need to respond to this. It is long and I already know your most precious heart. I see you and love you….so much.

    • Dear Robin,

      You’re like an angel who appears in the right moment with the perfect message. I’m so deeply grateful for all that you have shared in your response to me. I’ve read it through twice so far and will print it out so I can read it again, no doubt several times, and also have it on hand for times of need, when that urge to push calls again.

      You story resonates so deeply for me. I don’t know what my true calling is at this point in time. Recently, someone told me that my role previously wast to be of service, but now it’s to be a steward (of the land). So that gave me lots to consider and I know I need to look where I’m holding on due to my attachments and unwillingness to let go or where I’m truly engaged in what I wish to be.

      I know it would help to let go of all the “musts,” “shoulds” and “have-tos” as you did and I could benefit from more quiet reflection and time in nature.

      You’re a tremendously courageous woman! Being able to cold turkey on your blog and internet activities is one sign of that.

      I feel deeply connected to you and love you dearly too. Your presence couldn’t have come at a better time!

      All my love, Sandra

      • Ohhh, my dear friend, I am in tears. Do you know why? Not only is your comment truly moving, ALL of it, but because you see me, you understand me. That is such a HUGE gift for me. To be seen and understood by one who I admire SOOOO much is very healing, very life affirming. When you said it took courage to walk away cold turkey, you brought closure for me. I think YOU, dear Sandra, are possibly the only one who sees and understands what I did and went through and how it was for me. And when I read your words I realized (and could claim, maybe for first time) that it DID take courage, but I didn’t know that at the time. I knew only that my life was in much a similar place as your right now, and that I was dead tired, run down, and reevaluating the direction of my life. I feel so much compassion and love for the truly DEEP, SENSITIVE woman that you are, SO WISE, and intensely lovely. All you’ve been through in your life has forged your character, your very soul. You are quality all the way. My heart is with you Sandra, no matter what you do with this very “interesting” internet world. I just love YOU, no matter what. The only “way” is your own unique way, whatever that may be for YOU. Thank you from my deepest heart for Be-ing. All my love to you. Always. Robin —-Please: no need to reply. You are already with me, and I with you.

  7. Sandra, as usual your post is timely. Just last week I decided to “let go” of the pressure of writing a blog post every week and concentrate my efforts elsewhere. I enjoy writing and will continue but without the pressure of a weekly deadline. Your post confirms that I made the right decision for myself.

  8. Love this post Sandra! I too have felt that ‘push’. Then the guilt for not doing enough. I like your thoughts on this. I’ve taken on a much more relaxed way of managing my time lately and it feels so much better. I definitely needed more creative fun time. Not just ‘saying’ it but following through. Thanks for this post girl, totally resonated!

    • Melissa,

      It’s so good to hear that you are taking an alternative route and finding a much more relaxed way of managing your time. I’m fully with you!

  9. Take care of yourself Sandra. We will be here waiting. I think it is true that we need to take care of ourselves and be aware of our impulses and addictions that bring us harm. I personally have a few that I have dropped the past few years and I am still working on others.

    I didn’t visit any blogs the past two days after I decided that I needed to take a two day break and get in touch with myself again. It was useful and I recalibrated myself and I am back with more energy and in a better place mentally.

    I hope you can do the same with everything going on in your life. I send positive vibes your way my friend.

    • I will, Sebastian! It’s a process, isn’t it?

      I’m glad you had such a wonderful break the last two days. It just so precious to take that time to get back in touch with ourselves.

      My dominant focus has been a toothache for the past few days and a trip to the dentist today. I’m so happy to pain is backing off for awhile. But, then we went to the warm pond and had the pleasure of watching the super moon rise over the ocean. I do my best to get some relaxation in like that everyday.

      Thanks for your positive vibes. I’m letting them soak in!

  10. Yes, listening to that re-balancing voice is very important! Last winter mine told me, clear as a bell, “it’s okay to rest.” I hadn’t realized how much stress had built up over the years!

    • Hi Meg,

      Yes, stress can really take us by surprise sometimes, can’t it! That’s happened to me too. I’m glad you had a clear, re-balancing voice giving you permission to rest.

  11. Oh Sandra I can totally relate to everything you say here. I find that it is much easier for me to let go of things that don’t bring me joy. When it comes to temporarily letting go of things I love, such as writing, it is much harder. This summer I had to go from two posts a week to one as I was overwhelmed with writing contracts. Letting go of that one post was so hard, because I love writing them and I feel an obligation to my readers. Trouble is I was making myself I’ll and my relationship with my partner was taking a back seat. Not good, especially for someone who writes about family relationships! Once I made the decision I felt so much lighter though. I don’t think my readers even noticed!!
    Sending healing thoughts your way. I hope your dental troubles are easily and smoothly sorted.

    • Dear Sharon,

      I understand how challenging it is to let go of something you love even though circumstances demand it. Letting go does make us feel lighter though, doesn’t it? Sometimes it’s just the best thing to do in the moment. Thanks for sharing your story. And thanks for your healing wishes. I have a few more weeks to go before I receive my dental treatment, but the tooth isn’t bothering me as much at the moment.

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