From Raleigh, NC to Massachusetts - a journey marked by change, transition, and rebirth. That's the story I share in this heartfelt episode.
Remember the tumultuous feelings that come with significant life changes? I do. I walked that path, grappled with the emotions, and emerged on the other side with a new perspective and a renewed love for life. This episode is for anyone standing on the precipice of a life transition, feeling the storm of emotions, and seeking a way to navigate through it.
Through my experiences, we traverse the four stages of letting go and moving on: shock and denial, anger, acceptance, and forward motion. Together, we dissect these stages, learning to focus on the facts, manage our emotions, and avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms. The episode culminates in understanding how the art of letting go paves the way for individual growth. We discuss practical steps and valuable resources to help you embark on this journey. Strap in for a deep-dive into emotional resilience and personal growth. After all, when we learn to let go, we also learn to grow.
Every day, I felt these big emotions around the change we're about to make and what it meant for me and for my family. Now, logically, I knew that letting go and moving on from a life we'd known for 18 years was actually a pretty good thing for us. It was time for a new adventure. Welcome to intentionally curious. I'm Jay, known socially online as the empty nest coach. I help empty nesters and midlifers learn to fall in love with their lives, and I'm doing it one episode and one client at a time. I believe life doesn't end in our 40s, 50s and beyond, and I'm here to remind you. It's your life, live it. So glad to have you here for episode 85, where I'll dive into the art of letting go and moving on. It's the one major skill you need to learn so that you can more easily fall in love with your life again after a challenging transition, a job, career change, breakup, the kids growing up, and moving on. Whatever it is, whatever it might be. For you, letting go and moving on is an art and once you learn how to do it, any challenging transition you face in life will become easier. Underneath, any challenging life transition is well basically a sea of emotions. And before I go any further, let me normalize that for you Right. First, there is a sea of emotions on the daily, and big transitions seem to bring those emotions crashing into your life like waves at the beach, you know, just like where you can't get your legs underneath of you or catch your breath. You're not alone in having big feelings, especially when you break up with someone or your kids out off to college, or you get fired from a job or let go from a job, or a host of other big transitions that come into your life. Humans are emotional beings. You just can't ditch those emotions. Now there was a time when I used to let the big emotions of life kind of get the best of me. Kind of get the best of me struggling for much longer than I should have, which caused me to kind of spiral into thinking only about the event that took place and not how I was really going to let go and move on. So let me take you back to mid to late May of 2021. My wife and I were preparing for a big move to Massachusetts for her job, and up until that point we've lived in Raleigh, north Carolina, for almost 20 years. We had moved there from New York to raise our kids in a place where the pace was a little slower, where we could live closer to work, so we could focus on being a more connected family as the kids grow up, rather than a disconnected one Every day. My wife and I were pretty fortunate we got to go to work in the same school where our kids attended. We could be present for their school plays, sporting events, teacher conferences, and at times, just being able to pass them in the halls provided us great joy. Well, maybe not so much when they were middle school. You remember those days, but we barely were acknowledged as being alive, let alone their parents. But getting ready to make this big move at the end of June well, we'll say about 30 days left of being in the office at the job Things started to get kind of real for me in terms of change. Now, while that change was an exciting one for my family my wife was getting a promotion, taking on a big new role, reaching a goal she had set. First I started to have big feelings about letting go and moving on. Every day I was faced with an unknown future. Of course my wife was moving on in her career. I elected to do a full 180 degree change by leaving education entirely and becoming a solopreneur as a life coach and podcast host. Well, every day I felt these big emotions around the change we're about to make and what it meant for me and for my family. Now, logically, I knew that letting go and moving on from a life we had known for 18 years was actually a pretty good thing for us. It was time for a new adventure. But the struggle of letting go and moving on was always present. It was kind of like this little bit of an undertow. You may be asking yourself right in this moment how do I let go and move on? You may be facing a work situation or a professional relationship or friendship or romantic relationship when your kids might have just gone off to college, they're grown and flown and you're stuck in an emotional river of misery without really knowing how it's gonna get better or even worse. When you're thinking to yourself, I know exactly what I tell other people to do. I'd tell them how to move on. I'd give them all the advice in the world. It's so easy for me to point out to a friend what they need to do and let to let go and move on, but at this moment it is freaking hard for me to take my own advice. No, exactly because you can't see the forest for the trees, because you can't do what is necessary to move on and let go right in this moment. That's why I'm here to guide you. So letting go and moving on has a lot to do with self-preservation, which is staying in the past, and perseverance, which is focusing on the future. Now, as humans, we spend about 50% of Our lives thinking about the past. You may find yourself asking what could I have done differently, what changes show I've made, or, in some instances, wanting life to be exactly how it was, Because that life was known to you and it was comfortable and easy and your brain understood how to function in that life. Even if your past wasn't that great, the comfort of what is known always feels so much better than the Uncomfort of the unknown. Right, you don't know how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. On the other hand, the other 50% of your life you spend worrying about the future. You worry that you don't know how to let go, move on. You worry about all the what-ifs in your life. You worry that you don't know how you will ever feel better again and the weight of the future feels like a hundred pound sack on your shoulders Again. We're gonna normalize that. Living 50% in the past and 50% worrying about the future is a hundred percent what we do as humans. The art of letting go, moving on, is learning to spend at least a percentage of your time in the present Dealing with those waves of motions that keep crashing in on you. So there's four stages to the art of letting go and moving on. A very first one is shock and denial, the second is anger, the third is acceptance and the fourth is moving on. These stages are pretty Consistent, no matter what the transition is. So here's how they break down. The shock denial phase is hard Because everything is so raw right in that moment. Everything just hurts. You're going to want to be focused on what you're feeling. You're going to want to be focused on how the situation is making you feel again. This is our tendency as humans, so it's normal. But the art of letting go, moving on requires you to kind of zoom out a little bit and focus on the facts of the situation first. To be clear, facts are not your thoughts about what is happening. The facts of the situation are something that nobody could possibly argue. Everybody would see it exactly the same way. If that's not true, then it's a thought that you're having. So let's take an example. It's an example that the majority of us can relate to the breakup of a relationship. Your mind is going to want to tell you that a fact is something like the other person is a jerk or didn't really care about me, and in that moment those might feel like the facts. They might feel like the facts, but they're not truly facts. It was not. Everyone would agree with you. Not everybody would agree that that person was a jerk, but they didn't really care about you. A fact is more like the other person said something or did something to you. A Fact is something everyone could agree on. Yep, they said that or yep, they absolutely did that. So if you're in the middle of trying to let go and move on, here's what I want you to do. I want you to write down all the facts of the situation you're facing and then come back, go ahead and press pause. I'll be right here, okay, once you have the facts of the situation. Again, in our example, let's say, the other person cheated on you. That's a fact, because it did happen. Now you want to list out all of the thoughts you had about the situation and for each thought, you will write down that feeling that came up for you. With that thought, again, go ahead and press pause to do this work and come back when you're ready. Write down the thoughts and the feelings, and then the feelings that came up for each thought. Alright, in this example, anger and sadness are most likely the two biggest feelings one has when a person cheats on you Again, 100% normal. So let's deal with that anger. In other situations you may need to deal with sadness. The key in this step is actually focus on the feeling, not shove it down and make it go away by doing any of what I call the overs behaviors. The overs over drinking, over working, over shopping, netflixing, social media or all rabbit holes, the over behaviors those are things that are going to really derail you and take you off track. Here You're really numbing the situation. Now here's what I always like to remind my clients Don't fight or ignore your feelings. You got to feel them. That's the first step in letting go and moving on, and these are the key moments for your future, because once you have this skill. Once you learn this skill, getting to stages three acceptance and four moving on, those can happen quicker and that's a game changer for your life from this day forward. Okay, step three acceptance. Once you're through the shock and denial and actually dealing with your feelings, you can move on to acceptance. Acceptance is where you focus on your options for the future. As much as you're going to want to do this quickly, I want you to use this mantra I use with my clients go slow to go fast, go slow to go fast. First, you're going to reflect on your past, using the information you discovered in steps one and two, and then you're going to use that to create a vision for yourself. Where do you want to be in one year, five years, 10 years? Now I know I said go slow to go fast, but this is a little bit of a vision exercise. And, more importantly, who do you want to be in one year, five years, 10 years? This is a pretty crucial step in the letting it go and moving on process. Who do you want to be? And then, finally, you're ready. It's time to move on. You get to rejoice. You should be in a new and better place now. The key here is giving yourself time to embrace this inversion of yourself. The number one thing I see in people is that they get to move on. They get to that stage but they don't allow themselves any time to enjoy this new version of themselves, because it's a little bit different. They want to fall back to the previous version of themselves, which is normal because it's safe. My advice be proud. Remember. It took a ton of courage and work to get to the stage. Release it, be proud. Not everyone makes it here, and the end result of learning how to let go and move on is that you will grow as a person. You'll grow as a person more quickly than others in your life and this is one of the most important things you can do to change the circumstances in your life and how you live. As soon as you stop changing, as soon as you stop growing, as soon as you stop moving forward, slowly stretching who you are, that is where you find yourself feeling stuck in life and in need of help. If you find yourself unable to let go and move on, send me an email, shoot it over to coaching at JasonRamstoncom and learn how I teach my clients the art of letting go and moving on. All right, my friends, that's a wrap on this week's episode of Intentionally Curious. Before you go, remember the key to living a life you love is to make sure every step you take has purpose and every step is intentional, but, above all else, always be intentionally curious. Hey friends, did you know I teach people to love their lives using a simple three-step program? To start working with me, visit JasonRamstoncom and click Book a Console to get on my calendar today. Let's make your life a little lighter and a little brighter. Talk to you soon. Intentionally Curious is a production of Impact One Media LLC. All rights reserved.