"We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." - Joseph Campbell
Here we are in February and so many of us have already let go of our New Year's Resolutions!
I've given up on short-lived resolutions a very long time ago and I challenge myself all year long with new goals I want to accomplish.
When I returned from my spiritual journey in Nepal in September 2012, I came back a new woman and I know as I advance in life I'll look back and I'll be able to qualify my life as "before Nepal" and "after Nepal."
One of the things that became clear to me while learning Buddhist principles in Nepal was the need to rid myself of dead weight (a.k.a. baggage).
Upon my return, as I was getting back into the swing of things I happen to fall on Rachel Elnaugh's site and read about her incredible story.
Rachel Elnaugh is a British entrepreneur. Founder of experience gift company Red Letter Days, she came to public prominence as an investor on the first two seasons of BBC Two's TV show Dragons' Den (U.K.'s version of the original Canadian show of the same name and the U.S. version known as Shark Tank), in which hers was the sole female perspective amongst the five investing entrepreneurs known as the "Dragons."
Rachel built a massively successful company to the tune of £17.5million (about $35 million given this happened about 10 years ago when the U.S. dollar was still quite strong).
This would make for a remarkable story in itself, but the real story is the fact that Rachel lost it ALL and had to go into receivership (a.k.a. bankruptcy) and start over from scratch.
It's her courage and determination that I admire most and I really think that's what sets entrepreneurs apart ... this ability to NEVER give up no matter what!
After visiting her site, I decided to jump into one of her 28-day mentoring programs. Rachel's Business Alchemy was a brilliant course that opened my eyes and finally gave me a solid understanding of this somewhat woo-woo and mysterious world of "energy and law of attraction." I love how Rachel takes concepts that can be hard to grasp for most of us and really gives us a solid framework.
One of the lessons that I enjoyed the most was the one on FengShui -- she called that lesson "the energy of your environment."
Although Rachel traveled to Malaysia to study under one of the world premier expert in FengShui, she kept that lesson simple and doable.
Essentially FengShui is the principle of de-cluttering our home and home office to make room for more!
Rachel explained how money (which is one of the important things for us entrepreneurs) is attached to our Yang. The Yang is our more masculine, brighter, faster and more decisive energy and it also so happens that a more Yang environment can help us attract more money!
Rachel's advice was quite simple, if we focus on ridding our space of things that no longer serve us or make us happy, we'll increase the Yang energy in our environment and open ourselves up to the energy of money!
"Money likes to move fast. Money likes a Yang environment."
When you're in a Yang environment, it's a joy to be in and work in ... which makes it that much easier to attract money.
This was one lesson that took a lot of time for me to implement because there were so many projects I had started that were piled up in ever corner of my home and office.
That said, I took that lesson at heart and I started purging, cleaning, donating, recycling and putting things in the garbage.
Base on Rachel's recommendation I spent the entire month of November, December and January in a whirlwind of de-cluttering and cleaning.
By January, I always set my intentions for the year and I name the year. I also start looking back at the year that had just passed. I remember naming 2012 the year of "Lavish Abundance," but upon reflection of how things had turned out so massively different from what I expected, I realized that 2012 was the year of "letting go."
How did I let go in 2012?
I did a lot of cleaning of paper, files, books, magazines, clothing I wasn't wearing anymore, items that no longer served me, stuff that I'd never use, taxes that were overdue.
I also spent hours getting rid of files on my computer. I couldn't believe how much duplication I had and that forced me to create better systems. I had also a series of pending project folders and after re-evaluating what really "made my heart sing in my business," I deleted folder upon folder and found myself with all this space on my computer!
All this cleaning still remained fairly superficial. The de-cluttering that was the most transformational was the de-cluttering that happened inside!
* I realized that I had to let go of how I thought things should look like and opened myself to new possibilities.
* I also had to let go of old paradigm that really didn't serve me and kept me trapped in a small box.
* I let go of the need to micro-manage every part of my life and business and I allowed myself to remain open even if I didn't always have the answers.
* I removed the veil of "everything is great" and allowed myself to be vulnerable, let others know what I was dealing with and ask for help.
* I looked at some of the people in my life and contacts in my business and I needed to make some fairly radical changes. I think this of all changes was the scariest before I'm a fairly loyal person and I'll stick with you no matter what, but upon reflection, I realized that some relationships were costing me dearly and not worth it.
"The mental and physical space we create by letting go of things that belong in our past gives us...the option to fill the space with something new." - Susan Fay West
What has transpired in my life and business since I made the commitment to let go?
* An incredible man stepped in to become a mentor.
* I renewed ties with a very dear friend.
* I've formed incredible new partnerships that are far better than the ones I let go.
* I've been invited to speak on one of the biggest conferences for women in Chicago and share how I was able to successfully sell my online magazines.
* A new division of my business is taking a whole new direction that was completely unexpected and the financial prospects are really remarkable.
* Because I had removed the veil of "everything is great," a lot of incredible people have stepped in to help and support me in a beautiful, loving and caring way.
* I've finally been able to hear my voice! One of things I know from interviewing and studying successful people it's that they listen to their gut. This had been one of the most challenging things for me and I always complained about not being able to "hear my voice." I strongly believe that in my state of vulnerability, I let go and I was finally able to hear my voice and most importantly trust that voice. I'd say this is the most important and significant transformation up to now and I know this will catapult me into this brand new year!
There have been so many unexpected incredible opportunities that have transpired since I've de-cluttered my life and business that on some days I simple spend the day managing blessings (a.k.a. being grateful for all the incredible things flowing my way)!
"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need." - Tao TeChing
It's still quite early in the year for you to start de-cluttering. If you're a business entrepreneur, you might not thing this is a priority (I know I didn't) and you might really find it hard to see how getting rid of some paper, files or a few broken items or even a few connections can seriously change things for you, but trust me... if you're looking to expand your business in the coming year, this might be the MOST important business strategy you undertake!
I've often heard that "money is energy," but I was never really easy to understand how this applied to my situation on a intrinsic level, but following Rachel Elnaugh's advice and cleaning out every singe weekend for three months has really allowed me to fully understand the energetic impact of letting go of what's not serving you and making room for a LOT more!