Cokoa’s Journey is an e-book for leaders. The story is about how well Cokoa learns to let go and move beyond the internal barriers that interfere with accomplishing his goals. In this parable, Cokoa learns the seven steps for effectively letting go. He spends eight days working with Pepe, a wise sage. Pepe takes Cokoa on a great journey in which he discovers these seven steps, referred to in the book as secrets. It is a delightful and intriguing story written as a parable.
The author, Darren L Johnson, has been teaching, researching, and writing about how to effectively let go since 1994.
Wendy Williams hit the nail on the head during her after show when she stated that one should “never let go of the little girl in you.” Though she was referring to an interview she had done with a member of her co-host audience, the statement Wendy made was powerful.
In coaching and consulting with individuals and organizations on how to effectively let go, I have found that in the process of gaining fame and fortune, people lose (or move away from) their true essence. As a result, they spend lots of time redefining their identity. Some never finish redefining themselves and get stuck between their essence and finding a new identity. The real beauty of Wendy Williams and her many physical reiterations of her identity is she never lost her essence in the process. The essence of a person is hard to change, even when one wants to make that change. In order to “let go and redefine your essence there are some steps that must be taken. Below are two of the many steps in the process of letting go of the old you, otherwise known as redefining yourself.
The first step in rediscovering your true essence, some refer to as identifying core values, is to commit to being perfectly honest with yourself about who you are today. Tell yourself the truth about who you are. If you lie to yourself, then you will only set your redefinition process up for failure. The Shakespearean quote, “to thine own self be true” is very applicable for success of this step, and throughout this entire process. This first step is a must and for some might be difficult to do as it takes great courage to be true to yourself.
The next step, among many, is to take a journey to your past. Reflect on your past experiences and people who influenced your beliefs and ways of being. Selectively reach out to the people in your past and ask them about how you were back then. For example, I remember at a book signing in Atlanta an old friend came to the signing and shared that she was not surprised that I wrote a book about letting go. She shared that one of the phrases I used to say in high school was, “just let it go.” I had no idea (had totally forgotten) that I used to say that in high school. Once I reflected on what she told me, I remembered that I did use to say that phrase. When you begin to reflect in more detail on your past, it will help you to better understand about the choices you make in the present. Keep in mind that reflecting on the past is very different from “holding on to the past.” As you reflect, be mindful not to get stuck in the past.
Below are specific steps to get you started today on your Letting Go of Stuff Journey.
LETTING GO IS…
Letting go is about recognizing when it is time to “stay in” a situation or experience, and when it is time to “get out.” Often, we remain in situations or hold on to past experiences WAY too long. For example, have you ever experienced a friend or parent who is in their 60’s, but is still dressing as if they are still in their 30’s (or worse – in their 20’s)? They are “holding on” to the past experiences and emotions related being 20 or 30 something. Do you know of anyone who might have been angry about something that happened in the past, perhaps years ago, but when they talk about it in the present – they still get just as angry? Do you know of anyone who might still be in love with another, but the other does not still love them (and maybe never did)? Those are all examples of people who are remaining in situations much longer than they should. They don’t recognize the signs and times that represent moving on.
Making a choice to “let go” places you on a life long journey of loving, learning from, listening to, and forgiving yourself.
Back in the mid 90’s I was under contract to do seminars in the Caribbean. During one of my early morning jogs along the beach, I was trying to find a word that would go well with the phrase letting go. I researched many words. Finally, I stumbled upon the word “stuff.” According to the 9th edition of the Websters New Collegiate Dictionary, one of the phrases the define the word stuff is: “a matter of a particular and often unspecified kind; something introduced into the body by humans.” Stuff consists of negative emotions, guilt, shame, negative internal conversation (self-talk), and unwanted negative feelings. All of these usually lead to toxic relationships, not being able to let go of the past, acting on negative notions about self, and more.
I also believe that the “stuff around you, represents the stuff inside of you.” So if you think this will NOT help you to clean out that storage, office, and/or extra room in the house, think again, because it will.
GET STARTED TODAY – with the following steps.
Get a personal journal. You might opt to use a blog in an effort to share the journey.
Begin by listing everything that you want to let go or change.
Break down your life into categories such as social, work, career, financial, relationships, and so on.
Pick a category and begin to prioritize your list of items in that category.
Identify one of the top three items on that categorized list.
Once you have identified that one item, set a due date for it to be eliminated. Consider as a deadline due date the fourth Thursday in March, which is National Letting Go of Stuff Day. Each year, on this day, you can measure your success with letting go of the things on your list.
Finally, begin to take the action necessary for you to eliminate that item from your list.
When you can cross out that first item, then move on to the next item on your list and use these same steps.
The above nine steps will get you started. Be patient, don’t overwhelm yourself with lofty goals, and love yourself along the way.