A Ritual for Letting Go

I’ve been having trouble letting go of my thoughts and feelings about a relationship that ended. After what I thought was a reasonable amount to time to process and move on, they were still occupying space in my heart and mind. It got to the point that my most recent dreams were about them.

As meaningful and impactful as this person was, holding on in the way that I was was torture, a self-inflicted kind that I needed to stop. It was obvious that they were still occupying mindshare and heartshare and I needed to reclaim that space. 

In an attempt to finally let go and reclaim my space, I returned to a ritual that provided release for me at the end of last year. The sea is accessible for me as I’m currently living on the coast of Mexico, so  I’m “taking it to the sea”.  

If I weren’t, I’d modify the ritual to resemble the Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai, letting the items go into the air (return it to the sky). Of course, you could even bury something (return it to the earth) or even burn it. The method is less important than the act itself.

I don’t depend on a particular date (New Year) or condition (Full Moon). I’m simply driven by the need to release something.

Much like the Loi Krathong and Iemanjá Day celebrations that I’ve experienced., I create or bring something that symbolizes what I need to let go of.  

As part of the “ceremony”, I verbally acknowledge the goodness that this person brought into my life.

And with that said, I let the items go, symbolizing the “letting go” of that relationship. Doing so is cathartic and allows me to mourn the loss and close that chapter of my life.

Do you have practice/ritual for letting go of things?

But Why Are We DOING It?

In the movie, Avengers: Infinity War, the Guardians of The Galaxy are introduced at the beginning of a new adventure. Rocket, the “real captain” of the group asks why they’ve chosen to take on this particular mission. Gamora states that they heard a distress signal and that someone could be in real danger.  In true Rocket fashion, he responds, “I get that, but why are we DOING it?”

It’s a funny bit of dialogue and further highlights Rocket’s sardonic sensibilities. But on a deeper level, the question “but why are we DOING it” provides an opportunity to dive deeper into the motivations behind the actions we take. Note that Rocket’s emphasis was on the word DOING. This is important because he’s acknowledging the generally accepted benefits of the mission while seeking to unpack the specific reasons for the group’s involvement.

Anyone can answer the distress call and take on the risks involved. Understanding why they are taking action instead of doing something else drives home the fact that we our decision making is driven by more deep-seated desires. Understanding and acknowledging them can be critical in pushing through the dips, the times when things get tough and we’re tempted to quit.

Let’s think about something as simple as eating healthier. We are surely aware of the benefits of eating better:

  • Weight control.
  • Better mood.
  • Reduced chance of disease 

But when it comes to taking the daily action of eating healthy, there is something deeper at play. That comes to the surface when, in the moment we succumb to temptation and opt for the 10 piece hot wing/fries combo instead of the salad. 

Why are we DOING that?

Rocket was looking for the driving force of the mission, the deeper “Why”. The thing that they are so connected to that will stay on mission, even when things go sideways (spoiler alert: they do).

If you are struggling with taking action on the things that you are important to you, take Rocket’s approach and dive deeper than the surface level reasoning.  

Ask “Why am I DOING it?”

CNPodcast #55: Productivity Physics

In this week’s episode, I take a light-hearted approach to discussing the physics of productivity. I’ll highlight some of the more popular rules that govern us and how our awareness of them can improve our work

Show Notes:

Mythical Man Month

Brook’s Law

Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule)

Parkinson’s Law

Hofstader’s Law

You can listen to the Cocoa Nomad Podcast on the following services:

Anchor FM




I’d love to hear from you. Reach out with comments, feedback or show ideas on Twitter or Instagram

Photo by Roman Mager on Unsplash