When my daughter Isabel was four years old, I took her with me to my hairdresser, John, for a “mommy daughter” day – getting haircuts together and a treat on our way home.
Everything was going swimmingly until she got out of the chair. “Mommy,” she whispered to me, with tears in her eyes, “he cut it so short!” Indeed, he had. It looked completely endearing to me and my hairdresser, but she was mortified. I realized why she hated it so much when I took her to pre-school on Monday. Every other girl in the class had long hair. She cowered in the corner with her hood over her head and no amount of mommy love could console her.
She didn’t cut her hair for another ten years.
By the time she was 14, it was almost to her knees. It was beautiful and flowing, and was the object of much admiration. The only problem was she could never wear it out of a braid because it would become an unruly rat’s nest. Untangling it took nearly an hour in the shower. When I encouraged her to cut it, she resisted. It bolstered her confidence in herself and was part of her identity in her social scene.
Then, just after her 15th birthday, she suddenly announced that she was ready to cut it. Eagerly, I scheduled John to come to my house (yes, the same man who had cut it all those years ago!) and she invited her friends over. Watching John’s scissors slice through that mane of hair was both terrifying and exhilarating. He cut off a full 28 inches of hair while her friends’ squeals filled the room. Afterwards she couldn’t contain her exuberance. Since then she has radiated joy and confidence in her choice. She no longer feels defined by that one feature of her looks and she loves the ease that it affords her.
While relieved and grateful that she cut her hair, I’m not surprised that she feels as happy as she does with the result. This aligns with the second step to creating abundance, which is to “Give Wholeheartedly.” (Click here to watch a short video about all three steps.)
While we often think of “giving” as referring to the giving of gifts, money, time, or even something like business referrals, this type of giving falls in the category of “letting go” or “releasing.” By letting go of her hair, Isabel not only let something go that she was tolerating (taking care of that hair!) but also a long ago hurt.
If you’re feeling stuck at all in your business, take a look around to see what you might be tolerating and ready to let go of. It could be a project that you no longer care about, clients that don’t serve you any more, books you never plan to read, to-do’s you’re never going to do… the list goes on. Don’t let a decision made years ago for reasons you barely remember linger. It can get in your way every day, much like my daughter’s hair when she used the dishwasher. Yes, after she leaned over to put a dish in, her hair would often get caught in the door as she shut it.
We don’t realize how much we are weighed down by extraneous objects, old wounds, regrets, or even future expectations that never get fulfilled. By letting go, you’re opening up space for something new: new clients who appreciate you, space in your office or home, the ability to focus on what you really want to do. Once you give away or let go of these items, you’ll experience a surge in your energy and enthusiasm and feel lighter and freer. I encourage you to get started today.