Thursday, August 10, 2017

5 Letting Go Rituals for Women in Transition

“It’s never too late in life to edit or revise.” -Nancy Thayer

It seems that many women believe this if you witness the explosive growth of solo-preneurs, coaches, and authors! My hometown area of Tampa Bay, Florida, boasts the largest number of women entrepreneurs in the state which is one of the most entrepreneurial areas in the nation. The new, bright red cover on my school calendar echoes Nancy’s belief with this quote:

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” -George Eliot

All this is to confirm that if you are not feeling blessed and blissed out with your life then, please…Edit. Revise. Change!

Are any of these a part of your life with: 
* New projects or efforts that disappoint?
* Vampire relationships that drain?
* Expectations that exhaust? 
* Schedules that overwhelm? 
* Work that demeans?
* Unmet dreams that depress?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, there is a solution.
Here are the seven most important words you may ever hear:

"When the horse is dead, get off!"

While research credits “Anonymous” with this quote, I first heard it years ago from Rosita Perez, a talented professional speaker. Sadly, she's left her "earthly suit" though her inspiration remains.

So with an open heart, make a conscious assessment of what dead horses you’re trying to still ride and be willing to take inspired actions--all key to your spiritual and emotional growth. 

You can’t start a new journey if you’re carrying heavy baggage or dragging garbage along.  In fact, you can be downright stinky after riding that dead horse—and the possible reason why abundance, happiness, and health are avoiding you!

Once you're off that dead horse, what next? The first step is to engage in letting go rituals. 

Why are rituals important? Francesca Gino and Michael I. Norton in Scientific American explained, “While anthropologists have documented rituals across cultures, this earlier research has been primarily observational. Recently, a series of investigations by psychologists have revealed intriguing new results demonstrating that rituals can have a causal impact on people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Here are 5 Letting Go Rituals for Women in Transition:

1) Alphabet List
This is a good starting place to identify the “names” of the dead horses you’re riding. Find a quiet place free of noises and distractions. Bring your journal and pen. Then ask yourself, “WHAT do I need to let go of that no longer serves me?

Allow the answers to come. Go through the alphabet. Keep your hand moving. Don’t judge what you are writing.  If you get stuck on one letter and can’t think of anything, move on. Then, return to it.

Then repeat, only this time ask, “WHO do I need let go of that no longer serves me?

You may want to repeat this writing process more than one time; it’s guaranteed to identify known and new information. You can then use your Alphabet List with the…

2) Pencil Drop
This is a simple, effective practice that Judy McNutt, a visionary writing sister and healer, used in our coaching session. She invited me to think of the thought I wanted to drop. 

Then she asked me to hold that specific thought in my mind while breathing and holding a pencil in one hand. 

Her next instruction was, “Just drop the pencil! Let it go. Let the thought go.” Repeat as necessary. 

This might be an effective daily ritual while online and reading negative information--or as thoughts of larger issues with your transition surface. If letting go still remains tough, then consider the…

Facing Machu Picchu, "Old Mountain", 2008 -Not behind me!
3) Peruvian with Love, with Release Ritual
Before taking any rock or shell, I follow a sacred ritual, asking the Pachamama or Mother Earth if it is "okay" for me to take the rock or shell with me. Several times the answer was a clear "NO."

This ritual process of first asking was taught to me by Don Jorge Luis Delgado, my shaman co-leader in 2008. He shared that the Andean people believed that we are one with the earth and everything is sacred: the rocks, rivers, animals, birds, plants, trees, and especially the mountains. 

To take something from the earth without thoughtful reflection would have been inappropriate. Happily, the Pachamama said "yes" to a small handful of rocks that did make their way home to Florida for ceremonial use.

Rocks are used for releasing what Don Jorge calls "dark, heavy energies." Try breathing into a special rock three times, saying, "I release all feelings of _____ (name of an emotion) about_____ (name of a person, thing, and event)." Then move or toss the rock to another place. 
You’re encouraged to do this near a body of water.  

Be conscious of your actions. Never underestimate the power of natural treasures you may find and always ask, "Pachamama, is this rock or shell okay for me to take?"

4) Monkey Trap Jar
Do you know how they trap a monkey in the forest? I learned about this method while living in Honduras where many small monkeys are trapped and sold as pets. Trappers place a favorite food in a glass jar with a small neck on the ground. 

So when the monkey tries to pull its hand out, it is stuck! The now large fist clenching the treat makes the withdrawal through the small jar opening impossible.

Rarely does the monkey let go. Sadly, it becomes a prisoner, stuck on the ground that can’t climb the tree to flee when the trapper approaches.

To make a Monkey Trap Jar, find a glass jar with a small neck. (Thrift stores are great places to find one for pennies.) Keep it near your computer or on the kitchen counter. Then on sticky notes or slips of paper, write all the things that you feel are “sweet” in your life as possible entrapments. 

This could include the expectations of appreciation, awards, and rewards that you are holding onto with a tight, clenched fist—a fist that won’t allow you to let go!

You might add to your jar once a day as part of your daily letting go ritual. At the close of a week or month, consider taking all the sticky notes out of the jar and burning them with sage. You might want to do this privately or at a group celebration like below…

5) Letting Go Celebration!  
Gather friends in person.  Light a white candle after saging the circle area. Maybe it's a dining room table. Allow each friend to write and share what or who they are letting go of and why. 

When everyone has spoken, go to another person until everyone has spoken all of their letting go statements. There might be several rounds. You’ll know that everyone is complete when there is silence. (You might want to burn the contents of the Monkey Trap Jar.)

Finally, listen to the Ho'oponopono Prayer. There are many beautiful videos to download. Wrap up by listening to the Ho'Oponopono Prayer together.

Blow out the white candle.

If you are a woman in transition and feel called to take inspired actions, consider making time to embrace these five letting go rituals over the next 18 days. 

These five rituals will better help you remember and reinforce what Rosita Perez suggested,“When the horse is dead, get off!”

P.S. Rituals and ceremonies will be a key part of the Gulfport Writing Retreat: ReCharge Your Body & Creative Soul, October 29-November 3. Are you interested? Early bird prices close on August 29.

Copyright Lore Raymond, 2017.  No portion of the blog post or information on this site may be reprinted, re-used or copied to another site without prior written permission from the author.


  1. I love releasing ceremonies. I have done them here on my farm in the field when the moon is full. I did one once where I released a person and every time I drove back on to the property I would cry - just great big tears that poured out for weeks! Never happened til I pulled in.. I would pull in the drive and it was like someone flipped a switch. Really emptied out so much negative. Thanks for the reminder for releasing heavy energies using rocks. I had forgotten. We did so many of these ceremonies in Peru. I threw up the whole flight back, purging. (Wish it had waited til I got home!!)

    1. Thank you for transparently sharing, Fran. I have known this kind of emotional release when I saw something...and had not control over the waterworks! Yes, Peru was magical to share with you, Marguerite, and others. didn't know about your "peru purging.
      Yucko! I did might later at home.xox Hugs!

  2. I love the George Eliot quote. I may have to add a ritual or two to my (non-existent) routine...... you are an inspiration Lore......thank you for sharing this..........;)

    1. Happy that some of these ideas might weave themselves into your life, Ms. Deni. Thanks for your kind words my friend.

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  4. Beautiful and inspiring post Lore! We are being called to let go more than ever before of old beliefs, patterns, and anyone or anything that doesn't align with our soul's path. You have given us some powerful tools to assist in this process...thank you for shining the light. xo

    1. My pleasure to share, Deb. And you're so correct, IT IS a powerful time of aligning with our souls...and releasing all that no longer serves us in our inner and outer worlds. xo

  5. I love this blog and these creative letting go rituals! This line especially resonated with me today, "You can’t start a new journey if you’re carrying heavy baggage or dragging garbage along." My family is about to embark on a new journey as our youngest daughter heads off to college in a month. Ritually letting go of any old baggage will be critical to start this new journey and I am excited to share these ideas with my daughters and my husband. Thank you for the inspiration! It is most timely!

    1. You're always welcome, Kelley. And what a tender and special journey of letting go of our youngest daughter as she starts on her college path. Wishing all of you a tsunami of joy and success! xo

  6. I'm not a big ritual person but enjoyed your post. I appreciate the way you communicate with Pachamama... I assume a similar posture in the garden.

    1. Rituals are just part of my DNA, Andrea, being raised by devout Catholic parents and maternal grandparents. LOL Thanks for the kind words. And I can see how being in the garden does evoke that special connection with the Pachamama. Flourishing gardens require the timely rituals of planting, weeding, and watering. To do this haphazardly, well... Just sayin' xo

  7. Love this- great quotes and I am for the peruvian ritual for sure- what a delight love Suzie xxx

    1. Thanks, Suzie. Happy to read that the Peruvian ritual spoke to surprise there!

  8. I love the "drop the pencil" idea! What a great, symbolic way of letting go. Great post.

    1. Thanks, Barb. Yes, the pencil exercise is so symbolic and simple. It really worked!

  9. Great post and wonderfully simple ideas of letting things go. I've been in transition for months and the amount of things I've figuratively and literally released is amazing.

  10. Wonderful rituals! Wonderful post! I like your "dead horse" statement, too! Thank you for such an informative post!

  11. Love this post Lore! It is so timely. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.


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