Drop the banana – 3 Steps to Letting Go

I’m on the final stretch of my #RadiantFreedom journey – it will have been an entire month since I’ve been home to Las Vegas and since I quit my corporate job.  It’s been intense to say the least and I’m learning a lot along the way – which I’m sure will come out in blogs to come 🙂

Today, I would like to share with you something that I learned last week. Something that has been PROFOUNDLY occupying my thoughts ever since.

I went to a mindfulness meditation class at UCLA.  While I don’t usually refer to the term “mindfulness” in my self care teachings, I actual incorporate the concepts a lot.  The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of mindfulness is this…

The practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis

After a 30 minute silent meditation, the teacher began speaking about life and how it is always in a state of change (HELLO! Perfect topic for where I’m at!) and how in our humanness, we often have no realization of this constant change, and when we do, it often results in attachment to something (not wanting something to change). We cling on to things…tightly.

Drop the banana. How to let go.

She talked about how in Thailand, monkeys are trapped in a very clever way.  A coconut is cut with a tiny hole at the top and then hollowed out on the inside.  Then, a banana is placed inside the hole.  This coconut is placed inside the trap or chained down in some manner.  When the money tries to go for the goods, he puts his hand inside the coconut to get the banana, but the coconut is cut in such a way that the monkey is unable to get his hand out WITH the banana.  And that is the key word: with. 

See…if the monkey would just drop the banana, it could be free.  But because it wants the banana so bad it is unwilling to let go and therefore has trapped itself. And apparently the monkeys will scream and cry because they have entered into this horrible trap.

I was holding onto a banana for a long time.

Trapping myself.
But it was all my own doing.
Only when I finally let go…was I instantly free.
Free from the pain and suffering and self-inflicted screams.

My banana was my corporate job.

It was so delicious. I REALLY wanted that banana.  The perks, the atmosphere, the people. 

But while I was holding onto my job, I was causing myself pain and suffering…daydreaming about all the women’s lives I could change by supporting them with Radiant Self Care…if only I had 100% of my time to do so. 

What is your banana?

It took me two years to drop my banana.  Two years of working full time AND building my coaching business full time.  (Thank goodness I have a Radiant Self Care practice because I was able to do this and still stay healthy and maintain a low stress level!)

The point is, when I finally let the banana go…what I really let go of was:

Fear that letting go of my corporate job meant letting go of safety.
Anxiety that I couldn’t live the life of my dreams without a steady salary.
Heart-palpitating, nail-biting disbelief that I couldn’t possibility be worthy of extreme happiness.

I must say…although it still feels scary to have released that banana…I feel so much lighter and free without it! It no longer holds me down.  I know I have a choice.

In fact, I can have more bananas whenever I want – I’m looking at a “hand” of them on my friend’s counter in LA right now (apparently the proper term for a bunch of bananas! 😉

Want to drop your banana?

Whether your banana is holding onto something someone said, something you wish you did, or maybe your corporate job like me, here’s a quick 3 step self care process that I used to begin releasing that tasty fruit:

1. Notice that your hand is holding onto a banana.

Oftentimes we aren’t even aware that we are holding onto something. Acknowledge if you are feeling any tightness in your body – maybe your chest, shoulders or your heart.  Where there is pain there is tension.  And tension means you are holding on. What are you holding on to?

2. Consider why you are clutching so hard.

After you’ve determined that you are holding on to something and can feel the tension in your body, ask yourself WHY you are clutching, grasping and won’t let go of this thing you are holding onto.  What are you getting from holding on tightly?

3. Explore what it might feel like to release the banana.

Now that you have realized you are holding on, and you can feel the tightness and acknowledge the benefit you are receiving from holding on…consider what it might feel like to let go of your “banana.” Just explore the feeling.  Visualize yourself letting go of that thing someone said, that thing you didn’t do or maybe your job.  See if you can find the pleasure in doing so.  Do you feel more Radiant? Or is it painful? It’s okay to feel both – don’t judge your feelings – but the important thing is you explore what it feels like to let go completely.

This practice can be revisited over and over again each time you have a new “banana” – I have them several times a day and they can be BIG (like a job) or little (like something I said).  Regardless, they are still things we are grasping at and the more we can let go and trust there will be more fruit whenever we want it, the freer we will be and better we will feel along this self care journey.

I hope you enjoy this practice and find it useful!

What is your “banana” currently and how was this 3 step process for you?

I would love to hear from you in the comments below 🙂

To Your Radiance,

jess e-sig

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