“What will I let go of today?” I’ve been answering this question every day since first being introduced to this journaling prompt.

Journaling on this query has made apparent how much we, as humans, hold onto. In the past week, I've made an effort to let go of:

  • My strong opinions on new ideas
  • Caring to stay up-to-date on unimportant matters
  • Habits that don’t serve me

As we strip away what doesn't serve us, what holds us back, what diminishes our unique powers, we more readily come back to what is essential. Why? Because in asking what to let go of, we honor that which will never make the list of things to let go of — the things that really matter.

It's Friday morning as I type this, 4:42am, the Packers played last night. I caught the start of the game, and then chose to turn it off in order to honor nightly reading and an early bedtime. Typically on the morning following a game, I would check the score first thing after waking up. I let go of that today. Why? Because if I were to do so, I'm telling myself that's what matters. In the bounty of ways I could start the day, I'd be affirming that reacting to something outside myself, like the score of the Packers game, is the most important thing in my life — it’s not.

What is important to me? My writing. If I welcome inputs as I start my morning, I don’t have the writing clarity I would otherwise have. Checking on anything extraneous before I check in with myself, whether that be through creating or journaling, doesn't serve me. Therefore I have and will need to many times again, let go of doing so.

The beauty in asking this question is that beyond its subtle reminder of what must really matter (as again, what really matters will never make the list), it's an opportunity to celebrate what has already been released. In journaling how I planned to let go of checking the score first thing this morning, I had an opportunity to celebrate that I have let go of watching Packers games that start at night. Beyond that, I was able to reflect on all of the things that I have let go of at night in order to prioritize time to wind down, read, and set myself up for a great night of sleep.

When I journal on this question in the morning, I never know how I’ll answer. It allows me to make the unconscious feelings of shame, anxiety, or blame, and make them conscious for a moment. Then, I let them go.

What will you let go of today?

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