In the last 12 hours
I’ve let go of
almost my entire book collection
15 years of journals.
I never, EVER thought I could do this.
They have formed so much a part of my “identity”.
I felt safer with lots of books.
And I always knew we’d end up moving home to Proserpine – a small country town that has never had a bookshop and has a very small library.
So I needed to stockpile books. I needed to make sure I was never without knowledge, inspiration and the opening of new worlds.
And then we got back home.
And thanks to Bookdepository, Kindle & Akiah Elan, I’m not without ready supply of books.
I’m not afraid of being without wisdom in my life anymore.
I also noticed:
the sheer amount of books I had overwhelmed me.
I noticed I didn’t read as much.
I noticed that when we were moving here, when I packed away all our books and just had three to read in the interim, I felt happy. At peace. And voraciously reading.
I noticed I deeply wanted that feeling again.
What started the letting go?
My gorgeous & wonderful assistant Marissa and I did a hilarious thing at Christmas time.
We both, independently of each other, foraged out each other’s Amazon wishlists + surprised each other with gifts from it.
Except mine was a bazillion years out of date, and she knew from being the avid stalker/blog reader she is that I already had many of the books from it.
So she drew a line of extrapolation… from the books on my Things To Do This Life list to Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ new book Untie the Strong Woman.
So at Christmas I get an anonymous, surprise parcel from Amazon with all sorts of treasures including that book.
And I proceed to DEVOUR it – gasping and sighing and exclaiming all over it.
And as I was reading it, I was thinking of my bestie Sone and how much she would adore it.
And I kept thinking:
This book is so good, it needs to go out into the world. It needs to touch more lives than mine.
So the day I finished it, I wrapped it up in a parcel for Sone, and wrote a note:
This is yours to read, love, keep, pass along… whatever sets your spirit free.
A gift of non-attachment.
And it felt incredible.
It felt I’d given the book wings into the world.
And I kept thinking about that feeling.
I remember a part in a SARK book where she talks about
her book collection.
She said that she let books flow in and out of her life,
gifting them on,
knowing they would go on to touch the people they needed to.
At the time, I thought it was batshitcrazy.
(Not SARK mind you. I flipping LOVE that girl. I was just totally unable to even glimpse that possibility of releasing books into the wild!)
We are renovating at the moment.
Primping our beautiful old cottage to make it cosy for our family of three,
and preparing the space for a surge of guests:
Marissa for our Aussie Dreaming Retreat in five weeks and two days
my darling mentor Debra as she is hosting a workshop up here
and my gorgeous parents-in-law (so they can get their dose of Ostara magic).
We bought a dream bed for our spare room.
It is wooden and huge, with a rose leadlight pane and a deep, comfy mattress.
It just fits in the spare room – a funny, long, skinny, slanting-roofed room that’s been reclaimed out of verandah space.
And I thought:
I need to make space in here. I need space for good things to come.
My books live in there.
And I looked at the tall blue bookshelves heaving with books yesterday
and I thought
I love you
and it’s time to let you go.
It’s time to give you wings into the world.
As simple as that.
Ostara helped me.
Pulling each one, trusting my gut,
most saying: Let me go
only a few saying: Stay.
It was impulsive
and yet in my spirit
I knew it was the perfect thing to do.
I knew I was on the right track.
I thought of how to let them go.
I thought of selling them to a local secondhand bookstore, but knew they wouldn’t have room for them all.
I thought of listing them on ebay, but the idea did my head in.
I thought of listing them one by one on Facebook, but it would take too much time.
Instead, I went with what was the easiest, happiest & clearest:
I posted that I was having a Facebookywooky library sale. And that whoever wanted them, could buy the whole lot. All at once. One box to send out of love into the world.
Within an hour, it was sold.
All my parenting books are going to a doula for her pregnancy + parenting library. I LOVE knowing that these books will help guide other mamas. My own doula was an incredible support for me during mine, and I am very grateful I had access to her library.
And the rest are going to a Goddess Circle sister across the countryside, whose message lit me up with a bright light instant YES.
We were all a little teary & very very happy.
This morning we sent them.
Big brown boxes brimming with books. I couldn’t get the smile off my face.
I am so happy to be letting my beloved books out into the world to do the magic they need to.
Ostara with some of the books I let go of! Gosh darn she’s a cutie patootie!
What books did I keep?
All in all, I have probably 30 books left.
Some I haven’t read yet, and wanted to.
Some who are old and dear friends (most SARK books).
A couple of reference books for when/if I start running live women’s circles again.
What books did I let go of?
I know you are a bookaphile just as much as me.
I won’t link to each one as that will take 3.5 light years, but you can find them all on Amazon & most online bookstores. I keep a list of all my very favourites here.
So here’s what I let go of.
HEALTH & SELF HELP
Raw Emotions – Angela Stokes
Eating in the Light – Doreen Virtue
Losing your Pounds of Pain – Doreen Virtue
Conscious Loving – Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks
Hot Chocolate for the Lover’s Soul – Arielle Ford
Weddings from the heart – Daphne Rose Kingman
Live the life you love and stop just getting by – Barbara Sher
I could do anything if only I knew what it was – Barbara Sher
Power Thoughts – Louise Hay
Authentic Woman – Leslie and Susannah Kenton
Clear your Clutter – Karen Kingston
Delta of Venus – Anais Nin
My Place – Sally Morgan
The Secret Gratitude Journal
Letters to a young artist – Julia Cameron
Unleash your creativity – Rob Bevan
Transitions – Julia Cameron
Heart Steps – Julia Cameron
Writing Spiritual Books – Hal Zina Bennett
Writers & Artists Yearbook 2006
Made to Stick – Chip and Dan Heath
Knockout Entrepreneur – George Foreman
Maverick Marketing – Lisa Messenger
The Success Principles – Jack Canfield
The Right Brain Business Plan – Jennifer Lee
Sales Dogs (Rich Dad series) Blair Singer
Rich Dad’s Conspiracy of the Rich – the 8 new rules of money – Robert T Kiyosaki
Moon Rites – Spiraldancer
The goddess guide to chakra vitality – Anita Ryan
The Journey – Brandon Bays
Sacred Space – Denise Linn
All Women are Psychics – Diane Stein
The Angels Within Us – John Randolph Price
The healing miracles of Archangel Raphael – Doreen Virtue
Sacred Contracts – Caroline Myss
Ariadne’s Thread: A Workbook of Godedss Magic – Shekhinah Mountainwater
Goddesses in Everywoman – Jean Shinoda Bolen
Return to the Garden – Shakti Gawain
Everyday Enlightenment – how to be a spiritual warrior at the kitchen sink – Venerable Yeshe Chodron
Spiritual Growth – being your higher self – Sanaya Roman
Crystal Co-Creators – Dorothy Roeder
Going Within – A guide for inner transformation – Shirley Maclaine
Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Soul – Arielle Ford
The Art of Ritual – Renee Beck
Spiritual Healing – Kristyna Arcarti
Crystals: Talk to the woman within – Cassandra Eason
The Feng Shui Guide to Clearing your Space – Antonia Beattie
The Inner Goddess Makeover – Tanishka
Creative Visualisation: Shakti Gawain
Angel Numbers 101: Doreen Virtue
Forgiveness the greatest healer of all – Gerald G Jampolsky
Sage-ing while Age-ing – Shirley Maclaine
White Magic – Lucy Cavendish
Awaken your Goddess – Liz Simpson
The Dark side of the light chasers – Debbie Ford
Angel Answers – Diana Cooper
Healing with the Fairies – Doreen Virtue
Angel Therapy – Doreen Virtue
Daily Guidance from your Angels – Doreen Virtue
The Millionth Circle – Jean Shinoda Bolen
Secrets and Mysteries – Denise Linn
Quest – Denise Linn
Love Signs – Linda Goodman
A Hedgerow’s Cookbook – Glennie Kindred
Sacred & Naked – Ruth Ostrow
Buddhism for Mothers – Sarah Napthali
25 Ways to Joy & Inner Peace for Mothers – Danette Watson
25 Ways to awaken your Birth Power – Danette Watson
Natural Childcare – Elayne T Brightlight PHD
Intuitive Mothering – Lyn McPherson
The Baby Book – Dr Sears
Continuum Concept – Jean Liedloff
The Pregnant Woman’s Comfort Book – Jennifer Louden
Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year – Susun S Wee
The Creative Journal for Parents – Lucia Capacchione
The Happiest Mom – 10 secrets to enjoying motherhood – Meagan Francis
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – Ina May Gaskin
Birthing from Within – Pam England & Rob Horowitz
The Attachment Parenting Book – Dr Sears
Releasing the Mother Goddess – Gail Carr Feldman
As I let my books go, I kept hearing in my spirit:
All the wisdom you need is inside you.
And now, about the journals.
Again, this idea took seed many years ago, when a women’s circle sister shared with me that she’d burned all her journals.
There was some sorrow in those books
That’s not my life now. Time to let them go.
And I thought about my shelves filled with thick huge journals brimming and spilling over with words and images and art and collages and poetry and I thought:
Batshitcrazy. I’m NEVER going to do that.
At our dreaming soiree, I asked my dear friend Trish what she’d done for New Years.
“It had a really wonderful time! I burned all my journals from the past year! Time to let that go. There’s new things to create this year.”
And a part of me felt sad that her words were gone.
But I kept thinking about how happy she was.
I always had a thought that my journals would end up becoming books.
I’ve written two books now.
Those are the books that were meant to become books.
I thought I should keep all my words to use as source material.
But guess what?
I never have.
My books come into the world, straight down from heaven. They don’t need no pulling out from an old hormone-scented journal.
I’m immensely proud of the books I’ve written.
And I’m deeply grateful that I journalled everything I did. But they don’t need to be seen. They don’t need to be read. They don’t need to exist anymore. Their service has already been completed.
Those hours and days I spent noodling in them?
They were exactly what I needed to do.
It was time perfectly spent.
I processed so much. I grew so much. My journals were a home, they delighted me.
They are remnants of my old snail shells. Once upon a time, I used to live in them.
And now I don’t.
You don’t see snails crawling around carrying their new shell AND a bagload of old shells, do you?
They don’t need anything more than that.
This moment, only once.
I always kept great armloads of them for my future children to read.
But when I felt into it, I realised I didn’t want so many journals, so many stories, so much weight to hold onto.
Ostara will always have my blog, and my books to read. She will have my artwork if she chooses.
But most of all, she’ll have ME.
A happy, present, living-in-the-right-now, grinning mama.
That’s all I need to give her.
My gorgeous friend Beverley Paine (author + homeschooling/unschooling guide) wrote:
Last year I burned my journals and it felt fantastic.
They were working documents not history in the making documents.
They were brilliant while I needed them but I had moved on. I’ve started a new journal and it too is a working journal.
Before I burned them I wondered if others might benefit from reading through them – so much discovered wisdom lurked on those scribbled pages!
But that wisdom is within each and every one of us, waiting to be uncovered by the self because only the self can find those gems…
My words were for me, a gift to me and I hugged them close, back into my soul and let them go.
I don’t own anything of my dead brother‘s.
I had his running shoes for a while, but eventually they fell apart.
And I didn’t really care.
He is not his shoes.
He is not any of his things, I will not find him in there.
If I want to talk to him, I do. He is just there.
It’s all good.
We never really lose anything.
How I got rid of my journals
We live just near the Main Street.
It’s not a fire-friendly zone.
And that’s okay.
My words are returning to the earth. They’ll be buried, and they will decay, and they will become compost, and they will feed banana trees and grass and a tiny bird.
To my journals I wrote a love letter:
Thank you for sharing the journey with me. I release you to Great Spirit & Mama Earth. I let go of my past with joy. Yes, just the yes. Love, Leonie
Heart and centre, I feel this was the most perfect thing to do.
I feel so very, very light. Happy. Giddy with joy.
Some months ago I let go of my mermaid hair of ten years. My hair is short and earthy and wild and free. It makes me happy on a daily basis.
Letting go of my mermaid hair, my identity, my favourite thing about my appearance
was a ginormous leap of faith.
It was a running jump towards a vision I had in my head
of a happy, light, free me.
It’s happened. And I am so grateful.
I let go of who I was
In order to be who I am.
love, joy, spaciousness, graciousness, freedom to you!
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