By Carol Harris-Fike, NCOC, PCC and author of "5 Life Energies: The Choice You Have in How Energy Shapes Your Life" ©2009.

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Would letting go of something support you in a current transition?

I attended a conference In May, where we were asked the question above. My hand went to my heart to support me in finding my answer. I knew the transition in which I was... my mother's passing this year. Tears ran down my face as I tapped my heart for the answer of what needed to be released. Nothing came at first even though I knew it was about my mother... and then, when it was time to write the answer on a little piece of paper and put it in our pocket, it came. Thank you for my answer, my dear heart... what I think of as my higher self, the part of me that knows what is best for me.

The answer was simple and yet felt so difficult: Let go of my story about my mother. Oh my, most of my life I have worked to perfect this story. This story included all the reasons to explain all the things for which I judged my mother, plus plenty of illustrative stories for each judgment. I had added humor, tragedy, and even romance. It was a performance whenever I shared it. I even felt I could "top" most other "mother stories" that were even slightly similar to mine. Of course, the thought came: "What will I say now, when someone else tells a story about her mother and how will I not let mine slip out of my mouth?"

We were instructed to place our statements in our pockets and join the group outside. It happened to be pouring rain and very cool for May. We shared hooded coats, hats, and umbrellas and walked quickly to a gazebo for the next instruction. Once we had gathered again, it was suggested that we had a choice to stay under the covering or venture into the rain. We were to choose a tree and listen to whatever advice it gave around letting go of whatever we had written. I chose to move out into the rain, as I wanted to be as close to "my" tree as possible to get my message... I know I needed help with this one!

My tree had new spring leaves on tiny branches. As the rain came down, the small branches would spring up releasing the raindrops. These branches were dancing to the tune of the rain. Okay, interesting to watch, but what was the tree saying to me? First came a reinforcement of "let go" as the branches flung the raindrops from the leaves. As I watched, I saw how the leaves could then hold more drops and not be broken. They were free to accept the next drop and even glowed through their film of water. Wow... that might be me if I allowed my story about my mother to include all she is and to be the "truth" for me. My perfected story had been so limiting of her and of me. I remembered how in her last two months of life she had been so loving, so open, so beautiful. A hospice nurse gave me a very special gift when she said, "This is your real mother showing up... the one hidden behind the one you have known for so many years."

Softly ringing bells called us back to the gazebo where we gathered around our leader. The leader declared that he would smudge each one of us with smoking sage.

This is a beautiful Indian custom where a bundle of sage leaves are lit with a match and fanned to create smoking leaves. The smoke is directed all around a person, front and back. If you draw the smoke into your face, you get the gift of a beautiful fragrance. The smudging is a blessing and can be a way of releasing what is harmful within you.

After each of us was smudged, we were to burn our declarations of what we were releasing, share them out loud if we chose, and then drop them into a metal pot to complete the release.

When it was my turn, I felt so grateful for this exercise that came at a most important time for me. Tears dripped down my face as I read mine out loud.

So, was I challenged after the exercise? You can believe I was. It seemed that every other person at the conference would share his or her mother story with me. At first I would be tempted to begin my performance of my story... then something would stop me and I would find a way to smile at the story in front of me and then change the topic. It has been six weeks and I have not told my story once. Will I slip? Probably, some time... but I will know what I'm doing and can choose to let it go again. Letting go has served my sleep and my dreams and certainly brings peace to me whenever my mother comes to my heart.

What is it that would serve you to release this day?

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Author's Bio: 

Carol Harris-Fike, ACC, NCOC
CHF Coaching and Consulting, LLC

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Carol Harris-Fike is an ICF credentialed coach serving individuals and organizations across the United States. Harris-Fike completed ontological coaching courses with Newfield Network and earned her NCC and NCOC (Newfield Certified Ontological Coach) certifications from Newfield. Carol’s thirty years’ experience in public education as a teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent enriches her work. Her study and practices with energy, including Reiki, Tai Chi, and Chi Gong support her work. She has degrees from Texas Tech University and the University of Texas at Austin. Areas of expertise include an understanding of the latest scientific research in the connections between the brain/body and how our view of the world affects how we think, feel, and move. She has designed a method for learning to shift the energy that flows within us to shift our moods, emotions, and language. She understands how this view affects the choices we make and the results we receive. Carol’s book: 5 Life Energies: The Choice You Have in How Energy Shapes Your Life was published in fall, 2009. JICT Images: Journey with Intuition & Creativity for Transformation, a set of 72 evocative photos with questions for contemplation plus a manual will be published, spring 2010. Carol and three ontological coaching colleagues created this project. She lives in Western Colorado with her husband, Rich. Learn more about Carol on her website:

Learn more about my book: 5 Life Energies: The Choice You Have in How Energy Shapes Your Life©2009,

Learn more about JICT Images: Journey with Intuition & Creativity to Transformation ©2010,