Hello! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Mallika and I’m the editor of the Self Love Club with MARY YOUNG. I’m incredibly lucky to be part of this lovely community of people that continue to add so much wisdom and substance to my life. In the past year I have moved countries — twice, lived with both my parents and my in-laws, and after a year of uncertainty, my little family of 3 + have moved into a place of our own.
Luckily I’ve managed to pick up a few tips (read: coping mechanisms) along the way. A big part of being flexible and avoiding turning into a complete basket-case, is the ability to let things go. I hope that what I’ve learned can help you in some way as well.
Letting Go Doesn’t Mean Detaching
I’ve always prided myself on being fairly unattached to things. My dear friend Anthea always gifts beautiful cards for every occasion, knowing full well that I don’t hang on to anything. Heartless! However in the past couple years; maybe it’s pandemic related or the fact that I had a baby, I’ve become sentimental af. I’ve realized there’s a difference between detachment and sentiment. While I may not hold on to bags of baby clothes or most presents, I’ve figured out ways to keep things I really, really love. I think when you’re faced with moving countries, or having your relationships kept at a distance as we all have during the past few years, you realize that looking back at cards that were lovingly picked and filled out really means quite a bit. So I’ve hung on to paper items (all of Anthea’s cards!), sentimental pieces and Freddie’s Kyle Lowry Raptors onesie — because *#GoRaptors*.
Everything Will Work Out
This is a mantra I have to keep telling myself. Not one to look back, it sometimes really can help to! I think back to 4th year university when my friend Mike and I chain smoked a pack of cigarettes in his backyard because we were SO STRESSED. Neither one of us is even a casual smoker, nor do we enjoy it; we just felt like we weren’t going to make it that week. And of course, we did — and that stress is a distant memory (minus the exam nightmares I have every couple years). In the same way the last year(s) has been so up in the air, I’ve managed to relinquish control by telling myself one way or another, “big picture: It will all be OKAY”.
Focus on Things You Can Control
I know this sounds counterintuitive, but when you’re trying to let go, focusing on what you can control is very helpful. For example, our 2 month trip to visit my parents in Costa Rica got extended by 5 months due to Co-Vid, we then hopped from our condo in Toronto, to my in-laws in Mississauga for a month, back to my parents for another 3 months, back again to Mississauga, until finally landing in our own space in Costa Rica — an entire 15 months later. It was a TON of moving spaces, all with our baby and dog in tow. To keep everyone feeling okay and in control, the mama bear in me carried around a couple of everyone’s items that made us feel at home. For our son Freddie that was his music box, bunny and 2 books, for my husband it was a Google Home (lol), for our dog it was his (giant) Casper bed, and for myself it was a vase gifted to me from my friend Chels, my sandalwood and sage burner to have familiar scents and an amethyst crystal from my cousin Sheena — all a perfect mix of sentimental and witchy.
Mind Your Business and Protect Your Energy
This one has always been my favourite and I think I’ve gotten pretty good at it. Usually when I’m upset by something external, or something that has happened I try to assess how to go about dealing with it. If it’s to do with me, then fine. Your business is the realm of things that you can directly influence. Are you there? Or are you in someone else’s business? When we’re trying to control things outside of our own business — spoiler alert: it’s not going to go well. That’s not to say you have to ignore it, but just protect how it affects you and how much energy you’re putting into things that don’t concern you. It’s one thing to be the person that’s always there for everyone else, it’s another if you have no energy to actually help.
Manifest intentions not goals
This one is quite difficult for me because I’ve always been goal oriented, especially when it comes to my career and living situation. I think it’s fairly societal in North America, to climb the corporate ladder and check off boxes when it comes to real estate. It was a big reason we decided to move to Costa Rica, but realizing that I don’t have a set plan is still unnerving. Now I’m starting to see how exciting that is. Instead I focus on how freeing it is to have relinquished those goals. Lately I’ve been planning around “having a comfortable life” rather than “buying a bigger house”. I’ve noticed that the slower pace of life here helps as well. People aren’t as focused on what you have and that’s making me realize that what I want and can have are people and connections, so I’m focusing on building those instead.