When something difficult happens to us in life, how many times have we been told to “just let it go?”
How often have we wished we could just let it go, knowing it’s not that simple?
Can we learn to let it go?
Darcy Patrick, author, public speaker and wellness writing coach, believes we can, and wants to help by showing us how.
He’s written a book called The Big Let Go, and for some time, Debbie Krause, program co-ordinator of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library, has been trying to organize a series of workshops Patrick offers to show us how to let go, move on past trauma, relinquish control, and take charge of our lives.
He also shares his tools to help us get there, he says, including forgiveness, setting boundaries, acceptance, changing perspectives, and having faith in ourselves.
The virtual, interactive workshops can accommodate up to 30 people, and are designed for registration to include all four in the series, spread over four weeks.
“He’s been on our radar for a long time,” says Krause. “He was scheduled to come last spring, and had to be cancelled. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that mental health is a very, very important part of our well-being, in addition to our physical and economic situations. Mental health needs to be something we talk about. We’re all in COVID fatigue, and that makes us less able to cope with the hard stuff we’re facing.”
Patrick’s workshops may be timely, in that his advice on how to let go of things we can’t control could be more important now than ever, adds Krause.
Patrick had written three books before the arrival of COVID, and also worked as a music instructor. A health problem forced him to give up his work with the public during the pandemic, and helped move forward the schedule for completion of The Big Let Go, also giving him time to create a workshop series.
He has other workshops he does for the Canadian military, and the first series on letting go was spread for them over six weeks.
When Krause asked for a four-week series, he says, he took “what was best from each” to work with her schedule.
He believes people crave control, and think being in control is good for them. Losing control builds anxiety, he says, so learning to let go during a pandemic, when so much is out of our control, is especially timely.
“We can hold on to things for a long time, but then we find ourselves in a stressful situation, and although we might not think we’re struggling, we start to become anxious or depressed. We’re faced with a challenge — the control we thought we had, we’ve lost.”
We might deal with that by going out with friends, and talking to people, but while that coping mechanism might have worked in the past it’s not always possible in a pandemic.
Other issues such as wearing a mask and physical distancing can also be seen as ways we are losing control, says Patrick.
But it’s not just about the pandemic — we all have issues we could let go, he says, such as family disagreements that fester.
Letting go, he says, allows us to accept who we are and find peace within ourselves.
A St. Catharines resident, he also does workshops for the St. Catharines Public Library.
When the pandemic cancelled public appearances, one of the issues he had to let go was his feeling a virtual meeting couldn’t accomplish what in-person workshops could, he says.
He agreed to do some virtual workshops, and discovered they not only worked well, but are something he may continue to offer post-pandemic.
Register for the first workshop, Thursday, April 8 from 7 to 9 p.m., and you will be registered for the other three dates as well.
Program registrations can be done online at https://notlpubliclibrary.org.
For more information call 905-468-2023.