A week into 2022, I’ve put away holiday decorations, reorganized toys, and marked boxes of “old stuff” to give away. I’ve cleaned out cupboards, making space for my new pasta maker and fluted tart pan. I’ve tested my frother, eaten buckeyes. Now: time to assess achievement of 2021 goals.

What were they, again? (Do you recall yours?)

What I do know: Change is on the horizon. Certain opportunities are fermenting slowly, like kombucha; others have landed on my plate. Although 2021 started with business, financial, travel, and hiking goals, by April I was trading them for something else: writing.

To allow something new, we must let go of something.

It’s hard enough with physical items: a favorite spatula, broken while scraping sourdough starter; the handmade ceramic bowl from the fundraiser, failed the glue test; Gramma Truppi’s wooden pasta spoon, splintered.

I’m not talking about “out with the old and in with the new” for the sake of newness or replacing a dysfunctional object. I mean releasing something that no longer serves us.

We pinpoint what might serve us better, to replace what might no longer serve us. Resistance, nostalgia, habit, laziness, fear, or other energetic mind clutter may deter us.

Still, instead of excuses, lack of belief in ourselves, or lofty goals that may change, what if this year we simply remain focused on what is and let go of what was or what might be? What if we trust ourselves to examine our behaviors, the tone of our self-talk, and life’s constant minutia that sabotage resolutions and allow something unforced to spring forth and land at our fingertips?

Recently, in pursuing my vision of impacting more women with my nutrition work, another door opened. A few years ago, I’d have been too stubborn to walk through it. But last year, I did. What changed? I remained present to an inner knowing, stopped resisting, and instead of keeping my yearly resolutions in a sealed Mason jar, I allowed myself just to be. As a result, I’ve written my first book, a food memoir.

But first, I had to let go. Committing to writing provoked me to clear away unnecessary projects, redesign my schedule, say "No." Led by something stronger than my analytical mind, I shimmied my way into new habits and remained focused on the goal and in the moment.

What happened? I achieved a lifelong dream instead of a yearly goal. I trusted the days to unfold for me organically, and a new path emerged. A year ago, I would have been angry at myself for missing my 2020 target, but this year I’m grateful I created enough mental space to roll with life.

The release of rigid goal setting is powerfully freeing! It means when I feel like baking bread or harvesting elderberries, sitting down to eat midday while doing nothing else, cleaning the kitchen or listening to every detail of my son’s school day, I can enjoy that one activity.

In this season of changing behaviors and health choices, as you create space in the fridge for fresh greens or space in your schedule for batch cooking, what about creating intentional space in your heart or mind for new awareness, ideas, or achievements?

This year, lettuce let go, to let in something unexpected and wonderful.


Jamie Truppi, MSN, is an integrative nutritionist focusing on functional foods and family wellness.

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