When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. —Tao Te Ching

When I was thirteen, I attended a sleepaway summer camp for two months. That was—by far—the longest amount of time that I had ever spent away from my family. It was a challenging summer in many ways, but also one that saw enormous personal growth and the birth of a life-long friendship. At the end of the summer, one of the camp traditions was to write something on a piece of paper and throw it into the bonfire.

Letting Go

I don’t remember what I wrote, although I can guess. But I remember how I felt as the flames licked at the edges of the paper, which turned to ash that floated away on the night air. There was a sense of freedom, of loosening a string that had kept me tied to unhappiness. At the end of this year, I find myself contemplating the negative thoughts and feelings that have held me back. There are only so many things that we can hold onto at once. What am I ready to let go of, so that I can grasp something new?

If you’ve struggled with making room for your writing or creativity, now is a wonderful time to ponder these questions.

What are you ready to let go of?
What can you release into the fire?
What will you watch turn to shadow and rise toward the stars?
And then, what will your empty hands reach for next?