Release to Rise

woman in orange dress

It’s time to let go.

It’s time to dig deep this week.

In keeping with January’s theme of bringing you actionable advice each Monday to create an awesome 2015, this week’s topic is another way to make that happen.

First, let’s recap what we’ve covered so far in 2015.

Two weeks ago, I asked you to ask yourself a life-altering question (and to answer it honestly too.)

This week, it’s time to rise up.

And as usual, just because the results will be positive, it doesn’t mean that the process will be easy.

My promise to you is that it will be worth it.

Let’s get to it.

The Necessity of Life Detox

Sometimes you don’t realize the weight of something you’ve been carrying until you feel the weight of its release.” -Unknown

The above quote is so true, isn’t it?

I don’t believe that it is possible to rise as high as we can without releasing the things that are keeping us down.

I like to call this process “life detoxing,” and the benefits are way too numerous to mention in this blog post (but that won’t stop me from trying anyway.)

Around this time of year, everyone likes to talk about the new things that they want to do in the new year (learn a new language, meditate more often, start a new business, be more positive, etc.), and all of those things are cool.

I’m coming from a different angle in 2015. I want you to focus what you need to stop doing in 2015.

If you focused on removing one destructive habit (or person) that’s slowing down your progress toward your best life, can you imagine how dramatically different this year will be for you?

So, let’s start here. What do you need to release?

  • Is it your excuses?
  • Is it keeping fake friends in your life?
  • Is it negative thinking?
  • Is it needless clutter?
  • Is it fear and/or anxiety?
  • Is it being incredibly mean or judgmental toward yourself?
  • Is it junk food?
  • Is it a lack of self-belief?
  • Is it laziness?
  • Is it an unhealthy romantic relationship/marriage?

That’s what we need to figure out.

The Power of Removal

I recently shared on The Positivity Solution’s Facebook page that I successfully completed a goal that I previously thought would be impossible for me:

I went the entire calendar year of 2014 without drinking soda. 

Considering that I used to drink 2-3 cans of soda a day in 2013, I’m still blown away that I was actually able to pull that off. In 2015, my personal focus is on removing foods with high amounts of added sugar (wish me luck!)

Believe it or not, kicking the soda habit isn’t what I want to focus on.

It’s about the feeling that came afterward.

Besides the obvious health benefits (better digestion, more restful sleep, more focused concentration, more energy, etc.), I felt something that was so much more meaningful.

I felt free.

Once I removed that one pesky habit from my life, I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. It was like I was wearing dirty eyeglasses my entire life, and finally, someone cleaned them for me so I could finally see (or more accurately, experience) what I was missing my entire life.

That is no exaggeration either.

If you’ve released something/someone that is unhealthy from your life, I’m sure that you can relate to that feeling.

But like I said, this isn’t about soda.

This is about the freedom that comes from removing unhealthy things, people and habits from our lives.

There is no way that we can rise to our fullest potential without making this our #1 priority.

Avoiding the Trap

Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’ve already experienced the freedom of leaving an unhealthy relationship or quitting an unhealthy habit.

It’s pretty soul-nourishing, right?

That’s why I don’t want you to fall into the trap of making excuses for why you can’t do it again in 2015.

Here are some common excuses that I’ve used or heard in my life:

  • “Even though this is a dead-end relationship, we’ve been together so long and I don’t want to start over again.”
  • “I don’t have the willpower to stop (insert unhealthy habit here.)”
  • “I’m surrounded by negativity, so I can’t help but to be negative.”
  • “I don’t have the time to remove all of the clutter in my house.”
  • “I’m scared of trying something new and looking stupid.”
  • “My friend isn’t always an ass. He/she can be nice once in a while.”
  • “I’m fine with how things are.”

I am begging you not to spend anymore of your precious energy on giving life to your excuses and/or hanging onto relationships that should have died years ago.

Am I saying that you need to walk out on your emotionally-abusive spouse, quit your soul-destroying job, and throw out every piece of junk food from your cupboard as soon as you’re done reading this blog post?


What I am saying is that if something/someone is consistently causing you more pain than joy in your life, then at the very least, you need to come up with an exit strategy as soon as you’re done reading this blog post. Your life is way too precious (and short) to dream up mindless stall tactics to distract you from doing what you know is necessary.

I’ve already talked about the life-saving need to ruthlessly remove toxic people from your life, but now I’m asking you to do the same with anything that is adding needless toxicity to your life, starting today.

In the end, we will never be able to rise as high as we can until we release the things, people and habits that are keeping us down.

If you want to positively transform your life, choose one thing that you’re committing to remove from your life in 2015, and then start now to make it happen.

The truth is that we will never understand the how heavy something is until we experience the weight of its release–and I want all of us to experience that feeling this year.

It’s the only way that we can be truly free.

Your Turn

What are you committing to release/give up in 2015? Have you ever experienced the soul-nourishing feeling of releasing an unhealthy habit and/or relationship? If so, jump into the comments below and make your voice heard!



Founder of The Positivity Solution
Author, keynote speaker, and kindness extremist who is committed to changing the world by helping as many people as possible to live and work with more positivity.

Latest posts by Shola (see all)


  1. Hi Shola, looks I’m first to weigh in this week. So far this year I am doing well with the list of things TO DO: I get up an hour early daily and work out, and I have been eating fresh, healthy food, no junk. Have lost 2 lbs already. Here is what I need to STOP, and am really struggling: I was easily able to stop eating sugary snacks at work, and at home before dinner. But for some reason, I simply cave in after dinner. I have been hitting the chocolate and just can’t stop from having 5-7 pieces every night. My husband, who is also struggling with this, declared last night he will toss out all the chocolate today and we will not buy any more. Hopefully not keeping it in the house will reinforce our determination to not gorge on it constantly. This one habit is adding 500 calories or more to my daily intake, so my weight loss will go much better without it. Unfortunately, I have to admit I can’t have just one or two pieces of chcolate. I have zero willpower. It is so embarrassing to admit that. But it’s true, and it’s just one more bad habit that is compromising my health, sleep, energy, and self-respect. I’m on the record now, in front of you and all the other Positivists. NO MORE AFTER DINNER CHOCOLATE (or any other sugary dessert).

    • Hey Donna–first of all, huge props to you for waking up early, working out and eating fresh food! All of those things are HUGE deals and you should be very proud of yourself for making it happen. As for the nighttime chocolate habit, I wouldn’t beat yourself up for it. The fact that you’re making such great health choices in many areas this year means that you will definitely see some positive rewards in 2015. I also think that you have much more willpower than you give yourself credit for. Choosing fresh and healthy food over junk food requires willpower, believe that! And I love the fact that your husband is on your journey with you too because that is very helpful. Most importantly, I applaud your guts to declare in front of Solutionist Nation that you are officially releasing all sugary desserts (including chocolate!) after dinner. I am 100% certain that you can do it 🙂

  2. Hiteshkumar says:

    Every moment , everything is changing , so why don’t we ?
    Learn good things, forget the bad…and we can rise …

  3. Hi Shola,

    Just to let you know this is such a good topic and that I have detoxified my life over the last two years. Its a wonder I have some so-called family and friends left in my life! 2014 gave me that realisation of a whole load of heavy weight lifting off of my shoulders. Sometimes I am about to fall back into that trap again when I am feeling a little lonely, but thankfully I realise in good time that going back there the negatives out-weigh the positives and that “its not worth it Nusrat, be strong”. So for 2015 the detox for me is anything that is unhealthy for me. I have already started with giving up butter and sugar food wise. Life wise- its going to have to be a toxic coworker. Now this is not as easy as getting away from toxic family and friends. But I have started on the process already, wish me luck!!
    I want to also start to exercise more but cannot get motivated. Help. How do I discipline myself??

    Always a pleasure hearing from you on a Monday Shola. Have a wonderful week. Thank you friend

    • Nusrat, congratulations to you for detoxing your life! It’s not always easy, but the rewards in the end are definitely worth the effort. Whether it’s sugar or a toxic family member, I believe that we will never be able to rise as high as we can until we remove the toxic influences in our lives. As for the exercise thing, for me, it’s all about making a slight shift in my mind. Instead of saying that “I have to exercise today,” I switch it up by saying that “I’m choosing to exercise today.” So instead of it being something that I’m forcing myself to do, I look at it as something that I’m choosing to do to improve my health–for some reason, that shift works for me. Also, remember this powerful quote (I’m paraphrasing it): “The pain of discipline is temporary, but the pain of regret lasts forever.” Good luck!

  4. My mantra for this year is “Ground. Center. Release.” Ground and center by meditating regularly, spending time in nature, and being more active. Through learning and practicing energy work I’m slowly but surely releasing blocks created from childhood traumas and betrayals that have plagued me all of my life in the form of depression, anxiety, and lack of confidence. In the process I’m cultivating an attitude of abundance and gratitude instead of fear and lack. Love and Blessings to you all!

    • I love this Jana. Meditation is such a powerfully positive practice, and it’s no secret that the happiest and most successful people on this earth do it regularly. The fact that you’re working to release your childhood pain on a daily basis says a lot about your courage and your commitment to living your best life possible. You can do this, Jana. Ground. Center. Release!

  5. There was a negative person still lingering in my life the end of last year. I had a boundaries talk with her and afterwards “kinda” felt better about dealing with her but not fully. Lastly, I sent her a podcast about knowing your worth as a person, she said thanks and I haven’t heard from her since. I reached out to her to wish her a happy new year and asked how she was doing and she never responded. I feel really relieved that she hasn’t responded back, it is as if I finally have “permission” (I know the permission is only in my head) to not respond to her if she ever reaches out to me…I always responded to her texts and phone calls because I felt like she needed somebody to help her out self esteem wise even though she was older than me (I realize that was my “Rescuer” side coming out) But now I feel relieved and I wish her the best but I don’t want to interact with her in 2015 unless she has wised up and is no longer negative.

    Also, I joined a gym not to lose weight but as a loving act to myself and to keep my heart healthy 🙂 I plan to try as many classes as I can from yoga to weight lifting and continue to be mindful of what I fuel my body with…one day at a time lol

    • Yep PhillyL, it sounds like it’s a very positive thing that you’ve fully released her from your life. Also, giving up being the “rescuer” will save you from tons of unnecessary drama too. Most importantly, I’m digging the positive changes that you’re making with your health! You have a wedding to get ready for, right? 😉 One day at a time, mama–you got this.

  6. Hi Shola!
    This post is very useful for me. Why? Cause I want to do so much beautiful things… but I have to put some trash out of my life to create a life-place for them, really.
    I’ve been trying to push big ideas into small space for a long time. More that, I succeed with it not once. But the price was big. That times, I feel like I’m living 3 lives together instead of 1 -my own. Lack of energy, bad selectivity in social contacts. I have run throw my time like a crazy squirrel.
    2015 will be the second year of my soul-cleaning work. I have stopped with alcohol, sigarettes, meat and fish, with meaningless сonversations.
    What I have to remove this year? It’s being incredibly mean or judgmental toward yourself:) I’m the perfectionist, yeap.
    What I want to share with other positive people? It’s that one change cause another and all we need is to start -from anything, really.
    Thanks for this post, Shola!
    Good luck and shiny Love!

    • Olenka, I love the term “soul-cleaning work” because that what we all need to do in 2015. Whether it’s cutting out cigarettes or being cruel to yourself, this is the path that needs to be taken toward our best life–even if it isn’t easy. Thanks for sharing, and please trust that I’ll be right there with you doing my soul-cleaning work too!

  7. I am thinking hard on this one, Shola. I cannot, at the moment anyway, think of anyone or anything in my life that needs to be eliminated! I guess I have done a fair job on this already, maybe? lol

    Thank you for caring so much about us, Shola. Thank you for making the betterment of our lives a priority! And thank you for always making my Mondays feel like a blessing!


    • Kathy, that is awesome–the fact that nothing immediately springs to mind means that you’re doing an AMAZING job in this area!

      Also, you are very welcome! If anything, I should be thanking you for being there with me from the very beginning. Without your support and sharing my message, there is no Positivity Solution. And for that, I am eternally grateful 🙂

  8. Hey Shola,
    It’s been a while…
    I have already removed myself from my unhealthy marriage and dedicated myself to getting fit in 2015. I just gave up my kryptonite, which as Red Bull. It’s like you soda addiction and I had been drinking 1 or 2 every day for probably 8 years.

    Love the inspiration here as usual and here’s to a solid and productive 2015!

    • Hey Steve! Yeah man, I’m with you on the fitness thing. I’ve made a commitment to get into my best shape EVER in 2015, and I will do it. Just like you, while you’re giving up Red Bull, I’ll be right there with you fighting to give up my kryptonite, sugar. Good luck to you, and here’s to our best year ever!

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