- “Let That Sh*t Go” by Kate Petriw and Nina Purewal is a practical guide to finding peace and happiness in everyday life, using mindfulness and meditation techniques.
- The book offers accessible language, practical exercises, and real-life examples to help readers manage stress, let go of negativity, and cultivate self-acceptance and forgiveness.
- While it provides a valuable introduction to these concepts, it may not offer in-depth insights for those already familiar with mindfulness and self-help practices.
Let That Sh*t Go: Find Peace of Mind and Happiness in Your Everyday (2018) offers a trove of tools and tips to declutter your mind of all the crap that gets in the way of inner peace and joyful living. Its approach to mindfulness helps you to connect to what’s going on in your head and then use that awareness to build self love, authenticity, acceptance, perspective, and forgiveness.
Introduction: Learn how to declutter your mind to find happiness.
Table of Contents
- Introduction: Learn how to declutter your mind to find happiness.
- Self-love and authenticity will help you let go of negative self-talk and find your purpose.
- You can easily let go of a whole list of shit by learning acceptance and taking perspective.
- Learn to forgive others and yourself in order to dump tons of emotional shit.
- You can now put mindfulness to work in everything you do.
- About the author
- Table of Contents
If someone told you that you could unlock all the joy life has to offer by simply cleaning out an overstuffed closet in your home, would you do it? Of course you would.
Now imagine if that closet were your brain overflowing with thoughts, and all you had to do to find peace is to get rid of some of that shit.
That’s the premise – and promise – of this summary. In it, I’ll share an approach to finding happiness and fulfillment through mindfulness. You’ll learn that while these states of being are all in your head, you probably only need to drag them from under some unnecessary clutter, like a long-buried treasure in the hall closet.
Mindfulness starts with awareness, or taking stock of what’s going on in your head at any given moment. One way to do this is to pause, breathe, and tune into your thoughts like a fly on the wall at a party. This is what’s called your observer mind eavesdropping on your chatty mind. As you may have guessed, chatter is the first thing you need to let go, and your logical, observer mind can help you do just that.
For example, maybe you are mentally beating yourself up for eating a rich dessert despite being on a diet. You can shut your shaming, chatty mind right down with the reminder that what’s done is done: You ate it, enjoyed it, and in reality, it probably won’t wreck your whole diet – as long as you don’t make it a habit. This practice will bring clarity to your thinking patterns so you can cut out some of the noise – and immediately create a clearer head for more work to come.
To help you continue the job, I’ll present the principles of living in the present, which are self-love, authenticity, acceptance, perspective, and forgiveness – as well as all the ways to use them in order to let things go. The goal is that you can get to work uncovering your bliss – and making room for more.
Self-love and authenticity will help you let go of negative self-talk and find your purpose.
Think back to moments in your early childhood when you felt relatively free from worry, just checking out things in nature, discovering your surroundings, and completely fascinated with it all. While life has probably brought a load of crap to tarnish that shiny sense of wonder, start the practice of remembering that kid as you go about your days. Do this especially when you catch your chatty mind saying shitty things to yourself, as most of us do.
Ask yourself: Would I say such nasty things to a young child? Hopefully not. And that’s the standard you must follow with your self-talk. Your life depends on it right down to the cells in your body, at least according to one study in the 1990s. That’s when Japanese researcher, Dr. Masaru Emoto, conducted an experiment to see if exposing water to different types of thoughts and emotions would impact its molecules.
Dr. Emoto labeled four water-filled bottles with the words “Love and Gratitude,” “Peace,” “Thank You,” and “You Disgust Me.” Over a period of time, he said things and played music in accordance with these labels. He then examined the water under a microscope, which revealed beautiful, neatly ordered structures similar to snowflakes – except for one. The “You Disgust Me” water molecules appeared, well, disgusting. They almost lacked shape at all. Consider that humans are more than half composed of water. Now think again about what you say to yourself every day.
If you don’t speak to yourself in a kind and loving way as you would to a young child, you’d better let that shit go. Replace it with some nicer words. Like the water experiment, you should see your most positive, fundamental traits and strengths present themselves more strongly. You’ll reconnect with your true self in a kinder way, which may even allow you to see your flaws in a different light. All of these characteristics add up to the unique combination that makes you, you. Once you own that, there’s not much shit you can’t handle.
That brings us to another mindfulness principle: authenticity. Confidence and clarity about who you are, what you stand for, and what you have to offer will transform how you show up in the world. You’ll also begin to separate what you truly want versus things you may be doing only because you’ve been led to believe you should.
When your wants don’t align with your “shoulds,” it creates what the authors call a rock in your shoe. You know, that irritating bit of grit that somehow works its way in on an otherwise pleasant walk. No worries, though. All you have to do is remove it by ignoring outside pressures and looking for a smoother trail that flows with the true you and what you want. Of course, there will still be rocky paths along the way, and we’ll look at navigating those next.
You can easily let go of a whole list of shit by learning acceptance and taking perspective.
I mentioned rocky roads and bumpy paths because it’s important to remember they’re never going away. All the awareness, self-love, and authenticity will not eliminate struggles or drama in life. The trick is learning how to deal with it better. As the composer Irving Berlin said, “Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 percent how you take it.”
So how do you get better at taking it? It all starts by accepting it.
That doesn’t mean denying natural emotions like anger or frustration when things or people are being difficult. Instead, acceptance helps you become a pro at how you manage your expectations and get real about what’s completely out of your control.
As for expectations, it’s totally fine to envision how you want things to be, and no one is telling you to lower your standards. Keep them while building in some flexibility to allow things to not always go according to your plan, knowing they can still work out for the best.
Next, you must also learn to see the difference between things you can and cannot control, and then act accordingly. Grab a sheet of paper or open your notes app on your phone. Make a note of five things that are annoying you, pissing you off, or otherwise stressing you out. Now, step back and consider which of these things are actually within your control.
Is the weather just total garbage today? Cross it off. You can’t do anything about that. Desperately need a vacation? You can plan one. Leave it. A beloved friend is sick. Cross it off. It definitely sucks, but you can’t change that. Are you overweight? Leave it on your list. You can address that one.
Get the gist? Remove thoughts about anything you cannot change from your worry loop. Of course, you should check in on your sick friend and carry an umbrella for a rainy day. Beyond that, thoughts should exit your brain the nanosecond they attempt to repeat themselves.
Now, look at the list of what items remain and do some more whittling by adding the principle of perspective. Take a step back and view these problems in the bigger picture – and then reconsider how you feel about them. From our few examples before, we still have on our list the need to plan a vacation and the goal to lose a few pounds. Can your vacation planning wait until after you hit a work deadline today? Let it go for now. Are you healthy and still have clothes that fit? Your weight loss isn’t an emergency.
By this point, your chatty mind is probably skulking in a corner, feeling completely shut down. Meanwhile, the observer mind is satisfied and smug, watching you get shit done! Now for the last bit of work, which may be the most challenging yet provides a powerful mind purge.
Learn to forgive others and yourself in order to dump tons of emotional shit.
I’ve not been shy about using the S word throughout this summary so far, and now we come to what the authors call “the F word.” That’s forgiveness. Maybe not the one you were thinking, yet impactful all the same.
Some of the densest clutter people carry around can be emotions tied up in other people’s shit – things they’ve done to us, how we’ve reacted, deep-seated beliefs they’ve imposed, or even judgy feelings we have about them.
Learning to forgive others can be one of the hardest things for people to understand, much less actually do. Yet when you consider how much mental space and clarity there is to gain, it seems super important to figure this one out. Sounds totally selfish, right? That’s OK! Forgiveness is for you, not other people. You don’t even have to tell them, and in many cases, you shouldn’t if the thought of speaking to them makes you feel a little sick.
It’s important to understand that forgiving someone (or even yourself) doesn’t give a pass for bad behavior. It just means you’ve processed it and accepted it to the extent that you don’t want to be burdened by it any longer. For Purewal, forgiveness has been an ongoing journey, working to forgive her father for taking her brother’s life and then his own in a horrific tragedy when she was very young.
Immediately one wonders, “How do you even begin forgiving something like that?” She’s doing the work and has used many methods. One powerful approach is to truly imagine yourself in the other person’s position and even their place in time. In Purewal’s case with her father, it helped her see patterns that pointed to him struggling with mental illness. She also considered how mental health was a more taboo topic for his generation, which likely contributed to him not seeking help. Obviously, this perspective didn’t excuse the action but improved her understanding of what led to the devastating trauma she’d endured.
While it can be hard to muster forgiveness for even far lesser damage, getting rid of as much of the energy associated with it makes room for more good in your life. And no one enjoys digging up this last list of shit, mainly because it may cause them to revisit the intense feelings associated with those events. Use what you’ve learned about self-love to be kind to yourself and take as much time as you need to work through it. Every little bit removed lets in more light and clarity, and you’ll be glad for it.
That begs the question: What exactly are you going to do with this beautifully tidy mind of yours? We’ll explore that next.
You can now put mindfulness to work in everything you do.
Whew! Some of that work was probably tough, especially the last exercise on forgiveness. The rewards will be worth it, because you can now use your freshly built mindfulness to bring your full presence to every aspect of your life.
By being mindful, self-loving, and authentic, you’ll have better control over your thoughts, emotions, and actions in any circumstance or encounter. You’ll give yourself grace while speaking from your place of truth. You can extend the same grace to everyone in your life, fully appreciating them for who they are. With your partner, you’ll learn to see your differences as strengths and how to communicate more clearly. That perspective can also improve how you relate to your parents, even if it’s been strained in the past.
You’ll have a new perspective on relationships with other family members and friends, having adjusted your expectations and released tendencies to change people. This perspective can also be applied to your interactions on social media, allowing you to view them in a more positive light and will reduce the tendency to feel jealous by comparing your life to others’ highlight reels. It may even prompt you to share some realness that inspires and motivates people to be more authentic.
Mindfulness practices help you to reframe almost all difficult situations by seeing people with more positive intent, understanding that most are making the most of whatever resources and knowledge they have.
You’ll have greater patience with your children and allow them to inspire you by seeing the world through their eyes more often. Even your pets will give you daily reasons to appreciate their pure love and uncomplicated ways.
And of course, you can take this mindset to work, where it will help you emerge as a stronger teammate and leader by injecting a sense of peace into meetings, encouraging others, and staying focused overall by having cleared the clutter. The list goes on. You can add just about every other life activity from the gym to household budgeting.
Lastly, while you’ve let a lot of issues go, you’ll need to keep what you’ve learned as you go forward in life. To do that, try setting reminders throughout the day to pause and breathe. Even better, add a meditation practice to your routine. Remember that mindfulness is a practice – and one you can now enjoy with a clear, peaceful mind that’s free of clutter.
The path to happiness is mindfulness, or training yourself to be present in each moment, which can be achieved by decluttering your mind getting rid of problematic thoughts. It starts with gaining an awareness of what’s going on in your head, and then determining what can stay, what needs to go, and what requires replacing. Next, you can improve your self-esteem by adjusting your self-talk and reacquainting yourself with your core values. With the confidence and genuineness you have gained, you can gently adopt the practices of acceptance, perspective, and forgiveness to thoroughly declutter your mind and cultivate new thought patterns.
With a transformed mindset, a powerful presence, and a sense of ease throughout your days, you will have remarkably more fulfilling experiences in every aspect of your life.
NINA PUREWAL faced an unexpected childhood tragedy which inspired her mindfulness and meditation journey twenty years ago. After climbing the corporate ladder for nearly a decade, she took a year sabbatical and moved to California to unplug and continue her pursuit for happiness. It’s been her greatest passion to help others find peace amidst the busyness and chaos. With that, she founded Pure Minds a company that conducts mindfulness and meditation workshops for the public and corporate sector.
KATE PETRIW is the founder of Mind Matters, an organization that holds mental health workshops focused on reducing stress and negative thinking patterns to inspire happiness. She first came across mindfulness and meditation five years ago while trying to resolve unchecked stress, sparked by the corporate grind. Impressed by the impact it had on her mood, relationships, and productivity – she wanted to share it with the world.
Mindfulness, Happiness, Personal Development, Self Help, Nonfiction, Health, Fitness, Dieting, Alternative Medicine, Meditation, Success, Motivation, Self-Esteem, Relationships, Personal Growth
Table of Contents
1 Awareness: Goodbye Past and Future Worries 5
2 Self-Love: What You Didn’t Learn in Middle School but Probably Should Have 49
3 Acceptance: You Can’t Control the Number of Instagram Likes You Get 93
4 Perspective: You Are Made of Fucking Stardust 129
5 Authenticity: There’s Only One Magical You 159
6 Forgiveness: It’s Time to Use the F-word 199
7 Behind the Screen: Finding Your Tech Zen 233
8 The Reveal: What the Fuck Did You Just Do? 271
9 Next Level: The Mind Workout 311
Sources and Acknowledgements 341
“Let That Sh*t Go” is a self-help book written by Kate Petriw and Nina Purewal, designed to help readers find peace of mind and happiness in their everyday lives. The book offers practical guidance and exercises to help individuals navigate the challenges of modern life, reduce stress, and achieve a sense of inner calm.
The book is structured into several sections, each addressing a different aspect of life and providing strategies to let go of stress and anxiety. It incorporates mindfulness and meditation techniques to help readers live in the present moment and free themselves from the burdens of the past and worries about the future. The authors emphasize the importance of self-compassion and self-care throughout the book.
Key concepts and techniques discussed in the book include:
- Mindfulness Meditation: The authors introduce the practice of mindfulness meditation as a way to stay present and reduce mental clutter. They offer step-by-step guidance on how to meditate effectively and incorporate mindfulness into daily routines.
- Letting Go of Negativity: “Let That Sh*t Go” encourages readers to release negative thoughts, grudges, and judgments that weigh them down. It provides strategies to identify and release these burdens, promoting emotional freedom.
- Acceptance and Forgiveness: The book promotes self-acceptance and forgiveness as powerful tools for achieving inner peace. By letting go of self-criticism and forgiving both oneself and others, readers can experience emotional healing.
- Managing Stress and Anxiety: The authors provide practical tips on how to manage stress and anxiety, offering techniques such as deep breathing, journaling, and setting boundaries to maintain a balanced and happy life.
- Mindful Living: “Let That Sh*t Go” encourages readers to apply mindfulness to various aspects of life, from relationships to work, to make more conscious choices and experience greater fulfillment.
“Let That Sh*t Go” is a well-crafted guide to finding peace of mind and happiness in the midst of life’s chaos. Kate Petriw and Nina Purewal combine their expertise in mindfulness and self-help to deliver a practical and relatable approach to managing stress and anxiety. Here are some key points from the review:
- Accessible Language: The book is written in a clear, approachable language, making it suitable for readers of all backgrounds. The authors avoid using jargon and present complex ideas in a straightforward manner.
- Practical Exercises: The book is filled with practical exercises and techniques that can be easily incorporated into daily life. These exercises help readers apply the principles of mindfulness and emotional well-being.
- Holistic Approach: “Let That Sh*t Go” addresses a wide range of life’s challenges, from personal relationships to workplace stress. It takes a holistic approach to well-being, offering guidance for various life situations.
- Real-Life Examples: The authors provide real-life examples and anecdotes, which make the content relatable and engaging. Readers can see how the techniques work in actual scenarios.
- Familiar Concepts: Some readers well-versed in self-help and mindfulness may find the concepts in the book familiar, as they draw from established practices in these areas.
- Not a Deep Dive: While the book provides a good introduction to mindfulness and stress management, it may not offer the depth required by individuals seeking an in-depth exploration of these topics.
In conclusion, “Let That Sh*t Go” is a valuable resource for anyone looking to reduce stress, enhance their emotional well-being, and find greater peace in their daily lives. It’s a practical, user-friendly guide that offers a fresh perspective on managing life’s challenges through mindfulness and self-compassion. If you’re new to these concepts or looking for a practical guide to stress management, this book is a worthwhile read. However, if you’re already well-versed in mindfulness and self-help, you may find the content to be a bit repetitive.