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In today's society, the other F-word, forgiveness, often evokes strong emotions and reactions.

When forgiveness is mentioned, it can trigger a range of emotional responses. Reactions, such as a racing heart, swelling pride, or a sense of self-protection, are perfectly normal. Stemming from our human nature to defend ourselves and preserve our ego, we hold on to grudges and refuse to forgive, which can hinder our personal development, ability to move on in life and our overall emotional well-being. 

Forgiveness can be a powerful tool for personal growth and transformation.  Let’s start with what forgiveness is NOT. It is not about condoning or excusing someone's actions; rather, it is a powerful act of self-empowerment, acceptance of how things are and living in the present moment. 

Through forgiveness, we release ourselves from the burdens of resentment, anger, and negativity that we carry around with us like rocks in a backpack. Forgiving allows us to release negative energy and move forward, heal emotional wounds, to create healthier relationships.

Here are some strategies to move towards forgiveness:

1. Self-reflection

Take time to reflect on the impact of holding onto grudges. And consider your willingness to let it go and/or learn from the lesson it taught you.  Journal and reflect.

2. Empathy and understanding

Try to put yourself in the shoes of the person who hurt you. Understanding what they are going through can help foster empathy and pave the way to forgiveness.

3. Letting go of control

Recognize that holding onto anger and resentment only gives your power away. Time spent trying to figure out the other person is time wasted. Releasing control allows you to move forward, find your own joy and reclaim your own power. You only have control of yourself, not others. How can you learn and grow form the experience without carrying the pain around?

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4. Seek support

 Engage in open conversations with trusted friends, family, or professionals who can provide guidance, tools and support during the forgiveness process. We use a worksheet in Destination Rejuvenation that identifies the hurt and the power it has over you, so that you can reclaim it.

5. Practice self-compassion 

Remember that forgiveness is a journey, and it takes time. Be patient with yourself and show kindness and compassion as you navigate through the healing process.  Sometimes your person you need to forgive the most.

6. Find a symbolic way to release that which is holding you back.

At our retreats we write messages in the sand, or we burn messages in a fire. You could also write that person a letter, and send or don’t send, just destroy after writing it.

Embracing forgiveness is not an easy journey, but it is one worth embarking on for our own well-being and emotional freedom. Choose a life that releases all that hold you back from shining and being present!

Mary Wilson will host Mountain-High Yoga on our hotel rooftop at Data-Driven Salon Summit in Denver, Colorado!

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About the Author: Mary Wilson has been a beauty industry pro for 40 years and has contributed in many arenas including marketing, sales, education, communication and presentation skills. She has always believed the very best way to find  overall happiness is to create authentic beauty while maintaining your own physical, mental and emotional health.In addition to being a beauty industry leader,  Mary has been a certified yoga teacher for the past 10 years, leading wellness retreats and teaching yoga, breath work. reiki and energy healing.   Her next retreat is in March 2024 in Palm Springs, CA is sold out, so stay tuned for next year’s dates and location! Since launching Wilson Collective in 2019, Mary has embarked on sharing her message directly with stylist and salon owners by traveling the country in an RV with her partner and husband and sharing the Wilson Brand, teaching the Wilson Method of Haircutting, as well as Styling and Wellness.
 

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Originally posted on Salon Today