Learning How to Say Goodbye

It isn’t easy to say goodbye. But doing so with grace is worth it.

Even in the best of times, goodbyes are hard. However, saying farewell with grace is a skill that will make both your personal and professional relationships a whole lot more successful.

The grand mystery of our future ensures that we never really know when a goodbye is forever. Chances are that at some point you will see your old boss, former best friend, or even your ex again, and that future rendezvous will be much easier if your last meeting ended with a proper goodbye.

In professional relationships, saying goodbye might feel sticky. Yoga teachers may identify with how difficult it is to teach a final class somewhere, for example. But just as with our personal relationships, we never know if our goodbyes are permanent. The opportunity you are leaving may circle back to you in the future. Grace helps us to stay out of our own way.

Here are some ways to keep your goodbyes graceful and potent, whether the situation is professional or personal:

  • Practice acceptance. Let go when it is time to let go. You might not always want the ending you’re getting, but it is still the ending. For now.
  • Take care of you. Spend time doing things that nourish you and make you feel whole. Go to yoga, take a bubble bath, get a haircut, read a book. You are all that you need and being happy with yourself will attract great, big new things.
  • Be honest. Do not go quietly into that dark night, and do not pretend it isn’t happening. Say goodbye to your students, say goodbye to your co-workers, say goodbye to your ex-boyfriend’s sister if it feels right.
  • Keep it positive. No matter the situation, end with a handshake or a hug. End with gratitude and a willingness to learn the lesson at hand. Free yourself from the karma of repeating any mistakes and move forward.

It certainly isn’t easy to say goodbye. But it is worth it. If there is a person or an opportunity that you’ve held on to, consider saying goodbye with your own ceremony or ritual. There are many ways to do this: say a prayer or practice contemplative meditation, for example. A Reiki master once suggested writing a note to a loved one who had passed and planting it with a seed to begin again.

Endings can be beautiful. They are a part of our practice. Have you practiced letting go lately? Share your story below in the comments.

elizabeth-crisciElizabeth Crisci is a yoga teacher and artist in Fairfield County, Connecticut. She is the creator of Love by E, handmade gemstone mala and jewelry. She teaches in workshops, special events, and trainings in the Northeast in addition to a range of regular, weekly classes. She teaches smart and accessible yoga designed to make you feel good. She loves every minute of her work. You can find her writing and her teaching schedule on her website.