Learning to Let Go Of the Past

A week after I sold my company, i9 sports, I had no regrets. I felt free. It was absolutely the right time for me. There was no sadness or remorse about it. Like any entrepreneur who leaves his business, I felt a range of emotions, from total gratitude and relief to uncertainty about the unknown. What would come next? What would it be like to no longer go into the office?

And despite having the ability to live off the interest from the sale of i9, I felt I was much too young to do that. I still wanted to work and be productive. While the changeover from full-time work was instantly satisfying, I admit that it also felt a little weird. Suddenly, there was no structure or obligation.

In the wake of all of this, I decided to go to a mystical place called the Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa, a wellness retreat tucked away in Tucson, Arizona where you learn to become mindful of the present moment, disconnect from the stressors of daily life, and reconnect with nature.

When I arrived and walked through the grounds, I felt the peace of the place. It was as if everything around me was moving in slow motion, as though time stood still. One of my private sessions involved a technique called Holographic Memory Resolution (HMR). It’s an emotional reframing approach to therapy that allows you to access memories of past traumatic experiences or stressful events while emphasizing the mind-body connection. I dug deep and connected with a dozen or so physical pains—some related to my health, others a result of stress— but all of them tied to events in my life that had left behind emotional bruises. Thanks to that session, I healed a number of emotion-related physical symptoms that reflected deep pain from the past, most notably a chronic neck pain that had been with me for decades (and I continue to be pain-free nearly three years later).

At some point during the eighty-minute session, the following words came to me loud and clear: The war is over. What a relief it was! At that very moment it dawned on me that I had been engaged in an epic struggle with myself for forty years. I had battled self-rejection, shame, guilt, and the fear of not being good enough. I was virtually disarming myself. I envisioned laying down a rifle and could even hear the sound of the metal from the weapon clank on the ground. It was absolutely the most freeing, liberating feeling I’d ever experienced.

I was no longer going to carry any of my parents’ judgments or past baggage, which I had been unconsciously doing for years. I was never again going to need to comfort myself due to scarcity, nor punish myself for any shame or rejection I felt in the past. I resolved that from that point forward I would only surround myself with people who could be supportive and loving, and who would enhance my happiness.

These people would inspire and motivate me. Likewise, I could also inspire and help others—to overcome rejection and doubt or any self-negating habit of the heart.