There is nothing more frustrating to me at times than being told to “let it go.” I get that crazy punch-them-in-the-face mental flash, then have to remind myself I’m a yogi and repeat ahimsa, non-violence, until I chill out.
This phrase can trigger me so much because it’s in exactly those moments that I’d love more than anything to “let it go,” but some part of me keeps holding on…to something that’s happened, or might happen…and I feel like screaming, “can’t you see I’m trying!”
The great irony is that I’ve built a life and career around telling/helping people to “let it go.”
As frustrating as it can be I’m passionate about “letting it go” because I know it’s in the letting go that I find my peace, my healing, my wisdom, inner light, purpose and guidance.
It’s pure bliss once I’ve broken the threshold of resistance, either physically or mentally/emotionally with an issue.
Each time I “let go” I promise myself I won’t hold onto grudges or worry or fear or my tight shoulders or hips ever again. Ha! And then life happens and inevitably I’ll cycle back to holding onto something that blocks my energy and brings me down…until I re-remember the path of letting go.
Thankfully I remember a lot more quickly these days and hold on a lot less frequently…and I attribute that shift to a regular practice of yoga, mediation and EFT — three tools that have changed my life and made finding the path of least resistance much easier.
The key is to PRACTICE REGULARLY. I find doing even 5 minutes of meditation, yoga or tapping a day is much much more impactful overall than doing massive sessions rarely.
To me these practises are like short cuts to let go of blockages and BE present.
I was inspired to write this post after listening to an interview for Mindful in May with meditation teacher Mark Coleman yesterday, who said, rather than focus on letting go, focus on letting be.
He explained that letting go was not something we do but rather a result of letting be. Letting be means observation and acceptance. When we practice these two things, the natural result is a letting go.
I really resonated with that and it made me understand why yoga, meditation and EFT work so well — they are all practices of observation and acceptance.
I want to share with you how to make letting go easier by using these tools in a simple, day to day way.
Breath Body Practice
To me ANY mindful breath body practice is yoga. Yoga is not just about contorting our bodies into funny poses, it’s really about the mindfulness required to contort our bodies or balance on our hands. That said, doing really simple movements can generate just as much mindfulness.
The point is, when we move our body and connect to our breath, our attention is called to the present moment and our brain chemistry changes — our senses heighten, we feel more, and it causes us to forget about future or past worries (even if just momentarily).
The body can only ever BE IN THE NOW, so any mindful breath body practice creates a state of “being” that leads to letting go.
That’s part of why we feel so damn good after yoga, or come up with solutions that previously evaded us.
TIP: What ever your yoga is (surfing, running, walking, dancing, asana…any mindful movement), do it EVERY DAY as a practice even if just for five minutes, knowing it’s a practice of BEING PRESENT, which creates space to let go.
Letting be is a combination of observation and acceptance, and meditation is the mighty act of self observation.
Through meditation we cultivate an ability to sustain our focus on ourselves without reacting to what we see.
This non-reaction piece is huge. Some days I sit down and my mind is running with so many thoughts I feel leagues away from the ideal vision of peaceful meditation. But I sit anyway and I practice watching all those thoughts.
I can’t stop the thoughts but I can feel separate from them. I can remember I am not my thoughts or sensations, I am just experiencing them.
This act of not identifying with the thoughts or sensations is so powerful because it leads to letting be and letting go.
We have to practice this mindset, like building muscular strength, and that’s why even when my mediation practice feels far from peaceful I know it’s worth doing.
TIP: Even if you think you don’t know how to meditate and you’re head is full of a thousand and eight thoughts, just pause, close your eyes, sit or stand still, observe those thoughts and remind yourself you are more than your thoughts or sensations. Even one minute a day makes a difference!
E.F.T. — Stands for Emotional Freedom Technique, commonly known as “tapping,” and has been one of the biggest positive influences in my life over the past few years.
It’s so simple that it almost feel ridiculous, but man it’s powerful. (The older I get the more I realise the simple things are often the most powerful).
In the E.F.T. technique we tap on a series of easy to remember points on the body that correlate to the meridian system. Much like acupuncturists needling points to stimulate and move energy (especially stuck energy) tapping stimulates all of the meridian lines, moves energy, and increases somatic awareness.
As you tap these specific points you also state what’s bothering you, where you feel it in your body and then say, “and I love and accept myself anyway.” That’s the basic and anybody can do it
ACCEPTING is the second part of letting be. Sometimes it’s hard to say those simple words “I love and accept.” It feels lame or makes you realise how much you haven’t been accepting. But this may be one of the most potent phrases in the English language!
I’ve found in my own experience and when facilitating a session (I loved this practice so much I recently became a qualified EFT practitioner), is that these simple words coupled with stimulating energy can catalyse an embodiment of acceptance that is both cathartic and profoundly transformational.
TIP: Practice tapping regularly at home (see youtube link). If you can’t remember the pattern juts tap the sternum (breast bone), name out loud the issue, how it feels in your body starting with “Even though xxx…” followed by “I love and accept myself anyway.” End with placing your hands on your heart centre and taking three deep breaths.
I’d love to hear what tools you’ve found in your life help you let be and let go, share with the community below!