The Art of Letting Go >
Our favorite 5 ways to release and let go
In this blog we share with you our 5 favorite ways to release and let go. We use these methods for our personal development as well as during our traveling.
For everything in life you could say; you have to let it go some day. If it is meant to stay, it will stay.
We are often throwing things away with ease. Today’s society is developed for ‘using’ things and then letting them go, walking away from it and say goodbye to move on.
Relationships which don’t work anymore? We can just walk away and move on to the next!
Stuff we bought, and we don’t like it anymore? No problem; we can move on from it.
(And understand us well; we don’t mean physical or emotional abusive relationships or harmful stuff. Of course stay away from this or walk away whenever you can).
But, when you decide to not walk away or throw it away, there can be a huge opportunity for you in this event, experience, relationship, place etc. What doesn’t feel good, has also something to say about how you look at things. Aren't you throwing away the opportunity to look deeper?
Did you have the urge to buy some new furniture for your house - and throw away the old? Did you feel the need to go shopping for the newest collection? Did you get frustrated because of what someone did? Did you feel unloved because someone didn’t tell you ‘I love you’? Did you feel left outside in the cold? Are you ready to ‘let go’, aka ‘walk away’? Just because?
Stop! And ask yourself what is actually going on? What is actually making you feel unsatisfied with what you already have, restless, frustrated, unloved, left outside in the cold? What is underneath?
By questioning this, you will find maybe a lot of answers. But let go of the idea that you actually need to find something, just explore what comes up!
Chances are that if you don’t ask yourself these questions, the same situation will show up over and over...
Letting go often gets confused with walking away or not needing to face something. But do you know that by doing that it is most of the time you walking away from our deepest, most true and wise self? The real letting go is a true practice, to which you need to be dedicated and committed, and it is not just to throw something away.
If you want to become a master in letting go, maybe you need to start dóing actual letting go.
Here are our 5 favorite ways of how letting go can be practiced
1. Practicing self acceptance, self love and self care
The first of our favorite practices of letting go means actually working on self acceptance, self love and self care. In the first place you could say: “what does this have to do with letting go?” But actually, it is not so weird at all. By practicing these three things, it will become more and more easy to rely on yourself, and you won’t be in so much shock if you are forced to let something go.
Letting go, sometimes means accepting you did the best you can and after that you can not do anything else anymore than to release it. You can’t control your environment or what other people think of you.
It is your life and by claiming this life, you are doing the most important act; you are not walking away from yourself. Only what you do is letting go the control over your environment or other people. Oprah Winfrey said: “Do not think you can be brave with your life and your work and never disappoint anyone. It doesn’t work that way.”
In the book ‘Braving the Wilderness’, written by Brené Brown is written that it is so important to give yourself permission to be excited, goofy and have fun. That by giving yourself the permission, it means that you start to only belong to yourself and to no one else.
“You will always belong anywhere you show up as yourself and talk about yourself and your work in a real way.”
Underneath this attachment to the opinion of other people or circumstances often lies the belief that we are not good enough, or that we don’t belong somewhere. Therefore asking yourself the questions why you feel rejected, why you feel frustrated, why you feel pain. And after that really showing up for yourself, can be very helpful to discover your deepest feelings and grow the ability to let things go naturally. And that brings us to the second practice.
2. Vipassana or other peaceful practices
Did you discover something which hurt you? Which made you feel rejected, insecure or frustrated? Letting go of old and uncomfortable feelings can actually be done best by facing them gently, during for example a meditation session. Still a lot of people think that meditation is not having any thoughts or feelings at all, but it works actually not like that.
Meditation is embracing these feelings or thoughts of discomfort, without grabbing them, without holding or judging them. After that you will maybe experience these feelings to get less intense and fade away.
(But be careful! Because the mind will find a way to hold onto something: for example to the idea that the uncomfortable feeling should fade away!)
You can practice this very beautifully in Vipassana meditation. Or you can also do a guided meditation called ‘Ho'oponopono’ meditation. Vipassana or Ho'oponopono are very powerful methods to ‘Let go’. There are a lot of videos about this on the internet. Or follow a Vipassana course in one of the retreats. Check Reina her other blog on Vipassana.
3. Practice detaching from your identity, no-thingness
Imagine losing every boundary of who you think you are. We take on so many roles in our lives, but try to release the idea of taking on these roles for a couple of moments.
If you let go certain parts of your identity, or maybe even your complete identity, you will see that it becomes more easy to feel where the flow is. This state of no-thingness can feel scary, and your mind will come up soon to ask questions like ‘what is next?’.
“No-thingness contains it all.”
Buddha used this, shunyata, already in his teachings. Osho described this as no-thingness. This state is actually pure potential being, because nothing is manifested yet in this state. But in the same time, no-thingness contains it all.
It can feel as if you are in ‘a gap’, and our mind wants to come out as soon as possible. It can feel disorienting or even scary, because we are not used to be in this state of mind. We are always forced by our society to have a certain plan or goal. But actually this is the place where everything happens, without forcing.
4. Follow the signs
Carl Jung described this already very beautifully in his book about synchronicity. That there is more than only the conscious experiences, causality, time and space. He believed that synchronicity mirrors deep psychological processes. Things like dreams, names, songs, symbols or colors can take on a certain meaning and can provide us guidance corresponding with our subconscious.
In order to experience these signs, it is important to let go of the outcome. For example when Adil and me were looking for an ATM in Bangladesh (and believe me, this can be a hell of a search), the moment I spoke out, the ATM was right in front of us.
Or when we were hiking in Nepal and we were looking already for hours to put up our tent (no, wild camping was not the best option because of the tigers and kamila), I told Adil to let it go and trust that it would be fine. Around the corner we found a campsite.
I believe we would have walked right past it, if we wouldn’t have been present in the moment. In a state of no-thingness, as described in number 3. Opening up to these 'signs' can be a powerful method to start working with it, to let it be your guide about what to let go and where to move on from.
But be aware again of the interference of your mind! There is a distinction between a synchronicity or your mind wanting to be synchronistic. The difference lies mostly in not knowing the outcome. With true synchronicity you didn’t expect a particular thing to happen. Most of the time when the mind interferes, it wants to control the outcome. Just practice and be surprised about what you will discover.
5. Don't let it go, but hold onto it in a less forced and more relaxed way
Last but not least. This one is actually inspired by the Bollywood movie, called Dil Chahta Hai, since this visualization is based on a scene of that movie.
You can do this every single moment and try to imagine as if you are doing this. Visualize that you are on a beach and you keep some sand in your hands. The moment you start to try to hold the sand even more firmly, it starts to run out of your hand!
In the contrary; when you just hold your hand loosely, the sand stays where it is. Try to really feel this and move on with your day. You will notice the difference.
"Letting go not always means to lose something. Sometimes letting go means it will stay with you."
Moment of Joy
Letting go not always means to lose something. Sometimes letting go means it will stay with you, but in a more relaxed and in a less forced way. That is showing this scene and this visualization very much.
This is actually what you do when you are in a creative and relaxed state. It is all about being able to sink more and more into your own being. What is making you feel more relaxed? Put some music on, watch an inspiring movie or documentary, go for a walk in nature, start painting...
In this way letting go becomes a true art and an act of love!
Text and images copyright by Moment of Joy.