The Discipline and Practice of ‘Letting Go’

alex_grey_parabola1-300x225We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘Let go and let God.’ Can we?

Do we have to really work on recognizing and releasing our attachments to outcome? Usually we do; working through the frustrations of self-criticism along the way. Oftentimes, we find ourselves in a vicious vortex of self-destructive patterns. That same vortex can just as quickly release us when we know how to let go of our critical subjective nature, acknowledge the feeling, allow the feeling without denial, choose to release it, observe its release and accept a better feeling. Sounds so simple in theory. What if it really is?

This practice is a relatively simple yet profound tool for transformation and transcendence. You might already realize the advantages. What you will be doing is synergizing your breath with your feelings, releasing the emotional blocks or bottlenecks to your true freedom and flow. Depending on what you uncover, it can work quickly or take some time. The process, once perfected, can be used anywhere at any time. The results are experienced in many ways, all of them good, as they offer deeper understanding of your own feeling patterns.

We can either respond or react to any situation. By responding, we pause and reflect before we act. The observer within allows us to step away from the emotional attachment to outcome, yet helps us define those attachments because we have become aware of them now. Once aware, we can choose how to respond rather than react out of some unconscious pattern of old behavior.

Personal growth does not have to be painful. Why would we want to continue to experience pain, then? We can observe and not be engaged by the disturbance. So recognizing that the observer is a really powerful place, how do we find it? The focus of this exercise is to move beyond disturbance in your emotional patterns, the blocks or resistance to change or growth, and become the observer of your process.

Sometimes we have enough awareness to be able to ask why we reacted to a situation in such an inappropriate or incongruous way. That question is an opportunity to explore the deeper causes of our reaction. The following exercise is designed to allow you to garner greater awareness and control of your responses to stimuli.

Exercise:

  • Recall a situation where you reacted emotionally out of control.
  • Remember the feeling that triggered the reaction. Embrace it now.
  • Feel the feeling as deeply as if it had just happened again.
  • Take a deep breath and let it go. On the exhale, feel yourself relax and release.
  • Imagine that the feeling is now gone, replaced by a better feeling.
  • Breathe deep, again and breathe again. Feel the tension leave your body?
  • Notice that you feel better, less stressed and less tense.

That is the process. It is that simple. You probably had forgotten about the feeling, right? There could be a bit of residual emotion still. That, too, can disappear with practice. Imagine if you took conscious breaths on a regular basis.