“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
This one simple act can fill your life with so much love and joy you won’t know what to do with yourself.
It’s so easy to let the little stuff get to us. To focus on the negative, to hold on to things (the past, thoughts, ideas, beliefs, people, situations, etc) that bring us down. We don’t even realize we do it.
I’ve found myself lately doing a lot of these things. Negative, icky, blah! No good, no good. It’s weighing me down and it’s starting to show up in my life in more ways than I’d like to admit.
It’s amazing how sometimes the things we need to hear the most appear as if they are meant only for our eyes or ears.
Today in yoga class my teacher talked a lot about “clearing out the basement”; aka – getting rid of and letting go of everything that is holding us down. This was a class of about fifteen people, but I’m pretty sure she was talking just to me. 😉
Yoga and meditation have helped me a lot when it comes to letting go. I’ve learned to let go of old thoughts and beliefs about life and about myself. As I’ve written in other posts, a lot of my perspectives have changed and I see life through a different lens.
It’s easy to forget that the road of self-discovery and growth never ends. It is important to remember how much we’ve learned and how far we’ve come, but we can’t forget that there is always room to grow.
Letting go is a practice (as is everything in life) and it’s clear to me now that I need more practice.
Things I really struggle to let go of are actions and behaviors of other people and the “need to please”. These are things that have been lurking around in my subconscious lately, draining my energy and self-esteem. It wasn’t until this morning in class that it became clear what the problem is.
I’ve been holding on to JUNK that is weighing me down. No wonder I’ve felt icky and negative! Realizing this stuff isn’t always as easy as we’d might like, but the answers are always there. For me, today, inspiring words of wisdom from an amazing teacher shined the light on the area of myself that needed attention. Her words brought me clarity, but it’s up to me to bring this realization to life.
The only thing that we really have control of is ourselves. Our reactions and our responses.
Life is happening around us, whether we like it not. People are going to do things we don’t like, say things we don’t like, make choices we don’t agree with. Things are going to happen, things are going to go wrong. All of this is out of our control.
Start with small things like a bad driver on the road. A normal way for you to react might be to get angry, to yell, get annoyed, swear, whatever. Next time this happens, choose to react differently. Choose to let it go. Notice it, acknowledge it, then let it go. It’s not worth letting yourself get worked up or even waste one minute of negative energy on it.
Practice letting go of stuff that has already happened. Stuff you might be upset or angry about. You can’t change the past, so why dwell on it? Practice this everyday. Imagine these things floating away like a balloon.
Holding on to stuff so tightly, whatever it might be, is only holding us back. It keeps us from growing and becoming the amazing people we are meant to be.
The practice of letting go can be applied to any and all areas of our lives. It doesn’t matter what it is you need to let go of, it can be really hard to do. By practicing letting the small things go, it helps us let go of the bigger things too.
Just. Let. Go.