"Letting go does not mean forgetting, it just means we stop carrying the energy of the past into the present"
- Yung Pueblo
This month on my Wednesday class we explored the concept of letting go. Given that it is a vast subject, we only focused on three concepts: letting go of the need to control the way we feel, letting go of control of external events and relationships, and letting go of limiting beliefs.
So let's check them out one by one.
1. Let go of control of the way we feel.
It feels like most of the time we want to hide our emotions, we don't like accepting feelings like anger and sadness, but the truth is the more we try to cover them, the more they become a part of us.
What can we do then? First we need to recognize their presence and ask: how am I feeling? - this will put us in contact with the emotion, exactly as it is; why am I feeling this way? - checking our thoughts will definitely give us a clue as to why this emotion has appeared; where am I feeling it? - closing our eyes to external distractions we focus our attention in the sensations and feelings that this emotion creates in our body (check your belly, your chest.) And then we continue to stay present with the feeling, breathing deeply a couple of times, letting go of the story that surrounds it.
When we accept the way we are feeling, we allow this emotion (energy) to flow through us unblocked, and by staying present with it we stand in a steadier place to be able to choose our reactions in that moment. Let's always choose peace and love.
2. Letting go of control of external events and relationships.
I think we all agree that life is unpredictable. The more we allow what comes our way to flow without resistance, the more at peace we feel in the midst of chaos. We can't control other people's reactions to us and we can't make them be what we want them to be, either. Accepting people the way they are, doing our best to bring peace in every interaction will bring changes to our relationships with others. We will have less conflict and less drama around us. By relaxing into the experience, by being more flexible releasing this need to always get what we want, we open ourselves to the infinite possibilities that surround us, opening ourselves to the experience of life. So like Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita: Do not concern yourself with the outcomes of your actions, act because it is the right thing to do, and act according to what your heart dictates.
3. Letting go of limiting beliefs.
A limiting belief is any thought or concept we believe about ourselves to be true. As we grow up we get to experience a lot of things and each of those experiences creates a memory and/or a belief. Depending on the nature of the experience and the times that it repeats itself, this belief gets strengthened. Limiting beliefs keep us blinded to the truth of who we are. Nourishing thoughts like: "I am not good enough" "I am not pretty enough" "I am not smart" "Why should I do this? I always fail", will only keep us small. Pay attention to what you believe about yourself and change those heavy thoughts for lighter ones. And I challenge you this month to look in the mirror every morning and say: "I am beautiful" "I love you." See for yourself the transformation in you with only those words.
Remember that the practice of letting go is a lifelong practice. It requires a lot of patience and trust - but don't worry - these are qualities we reinforce along the way and each time we try, we get stronger. So don't give up, keep practicing, and you will notice the changes within you, in your environment and in your relationships.