What does 'letting go' mean and how do you do it?
Our bodies carry information and light.
From our conception, when we come into the world with some information from our ancestors, our growth in the womb, to being weaned, and then as we become part of the family, community, school, workplace, and everything in between.
Every experience is recorded in our subconscious mind and in the body.
The body records the information as it receives it, and this is different for each one of us.
Jumping off a cliff on a snowboard will terrify some and exhilarate others!
Our experiences are recorded through our perceptions of what happened in that moment.
Childhood traumas are real events that either happened or we perceived to have happened, the body can't tell the difference. Any time we have a powerful negative or positive experience, the system records it all - sights, sounds, smells, pictures, and an electrical impulse.
This is an internal security system that was designed to keep us safe and warn us if we were getting close to that situation or experience again.
The fight, flight, or freeze response.
When we go into a negative state, the cells contract and darken.
When we go into an expanded positive state, the cells relax and expand.
The reaction, as opposed to a response, simply means that it's coming from the past experience rather than the here and now.
The memory has an electrical impulse attached to it that alerts us to danger.
Thoughts are electrical and emotions are magnetic, so when they happen together there is an electrical storm.
Letting go unhooks the emotional storm from the event and leaves the body free from contraction, thus allowing energy to flow effortlessly.
If you're driving and the car in front hits the brakes, the red light comes on and your foot will hit the brake like lightening - especially so if you've hit the car in front before. Your body is now uber alert to the experience and acts accordingly, through a feeling, a sense, a programme.
Nowadays, when we're exposed to hundreds of experiences per day, some say we have more information in a day than our ancestors had in a lifetime. This makes for a very packed subconscious mind, the hard drive of our super-computer, the body.
Letting go is simply deleting old files or rather the electrical attachment to them. You don't forget the experience but releasing the charge means you can remember and recount, without the pain.
This is when we move out of suffering.
This is when we literally become lighter.
This is when the immune system gets its power back.
This is when we become the master of the mind instead of the victim of it.
This moves you from the victim of the experience to the Master of it.
You can now see it for the lesson or experience it was and not allow it to sabotage your future.
The body follows the mind, and if your mind is continuously tormenting you, then you will experience dis-ease. This is more well known in the East than in the West.
The body follows the mind, which is why it's critical to learn how to Master the mind for full health.
We are the conductors of this cellular choir, but mostly we are mindless with zero understanding of what we're putting the body through with our negative thoughts, beliefs, actions, feelings, and perceptions.
And ironically, this is the only thing that we can actually control! But nobody showed us or taught us how to do this.
But now we are learning the superpower of letting go.
Letting go techniques: how to let go of negative thoughts and emotions
This can be done with talk and touch therapies, while exercise and movement can also facilitate releasing.
When you're ready, the talk methods can set you free in seconds, and like any skill, the more you practice, the better you will get at it.
Shifting Your Negative Self-Talk
Let's start with the "cellf talk", as I like to call it, and how we can make subtle changes to our internal dialogue.
"This is a nightmare" becomes "what would it take for me to feel lighter, better, more joy, more love?"
"I'm starving, knackered, & fed up" becomes "what would it take for me to have more energy, less cravings, & feel more enthusiasm?"
"Life is hard" becomes "how does it get better than this?"
These simple shifts in words change the way the brain lights up and it starts looking for solutions as opposed to when we clamp down a reality that doesn't serve us with I AM.
If you don't want it, don't say it.
Simple. Sail the direction you want to go in, starting with your words.
How to do "The Work" on yourself
Byron Katie provides a simple but extremely effective way of reframing and shifting your thought patterns by doing "The Work"
She insists, "Every time you do The Work you are becoming enlightened to who and what you are, the true nature of being. To question what you believe is an amazing gift to give yourself, and you can have it all the days of your life. The answers are always inside you, just waiting to be heard".
So, let's try it: who is believing the negative thoughts?
"My partner doesn't understand me" is a thought and maybe a belief so you run it through the questions:
- Is that true?
- Can you 100% know that it is true?
- How does it make you feel when you choose to believe that thought?
- Who would you be without that thought?
Then turn it around...
"My partner doesn't understand me" becomes:
- I don't understand my partner
- My partner does understand me
- I don't understand me
Sit with each statement and feel what the body says, tune in for your truth, your relief.
When you get good at this you will only need the first question - "is it true?"
Visit thework.com for more wonderful wisdom and really helpful resources around this technique.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or Tapping)
Gently tapping around the head, face, and collar bone on the meridian system - which are energy lines that run through the body - is becoming a very popular way to release pent up emotions and change beliefs, perceptions, and behaviours.
The tapping points are as follows and indicated in the diagram below:
- Outside of the hand (Karate Chop)
- Top fo Head (Crown)
- Inside of eyebrow, at the top of your nose
- Dent at side of eye
- Under the eye
- Under nose, above top lip
- Chin, below bottom lip
- Collar bone
Notice something that's bothering or upsetting you and note how and where you feel it in your body. Rate the intensity from 0 to 10 (with 10 being the most).
Then you can do the EFT setup. You simply tap around these points (5-10 times on each) in sequence saying,
"Even although I feel, think, hate (bring all the things that are negative, no matter how dark, they all have a place) the way I do, I deeply and completely, love, trust, and respect myself".
Keep tapping around until you feel the change in the body. Note whether or not the intensity has changed and give it a new number.
Repeat the whole tapping process but change your wording slightly. For example, to something like...
"Even though I still feel a bit anxious/stressed/whatever it is....I deeply and completely love, trust, accept, and respect myself"
"This remaining stress..."
Then tap around with the way you would LOVE it to be (add in your own words)...
"I am now open to letting go of this ex, feeling, limiting belief, habit effortlessly so that I can be free.
I am in the process of releasing …..
I allow myself to ……..
I am free, loving, expanded, etc"
Check in with yourself again and see what number you've come down to. Keep repeating the process until you feel better.
The key to this is repetition and practice. Over and over for weeks, months, and possibly years. You are rewiring your brain and this takes time, persistence, and resilience, never giving up. But it's a tool you have in your box and on-hand any time, any where. If you can feel it, you can heal it.
The Sedona Method
A simple, elegant, release technique.
3 simple questions:
- Could you let it go?
- Would you let it go?
You simply bring the thing from the past, present, or future that causes you discomfort and gives you emotional pain.
Bring it into your mind's eye.
Then as you do this, pay close attention to how the body reacts.
It may come as an obvious feeling, words, pictures...just observe and allow.
Then you ask yourself, can I allow this feeling to be here?
Can I welcome it, best I can, just for now?
Could I let it go? - Yes? But you may think "No", in which case you just welcome the resistance.
Would I let it go? - Yes
When? - Now
Then we look at the underlying wants...
Do we want:
Welcome them one-by-one and just let them go.
You can simply take your arms out wide, or imagine wool unravelling, use words like dissolving, or use your own visualisation like opening a door, lifting the lid on a pressure cooker, cutting the tie of a kite, or whatever feels good.
It's impossible to go into the intricacies of the entire method without feedback, but that is the gist of it - think, feel, release.
Repeat over and over until you find and feel peace. You can learn more about The Sedona Method here and highly recommend reading the book by Hale Dwoskin.
Like anything that you want to strengthen and improve, you have to practice.
Our super-computers are literally rammed with outdated information, so we have to put the rubbish out on a daily basis so that it doesn't weigh us down.
Then you simply have to remember to do it.
Try combining the techniques whenever some negative feelings arise:
- Rephrase your sentence - "How does it get better than this?"
- Question whether you are believing lies - "Is that true?"
- Tap out the old and rewire the new with EFT
- Feel the body, think of the scenario getting you down, feel it, welcome it, and let it go with a whoosh of the arms and a powerful visualisation of your choice.
If you'd like to learn more about Letting Go and other ways to help you feel good, sign up to our free mini e-course 7 Steps to Better Health & Vitality.