As yet another new year has started, it might be a good moment to consider what you are ready to let go of? And what you would like to focus on and commit to for this new year to come?
Yesterday, I read a one-liner that spoke to me: “forgiving is giving up hope to change the past.” It stayed with me as I know there are certain relationships in my life where I keep rehashing the past and things said AND not said. Depending on my mood I am either in “warrior” mood giving that person “hell” in my mind’s eye OR I am more mellow, however, I am clearly not ready to let go. Why? This one-liner made me very aware that I clearly still have hope that I CAN change the past. And of course, I can’t! So, what’s next?
For me it is definitely learning to let go. I notice that I am sick and tired of having these “discussions” in my head. Enough already and onwards to something more conducive and peaceful. Which brings me to “letting go”. Definitely not easy to practice! In my assessment. As I am assuming that you might have your own examples of being frustrated with other people’s behavior c.q. your own, I am sharing herewith 2 practices of wise men that went down this road as well.
The first one is from Michael Singer, who says that “in order to BE who we are, we need to let go of who we THINK we are.” The real growth, according to him is in “letting go”. His practice consists of the following:
- The moment you get triggered by a person or a situation, ask yourself “do I want to be disturbed or not?“ If no?
- Sit back & relax
- Let whatever it is go through you & let go
The second practice is from neuro-scientist Rick Hanson, who says that we need to disengage from recurring or complicated thoughts, since that is where we usually get stuck. If we focus on the body sensations and the feelings of whatever upsets us and have a sense of “letting them go”, perhaps in rhythm with exhaling and relaxing, they usually release within minutes or less. Taking a bird’s-eye view of your thoughts and feelings and to be aware of your body as a whole also helps. According to him, this tends to activate neural networks on the sides of your brain that support the sense of letting things be as they are, without adding a lot of mental chatter and me-myself-and-I to them. Meanwhile, neural activity decreases in the midline neural cortices that enable rumination and resisting the present by getting caught up in the future and the past.
So, over to you.
What are you ready to let go of?