I think of letting go as diving in, not turning away. As living in each moment, getting as close to a full life experience as possible in this one moment. To do that, you need to learn how to let go of what isn't yours to hold forever. Here are a few ideas that can help.
“Leave your front door and your back door open. Allow your thoughts to come and go. Just don’t serve them tea.” — Shunryu Suzuki
Let's start by letting go of the need to let go perfectly. Seems like a valid place to start.
How to Let Go: 3 Foundational Practices to Make Space for True Peace Inside
1. Acceptance first.
At its core, an attachment is about not wanting something to be the way it is. It is resistance to reality, and it's hard to change what you never acknowledged needed changing in the first place.
You may want something to be different, but you need to honor what is, for what it is, first.
Fight what is, and it’ll fight back. Try to rush your healing with angst rather than curiosity, and it’ll hold you back.
Over and over, acceptance is the practice of opening and investigating the moment with curiosity, courage, and deep breaths.
Letting go doesn't mean you resist or avoid, just that you don't serve tea to every passing thought.
Paying attention to the present moment creates space around the things floating around in our head. You don’t have to erase the thoughts or control them, just keep coming back to your observation of them, your breath, or a mantra or other focal point.
Through meditation, it’s possible to see how we attach to worries, planning, and ruminating. We can practice letting go of these attachments by simply refocusing on the present moment.
Meditation is peace training, space making, and a way to lighten the load of everything we’re carrying.
3. Connecting with compassion.
Compassion is a practice too, a skill that can be built no matter who you are or what your past looks like.
Try to see every attachment as a call for compassion. In your meditations, wish for an end to your suffering, and let that loving awareness evolve into a wish for the end of the suffering of others.
As you focus on warming your heart, attachments start to melt and you’re granted a little wiggle room. Your awareness grows. Instead of dwelling on what you’re trying to let go, you focus on loving anyway.
You see others’ suffering, and your suffering is suddenly not so different or impossible.
. . .
Which of these letting go practices could you use the most today?
Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I’d love to know!
P.S. Need help letting go at night? Get my book Sleep Rituals for 100 at-home practices that are all about you. And the present moment. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, not even what happened today. You deserve that kind of peace.