Letting go is one of the most important and least understood experiences on the spiritual path. We often hear the admonition to “Let it go.” And also discover that at times it is easier said than done.
The phrase letting go is somewhat of a misnomer because it implies a sort of passive approach where you do little more than open your hand and it floats away with no effort on our part.
Actually, there is much more involved. To release we first have to enter the issue, move toward it, embrace it exactly as it is and take time to fully understand it with crystal clear awareness as to how it works in our lives. Once it is clearly seen from a variety of angles the energetic connections need to be released. Most issues we wish to let go of but continue to plague us remain because the subtle energetic connections persist. The toxic person we need to be free of continues to have an energetic connection in our heart. The habit that is destructive keeps an energetic coil wrapped around our body. These connections are outside of normal linear logical cognitive awareness. They reside in the spiritual energy body we all have, often called an aura or energy field or etheric body. And they do not respond to logical analysis and reasoning.
I begin with a questionnaire designed to address the first aspect of the cognitive, psychological process and the next post offers a visualization focused on the energetic aspects.
This exercise is designed for use when there is plenty of time and quiet space. It should take between 30-90 minutes. You can do it all at once or in sections. You can also do it more than once and with more than one issue after you finish working through your first issue.
Increasing awareness: Please assume there is more you can learn about this issue in your life as you approach these questions. And when you are asked to write about it I urge you to write. Keep paper nearby. Writing is a way of engaging differently and takes the process out of your head and away from repetitive circular thoughts.
These initial questions are basically priming the pump of awareness.
1. To begin, please write 2-4 lines which succinctly describe the issue.
2. Is this primarily about
b. Another person
c. A situation
j. Past trauma
3. Now engage with this issue in a different way. Stop, pause and breathe for a couple of minutes. Where do you feel this problem in your body? Is it in your chest, heart space, mind, gut, abdomen, legs? Just note the location. What are the sensations that accompany the issue? Tightness, heat, cold, pulsing, frozen? Stay right with the body and focus on the sensations (not thoughts) In what way does your body respond to the problem?
4. Once again pause, breathe deeply. Let yourself visualize the issue occurring as it occurs in your life. See the issue play itself out with all of its qualities, forms and images. For example if the issue is with another person see yourself with that person and the patterns that occur. If the issue is with a habit like eating see yourself eating. Notice how the issue occurs and the patterns of activity.
5. Next ask yourself a series of detailed questions about the image and issue. Watch for the first thought, it is usually very valuable though not necessarily logical or rational. If you have no response to a question you can do two things: first breathe and sit with the question or go back to the image again.
Not all questions will fit your situation if they don’t move on to the next.
a. What is it you do not want to see about this issue and your role in it? This is a difficult question for some people, try to stay with it. Or you can come back to it later. In what ways do you add to the difficulty?
b. In what way does it serve you to have this in your life?
For example, If it is about weight how does the weight serve you? Or a person what do you get out of the situation?
Pause, listen within, breathe, slow your process down so that you see what is going on inside of you about this. Notice the sensations and relax the body. Breathe. And relax your body again. All these questions are designed to help you observe your inner process. Remember, that is the only thing you can change.
c. If the issue is with another person, in what way is this person like you? What unrecognized corner of your personality, which you probably don’t like, is being reflected back to you by this person? Just let yourself see that without any judgment. It is usually one of the keys to change.
d. What part of your past is being stirred up? Who does this person remind you of? What does the feeling remind you of? When have you had this feeling before?
e. In what ways does this issue make you feel less than whole?
Transformational work: Now it is time to work in a different way with this. With increased awareness you will ask a series of other questions designed to begin to activate higher energies and wisdom.
1. Pause now, go inside to the place of your deepest wisdom often called your Soul or your higher self. What does this wisest part of you say about this? Or, how does your Soul respond to any of the above questions? Please remember that your deepest wisdom will not criticize you in any way though you may be encouraged to do things differently.
2. Do you have a spiritual figure in your life? Jesus, Buddha, Mary, Quan’Yin, Saint Francis. What would he or she say to you about this?
3. What is the life lesson this issue it trying to teach you in this time? What is its gift to you? The issue which is so burdensome and troubling, which weighs you down so, is really there to teach you something new about your life.
4. If this problem were solved, if it disappeared, how would your life be different?
5. If you were to utterly and totally love yourself in the midst of all this what would you do differently?
6. Pause once again allow the deepest transformative energies within you flow into your awareness of the issue. Allow these awarenesses to transform your responses.
Spend time over the next few weeks reflecting on the issue. Spend time in self-inquiry so you have a clear view of the process.
The next posting will provide a visualization to deal with the energetic aspects.