To move forward and change our lives for the better, we need to learn from the past, let go, forgive, forget and move on. Otherwise there no space available for the new. At this time in history, I believe we need to do that personally and globally more than ever. Here we’ll explore 3 ways to do that.
05:00 – Why regular ‘letting go’ is so important
09:25 – We are all better at letting go than previous generations
11:30 – A simple way to train your mind to let go of anything
20:45 – How to physicalize the letting go
66 Days to Retrain Yourself in Good Habits of Mind
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This is episode 104 – The Power of Letting Go. As you probably know in order to move forward and change our lives for the better, we need to learn from the past, let go, forgive, forget and move on to make space for the new. Here we’ll explore 3 ways to do that. Hi, I’m Carla Rieger and this is the MindStory Speaker podcast, activating leaders to help steer humanity into a golden age.
It’s been a hard year and almost a half for many people. There’s been many losses, and sorrows, and worries than ever before. However, it also gives us the chance to practice letting go, learning, finding the gifts in challenges so we can move on and recreate ourselves. When we do it individually, I believe we also help others around us do it, and it positively affects the collective of humanity. We’re going through a huge transition right now in the whole world, and the more people that are holding onto the past the more it slows everyone down. On the other side of this transition is amazing renewal and a renaissance in human evolution, a true golden age, if we’re willing to give a good honest look about what’s been going on that’s not working anymore – personally and globally – and letting it go.
If you don’t then you stay stuck in what I call The Winter of Change. So, even though the season right now may be bringing warm weather, if you’re not processing the old, you can stay stuck, frozen and barren when it comes to re-creating your life and rising from the ashes. That said, you may have already done that overall.
Statistically some people thrive in intense change and look for how to learn and grow, so they find their way quickly. Others have a harder time. And then of course, you might be good at moving on from financial or career loss, but not so good at moving on from relationship loss. We have areas where it’s easier than others.
But chances are you’ve been stuck in the winter of change in some aspect of life at some point in your life. You often only realize it in retrospect. When you finally emerge into Spring you see how stuck you were. Or, maybe you realize it now. You know you’re stuck but you can’t figure out how. We’re going to explore 3 ways of letting go to get unstuck. They are short, practical and effective for a lot of people.
Just to give you one example of how important letting go can be. I had a colleague who was on the board of his industry’s association. It was very prestigious, and he made very important connections with people in his industry, but it was a huge amount of his volunteer time, there was plenty of infighting and politics that wore him down. It was negatively affecting his own business and didn’t allow him any down time to take care of his health and wellbeing. He talked about leaving for years, but never did. A part of him liked having a jam packed full schedule, rushing from one thing to the next. He was used to it. It was a form of escape for him, he finally realized. Eventually, he got very sick, I’m talking weeks laid up in bed, so he had to quit. Someone had to take over the role. He stayed in regret and FOMO, fear of missing out for weeks. When he got better and back into life again, he didn’t want to go back to that volunteer role. He looked at everything in his business and realized the 80/20 rule was in place. 20% of his activities accounted for 80% of his success, so he cut out anything that didn’t. He ended up being so relieved. Not only did he still have the connections and the respect for having been on the board, he had a more efficiently run business, working less…and he had time for relaxing, stilling his mind, moving his body, reflecting.
At first it was uncomfortable because he was so backed up on processing things, but once through the backlog he’s never gone back to the jam packed lifestyle full of rushing from here to there. It reminded me of what a computer technician told me. He said the reason your Mac runs slow is because after you’re done using it, you shut it down. You should let it go into sleep mode, because that’s when it does background clean up tasks, defragging, deleting unnecessary files and all that. It’s like what we do when we sleep, especially if we have a long enough sleep to go between the different brain wave states that do different kinds of functions. If you exhaust yourself and then crash for a few hours and then do it all over again, your brain/mind system has no time to do those background clean up and letting go tasks.
So, here’s 3 ways to get unstuck…so you don’t have to wait until life throws you a curve ball forcing you to let go of something…like getting sick, or a lawsuit, accident, or your spouse leaving you, or a financial downturn. If you let go consciously, you can sometimes avoid life doing it for you.
In fact, I believe that “letting go” is almost a spiritual practice, a mental/emotional muscle you can build. If it’s flabby, you’re bad at letting go, no problem, let’s just get to the gym with a few regular practices and you can become great at it. People who learn from loss, mistakes, failures, challenging circumstances, more easily let go and move on. It’s when you’re not willing to learn, where you can’t see anything positive, any way you could be growing out the situation…those are the people who stay stuck. I know. I’ve been there. What could possibly be the gift in this bad situation? It’s hard to see at first, unless you find within yourself the willingness to see. That’s when the door to letting go and moving on starts to open.
So these practices are designed to help you digest the challenge, so you can gain the nourishment and let go of the what you don’t need anymore. If you don’t you literally get constipated. Creativity slows right down, you feel sluggish, you see things in negative ways more often, you lose your motivation. And letting go is required of us A LOT, if you really think about it, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Constant decluttering of our bodies, our homes, our relationships, our roles in the world, our work, our finances, our emotions, our thoughts and views on life…to remain alive, fresh, awake and aware to what’s possible in the next moment.
There are many great side-effects like improving our sleep, and lowering blood pressure, better focus, higher productivity, losing weight, meeting new people, attracting new opportunities in work or financially, just waking up feeling free, unencumbered and motivated to go on a new adventure.
The good news is that we are much better at this than our parents and grandparents. Just a few decades back people did not get over things very easily. I remember that my grandmother’s sister said something to her about how to parent my mother, who was a child at the time. Now I know few people like to be corrected on how they parent their child. But she didn’t talk to her sister after that – for the rest of her life. And she only had one sister, and they used to be very close. But, back then they didn’t have the insights and tools we have now. With all the great advances in psychology and neurology we can train our brain to instantly let go–allowing ourselves to be Artists of Change. So, let’s explore 3 simple, daily habits you could use for letting go (personally, with people you lead or coach, or with your friends and family).
#1 – The Letting Go Mantra. – The words you say to yourself are very powerful, so be very aware of how you talk to yourself. It’s like programming commands into your internal computer. Your subconscious mind does act on them. Ancient wisdom keepers knew about this. For example, mantras are an ancient form of programming our own minds. Sometimes we have negative mantras that we don’t even realize are slowing down our system and keeping us stuck, like – I cant’ figure this out – or – I’m so disorganized. So, you can counteract those with more positive mantras, like I can figure this out, or I’m getting organized – which will open up those parts of the brain that help you figure things out and get you organized. But regarding letting go, here’s a great mantra. I now choose to let go, I am open to learning, I’m listening.
So, you can adapt that to whatever you’re dealing with, but those are the three main parts – letting go, learning, listening. The reason you command yourself to learn is that its not always obvious what we’re meant to learn from losses in our lives, or challenges or negative experiences…it’s default just to blame someone else or something else, and not see how it could be a gift in your life. So, asking your subconscious mind to look for that is important. But just asking yourself to learn, doesn’t mean you suddenly go – ah ha! I know what it is. It requires a whole different part of the brain, the higher mind to go into a other way of thinking to get there. That’s why you then instruct your conscious mind to listen. Usually the learning comes as a slow realization over time, like pieces together a puzzle, or sometimes it’s a eureka moment, but usually when you least expect it, and often from an unexpected source. So, three main parts – letting go, learning, listening. The three “L’s”
For example, I now choose to let go of my past identity as a leader in a company [if, say, you lost your job and you’re feeling out of sorts because you don’t know who you are anymore without your job, say you retired or were laid off or fired, or even chose to leave], So…I now choose to let go of my identity as a leader in that company, I am open to learning about what’s next, I’m listening.
I now choose to let go of excess fat on my body, I am open to learning, I’m listening.
I now choose to let go of thinking I should be further along in my career, I am open to learning, I’m listening.
I now choose to let go of my resentful thoughts towards Wesley [if it’s an ex you’re still looping about], I am open to learning, I’m listening. Now as a caveat, if you want to let go of negative looping feelings, look for the thoughts. Negative thoughts, interpretations, meanings always precede negative emotions.
I now choose to let go of excess clutter in my home, I am open to learning, I’m listening.
I now choose to let go of negative thoughts about my abilities as a parent, I am open to learning, I’m listening.
You can go broad with it, although being specific is easier,
I now choose to let go of any old ideas that are keeping me stuck, I am open to learning, I’m listening.
Pick one ideally a specific area of life where you’d like to let go…and focus on it for a week. Write it down if you need a reminder. You can lie in bed at night and say it, as you make a meal, as you brush your teeth, while driving. What you’re doing is priming your system to process, learn and grow. It will start to happen subconsciously, then it will start to manifest in your outer world if you stay focused. All of a sudden, you might find yourself naturally motivated to de-clutter your house, to look at things in new ways, see truths that were obvious but that you wouldn’t let yourself see before, feeling an opening in your heart toward someone you had shut down to, being a better parent, or actually eating less and moving your body more or even this process can start speeding up your circulation and metabolism to the point where you naturally lose some weight.
The 2nd one I call “Act as if”
We utilize the phenomenon of acting as if all the time. I’ve talked about taking on certain archetypal characters to help you manifest things in your life. For example, if you have child for the first time, you start activating the archetype of the mother or the father. You can download entire instruction sets not only from your parents but the entire collective human consciousness of mothering or fathering. You go from I don’t know what I’m doing to, I just instinctively know what to do. Maybe you experienced that when you first became a parent.
So you can do that with anything. People who become proficient at a skill very quickly use this phenomenon. I remember being in a business incubator with other people in their 20s when I first started my business. Most of us felt entirely unsure and unclear how to be and entrepreneur versus being someone with a job. With a job, there is a safety net, a regular paycheck, which you get regardless of whether you work ingeniously or not. Now, of course if you do a bad job for too long you might get fired, and then no paycheck. But with a business, there’s almost always income to be had if you get ingenious enough and apply yourself, but the buck stops with you.
It required a whole different way of looking at the world, a different way of being and acting. Over the year of being in the incubator I developed it. But I do remember one guy in the program had it right from day one. He never had his own business before, but he’d come from an entrepreneurial family and had been studying the biographies of successful entrepreneurs in his area and it is almost like he absorbed how to do it very quickly by doing that, acting like them in his daily way of making decisions and seeing the world.
So when it comes to letting go, it can be helpful to think of a time when you easily let go, or think of someone else who was good at letting go of what you’re trying to let go of. So personally, I often anchor into a time I went from hating riding the Roller Coaster to choosing to love it by choosing to let go of the handlebar , arms up in the air, eyes open, leaning into the ride. So you can think of anything in your life where maybe you decided to jump off the high diving board, say yes to forgiving someone, selling everything you owned and moving somewhere else, leaving the job because you knew it wasn’t right for you. We all have several moments in our life where we let go of something that was important to us, that defined us, like being a husband or wife, leaving that role behind in being a single person.. If you don’t have an example in your own past, you can think of someone else. At one point in my life, I wanted to move from being a subcontractor with one company, to having my own business. I decided to write an article about becoming an entrepreneur in your 20s, and interviewed three women in my industry who done that. It is like that phenomenon of building skills by osmosis. For example when you play tennis with someone who’s better than you, it tends to improve your game. So, to make it practical, write it down…a time you let go, a time someone you know let go, and the good things that happened because of it.
#3 is Physicalize it.
About 14 years ago I learned a simple, powerful and easy to learn technique that shows you how to uncover your natural ability to let go of any painful or unwanted feeling in a moment, which would open you up to new possibilities. It was originally created by a man called Lester Levenson after heart attack in 1952. His doctor sent him home to die around the age of 42. He decided to end it all himself and was looking around for pills to and his own life. That’s when he started to think about the philosophies and ideas he had learned in his life that got him to where he was now. He noticed that he felt happy when he remembered times in his life not so much when he was appreciated, loved, respected by others, but instead when he was feeling that way towards others, when he generated those feelings, had positive emotions towards others. He focused on these memories and began slowly feeling better physically and emotionally. After some months he was feeling completely better and ended up inventing, over time, a system of looking at negative feelings and letting at least some of them go.
Later this was called the Sedona Method. Levenson lived another 42 years without ever seeing a doctor professionally. So he died in his 80s of abdominal cancer, but through his illness he didn’t worry and was allegedly free of pain during the illness. After he died, various people continued in the practice, growing it in different ways. So, of course, mental/emotional releasing is not new, it’s been around a long time, but not to the masses like it is now with the internet. There are several release methods, but the one I like, that works for the best for me is to go right into the center of whatever emotional or physical or mental tension you can with your breath and attention. That by itself starts to change the vibration of it. I like this practice because it’s simple, easy to remember, and do. Although sometimes it feels uncomfortable like I remember skiing in the Rocky mountains in Alberta in minus 25 degrees sitting on the chairlift and my thumbs would go numb. Then I’d go into the lodge to warm up, and as my thumbs warmed up it would be painful as first as they thawed. Once thawed they’d be fine, but that transition phase was similar to this physicalizing the letting go exercise.
For example, I wanted to launch a whole new online program that I’d never done before. I noticed a knot in my stomach for days leading up to the launch. All the fears I had of things not going well stay lodged there. I had to move that energy if I was going to succeed. That’s where physicalizing the letting go can help. Most physical tension has an emotional component, and those emotions are always driven by thoughts. But in this case there was a multitude of thoughts, and I wanted a one stop shop process. I breathed into the centre of the tension, imagining I could bring the breath right to the core of it, I kept my attention there at the same time I balled my hands up into fists. As I breathed out, I let my fists go and completely released all tension from my hands. I did it several times whenever necessary to start to thaw out the fears. That helped them come to the surface where I could examine them from a more reasonable perspective, rather than from a fight for flight perspective. Soon it was mostly cleared out and I had a successful launch. If you don’t clear stuff like that it can get in the way of your creative projects and relationships and even health.
While these activities may seem simple and inconsequential, using them regularly will change your entire life and those around you–for the better. It’s like the difference between brushing your teeth every morning or not. After a while not removing the mental plaque that builds up will give you mental cavities (aka burnout, depression, over-indulging in numbing out behaviors such as food, alcohol, drugs, over working, being overly busy, lost on social media etc). We all need daily mental cleansing to bring us back to our natural ability to be vitally alive and to flow with change. And we need it now especially to help us move beyond this stuck stage of our human development into a new and golden age.
Okay, that’s it for today. Do check out the MindStory Blueprint course for a series of short audios to help you build better habits of mind. See the link in the shownotes or go to MindStoryAcademy.com, and scroll down to the orange square.
In the meantime, please hit subscribe, please like this episode and do share if you liked this episode so others can find it. Have a wonderful week. By for now.