We’ve all stepped into the new year with new hopes, new ideas, new resolutions, some of us with new beginnings, some with new aspirations. The new year is often a time for people to indulge in reflecting and reassessing their lives and relationships, a time to start afresh on their journey through life, a time for change.
And at such a time of change, while the new ideas and new beginnings are very welcome, I wonder, what of the old that have stayed with you until now? What of the old habits and ideas that will now have to be let go of, to allow the new ideas to breathe?
And that brings us to two powerful phenomena which affect us all.
Change. And Letting Go.
Change is all around us. Change, not only in the people and surroundings around us, but change in situations, change in relationships and the consequent change within us.
Change is inevitable. We all know for a certainty that change is the only permanent. And yet most of us are never completely equipped to cope with change when it comes because more often than not, it involves Letting Go.
There’s a common saying, ‘For something new to come into our lives, something old needs to be let go of.’ If the change is welcome, letting go is easy enough, however, when change is unexpected or contrary to our expectation, letting go becomes a challenging and an emotionally arduous task.
- Letting go of possessions is hard.
- Letting go of people is harder.
- And then come letting go of ideas,
- Letting go of expectations
- Letting go of what we know to be our comfort zone.
- The struggle is real and hard. The struggle is within.
‘One of the bravest and toughest things is to let go of that which you can’t control. The only thing you can control is how gracefully you let go’ – Lori Schaefer
The world over, leaders, gurus, philosophers and writers have devoted much thought and ideas to these. And what it comes down to, at the most atomic level, is acceptance.
Acceptance of the situation and a graceful acknowledgement to yourself that although it will be difficult and a real struggle for you, you will move forward through the change mindfully and with dignity.
Using mindfulness to let go
It’s not a matter of Letting Go – you would if you could. Instead of ‘Let it go’ we should probably say ‘Let it Be’ – Jon Kabat Zinn (Scientist, Writer, Meditation teacher and Founder, MBSR)
But how does one LET BE?
And that brings me to highlight the role of Mindfulness — once again.
To LET BE is — to Let Go – Mindfully — to Let Go with Compassion, with Gratitude and with Respect. To let the changing situation breathe and to resolutely step away from the drama by studying your emotions in a practical dispassionate way, as an observer would!
While Letting Go is negative – Letting Be is a compassionate approach to making space in your life for the new beginnings, and to reduce the heartache and pain integral to the period of change.
Here’s How –
Become an observer:
Become an observer of your emotions rather than experiencing them. Because the simple act of looking at your emotions and thoughts as an observer allows you to step away from that emotion.
Are you feeling Aggrieved? Regretful? Disappointed, Sad, Afraid or Vengeful?
Identify your emotions and remind yourself that these are simply emotions.
Visualise them as balloons or clouds that sail through the mind and shall soon disappear.
Use mindful breaths to form a deeper connect with yourself and a consequential disconnect from the emotional turmoil around you.
Guide yourself to come into the present moment by mindful breathing.
Bid a respectful adieu
Visualise the object/ memory/ person that you are trying to let go of. Feel gratitude for the purpose they have served in the past. Allow yourself to then let that go with a peaceful thought that it no longer needs space, time or energy in your present.
Letting Go made simple for you. Simply Let Be and embark on your journey of new beginnings in harmony with The Present.
Follow Rajni on Facebook @YogaWithRajni