This week, let’s spend our gratitude & letting go sessions on the struggles we’re holding onto right now.
What kind of struggles might we be holding onto? Here are a handful of examples:
- Struggles with distractions and procrastination
- Struggles with someone else’s behavior
- Struggles with stress or being overwhelmed
- Struggles with weight issues
- Struggles with a difficult project
- Struggles with uncertainty
- Struggles with loneliness
These are all difficult struggles, and they aren’t easy to let go of. If you’re stressed out by any of these things, frustrated by them, feeling bad about them, you’re probably holding onto something related to these struggles.
So how do we work with these struggles? What’s the letting go process?
Here’s what you should try this week:
- Notice when you’re feeling stressed, frustrated, or bad. Ask yourself what you’re struggling with.
- Pause for a moment and turn inward, seeing where this feeling resides in your body. How does it feel? Stay with it for a little bit and just give it some gentle attention.
- Ask yourself what you’re holding onto. (More below.) Ask yourself what benefit you get from holding onto it, what harm comes from holding onto it, and what would be the worst thing to happen if you let go.
- Notice the tightness in your body and mind around what you’re holding onto, and around your struggle. Imagine opening up some space around this thing you’re holding onto, and relax your body around this area, relax your mind around it. Allow a loving space to open up, like a wide expanse of open sky.
- Allow the thing you’re holding onto to float away into this open space. It’s not gone, just floating around like a balloon.
- Now imagine proceeding without attachment to this balloon. How might you proceed, respond, act? Can you let your actions be informed by kindness, love, gentleness, helpfulness, connection, rather than what you were holding tightly to?
This isn’t easy, so practice it every day!
So what might we be holding onto? Here are some examples based on the struggles I mentioned above:
- Having everything done
- Being good at something
- The idea of succeeding at something
- Being right
- Having things orderly
- Having things comfortable and easy
- Having the perfect social life
- Having the perfect body
- Having others behave the way we think they should
- Other people recognizing how awesome we are
- Having certainty
- Having any kind of perfection
It isn’t always easy to recognize these things, because we want to be right, we want people to act a certain way, we want things to be a certain way … and we don’t want to let go. We don’t want to admit we’re holding tightly to something.
So let yourself be curious, and explore these areas. Be willing to face what you normally avoid. Be more honest with yourself about these things. It’s a good time of year to be honest, brave, and curious.