Letting Go Practices

Yoga Hip Openers

One of my yoga teachers says we keep all of the things we are afraid to say out loud in our hips—resentment, fear, disappointment, rage, etc. We are a society of chronically tight hips due to all of the sitting we do, so letting go of the tension and tightness in our hips is a great place to start letting go.

Letting Go Meditation

(To listen to the recording, click on the play button above. To download the recording, right-click here and select “save link as” then save the file to your computer.)

80/20 rule

The 80/20 rule states we get 80% of our results from 20% of our efforts. Let go of the 80% of your work, practices, habits, relationships and belief systems that don’t serve you and you can focus on the 20% that do. Let go of:

  • busy work that allows you to hide in your personal or professional life
  • personal and professional relationships that don’t fulfill you
  • unrealistic expectations-clean house or clean body?
  • past decisions, events and mistakes you wish you could do over
  • mindless activities and habits like watching the news every night or buying a latte on your way to work every morning

Void vs Space

Lisa told me she let go of a romantic relationship in her life that wasn’t working but felt very conflicted about it. When I asked her if it was the right thing for her to do, she gave an emphatic yes! When I asked how she felt about herself after letting it go, she said she felt great and knew it was absolutely the right thing to do. So I asked, where is the conflict? She said she felt a deep void and emptiness and couldn’t stop thinking about him.

Our thoughts are the final letting go, and that is when you get the opportunity to practice, again and again, eventually you will let go completely. Think of the void as creating space, room for new opportunities to come in. This can be in all areas of your life, including your relationships, job, health, and money.

Question everything

What past occurrence is causing me resentment, pain, guilt, or sadness I can let go of?

What worry, fear, or attachment to the future can I let go of?

What is divinely unstable in my life that I can let go of?

Progressive relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing specific muscle groups and then relaxing them to create awareness and total relaxation. It is progressive because it proceeds through all major muscle groups, relaxing them one at a time, and then tightening all your muscles and then relaxing them, all at once.

Assume a comfortable position. You may lie down and loosen any tight clothing. Close your eyes. Tense and relax each muscle group as follows:

  • Forehead – Wrinkle your forehead, try to make your eyebrows touch your hairline for five seconds. Relax.
  • Eyes and nose – Close your eyes as tightly as you can for five seconds. Relax.
  • Lips, cheeks and jaw – Draw the centers of your mouth back and grimace for five seconds. Relax.
  • Hands – Extend your arms in front of you. Clench your fists tightly for five seconds. Relax.
  • Forearms – Extend your arms out against an invisible wall and push forward with your hands for five seconds. Relax.
  • Upper arms – Bend your elbows. Tense your biceps for five seconds. Relax.
  • Shoulders – Shrug your shoulders up to your ears for five seconds. Relax.
  • Back – Arch your back off the floor for five seconds. Relax.
  • Stomach – Tighten your stomach muscles for five seconds. Relax.
  • Hips and buttocks – Tighten your hip and buttock muscles for five seconds. Relax.
  • Thighs – Tighten your thigh muscles by pressing your legs together as tightly as you can for five seconds. Relax.
  • Feet – Bend your ankles toward your body as far as you can for five seconds. Relax.
  • Toes – Curl your toes as tightly as you can for five seconds. Relax.
  • Now tighten and contract all of your muscles at one time and hold for five seconds. On your exhale, release all of your tension completely.

Universal Belief Systems

There are three universal belief systems that are false and keep you stuck in your life. See if any of these are familiar to you and pick one to let go of today:

  1. I am not enough (smart, young, good, thin, rich)
  2. I don’t have enough (time, energy, money, experience)
  3. I am different than everyone else

Write a letter

Write a letter (you want to send but never will) to someone or something you want to let go of and then burn, shred, or flush it.

Journaling Questions for Letting Go

  • What can I let go of to create more physical and emotional space in my life?
  • What relationships can I let go of expectations, grievances, resentments or grudges I have, or what relationship do I need to let go of altogether?
  • What worry, fear, expectation can I let go of in my work?
  • What belief, opinions, past decisions or mistakes in my money can I let go of?
  • Where was it most difficult to let go?