Letting go truly is an art. It is human nature to be good at letting go of certain things while holding tightly onto other things (despite our desire to let them go). It seems the more important something is to us, the harder it is to let go. Getting caught up and grasping tightly onto thoughts, ideas, concepts and desires tend to contribute to misery. Over focusing, even if it is well-meaning, keeps us stuck. Often with brain retraining, we replace a fixation on symptoms with a fixation on the practice and getting better. We forget that these tools were meant to be a stepping stone to giving us wellness and a greater quality of life. This means that even while we engage in retraining our attention is meant to be primarily on things that give us purpose, meaning, value, and uplift, things that bring in more quality of life. It means that we are meant to have faith in the tools, trusting that they will work so that we can let go of over focusing on them. This faith and trust in the tools frees us up so that our attention can go elsewhere and re-engage more deeply with our lives. Through faith and trust we can hold the retraining lightly, while still actually doing it, as we engage more with what is important to us & what makes us happy.
In addition to letting go and trusting the retraining process, people often have a hard time letting go of the past. We cling to the past as though it is still present today. We see negative intention behind other people's actions and take their mistakes personally. We fault ourselves for making mistakes even though we know that is how human beings learn and grow. You are not the same person you were in the past, and neither are the others in your lives. The more we keep retelling the stories about what happened to us or what we did, the more we are reinforcing those pathways and that narrative in the brain. And yet, with all of the retraining you've done and all of the regulating of your nervous system, that version of yourself may no longer really be who you are anymore. Take a moment to consider this: What if the stories you tell yourself about the past and the effect they've had on you are no longer valid? What if it is simply the stories you keep telling yourself that are keeping the feelings of that reality alive? What if that is no longer who you are anymore? As we heal our brains and regulate our nervous systems we come closer into contact with the genuine, authentic, true essence of who we are. That version of us has learned and grown from those past experiences and is ready to let them go and move onto becoming who we really are: the best version of ourselves.
So how do we turn these words and concepts I've just described into an inner knowing? (And maybe you already feel the truth of what I am saying. If so, good for you! Nurture it!) By closing your eyes, taking a deep breath in, and as you exhale hold a sincere and pure intention to fully let go. Allow your muscles to relax, your face to soften, your body to become heavy. Do this a few times and with each exhalation relax and let go even deeper. Then, with the next exhalation imagine all the thoughts, ideas, images and concepts about who you were in your past pouring out of you like a river, washing away into the earth. Do this a several times or until it feels complete. And with the following exhalation, let go fully and completely, even of your intention, and spend a few moments just being. Here there is no effort, no doing of any kind. Just being. And if thoughts or sensations come up, notice and accept them, then bring your attention back to taking a deep breath in, and on the exhale letting go.
Through continued and dedicated practice of this tool (or any other tool you find useful in helping you let go) combined with a dedicated and sincere intention to let go, we can hone our skills in this art and create the space for the our authentic self to more fully emerge. And with that comes a whole new level of wellbeing!
Until next time!
If you have a question, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Candy Widdifield is Registered Clinical Counsellor, Wellness Coach, and Registered Reiki Master Teacher in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. She has a background in nervous system regulation, trauma, grief & loss, mindfulness, somatic therapy, & positive psychology. She taught the DNRS in-person program for 5 years, has over a decade of experience coaching brain re-trainers & provides mentorship to other coaches. Candy works with people all over the world, helping them to optimize their wellbeing and thrive in their lives. More information about Candy can be found at www.candywiddifield.com