If you’ve ever delved into psychology or spirituality, you’d be familiar with the concept of letting go of attachments — whether that be to material objects, a life path you had your mind set on, or a person.
“You all know the saying which is very true: What you resist persists,” famed spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle once said.
“And I’m sure many of you have already found that out in your life. And then suddenly when you let go of resistance, you let go of an attachment to something: I need this to happen in order to be happy; I don’t want what is, I want something else. To be okay with what is, which is the simplicity of this moment is the beginning of true change.”
As for the practicality of letting go, however, it’s easier said than done. Though, what can help in the pursuit of learning to let go is hearing other people’s stories and finding out what has worked for them. So, with that in mind, here’s how two meditation teachers learned to they themselves ‘let go’.
Mardi Gannon, Reformer Pilates teacher at BodyMindLife Kirrawee
“How do I ‘let go’ of something? I do it with music and movement.
“Music has the ability to energise us before an event, calm us down when we’re stressed and do everything in between. Music has long been researched and valued for its power to both entertain and heal people throughout history. Research has shown music has significant power to alleviate stress and anxiety, relieve pain, and improve focus.
“Movement has the same ability to calm, heal and create positive energy. Every single day, I move to music — it can be during a walk or a Pilates class. On the days that I am frozen with stress and feel incapable of the traditional thought of movement, I practice the movement of Pilates breathing (lateral and diaphragmatic) to music. I love the calming effect a slow tempo song can have on my breathing. I match my inhalation and exhalations to the 4-count music.
“As Joseph Pilates famously said, ‘Change happens through movement, and movement heals’.”
Sarah Routhier, Facilitator of BodyMindLife’s 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training
“The practice of letting go can be so different for each individual and the situation that is in need of letting go – knowing this, I think, can be a key to doing so.
“A few years ago, I went through a few big moments in my life when I needed to let go so that the pain didn’t hold me back anymore.
“The first time I practiced really letting go was after a boss wronged me – that practice was not excusing them from the wrong but I did eventually feel like the situation was no longer tugging at my heart. The second time was a big break up I didn’t quite know how or why I was offering the forgiveness since no one did anything wrong, but I do remember one day just feeling the weight on my heart lift.
“The third was an injury I sustained. I had been working a lot and pushed myself to a breaking point. While it was easy to let go of the injury itself, it was hard to forgive myself. But when I eventually did offer myself forgiveness and was softer on myself, it allowed me to accept that I had to modify my life for that current injury and that it would pass eventually. The practice of forgiveness was something I did daily until I felt like I had removed a heavy chain that was weighing down on me.
“Sometimes even if we don’t quite believe in the forgiveness we are offering, doing so is one of the most powerful practices I have experienced in my life. We create the space for it if we can, not necessarily for the benefit of the other but to create a sense of freedom for ourselves.
“Remember to honour where you are currently and know it will be different for someone else, comparing doesn’t help anyone.”