Letting go during difficult times is really hard and yet it’s essential to our wellbeing. Being a highly sensitive person, I know how seemingly impossible if can feel to release heavy emotions like worry, blame and fear, especially when we are in the thick of things and when our emotions feel justified and important.
Letting go is a huge focus of my life and work, because I’m an activist and it’s easy for me to go down the rabbit hole of the world-is-falling-apart-and-we-are-all-doomed. I know that letting go is the only way I can focus, maintain my energy, make decisions and take conscious action. It is also good for channeling anxiety, preventing illness and balancing high vata. Still, letting go easier said than done.
First, it’s important to note that letting go is not about ignoring a problem or becoming apathetic. Far from it. It is about acknowledging and embracing our emotions surrounding an issue and digesting them in a way that is constructive, healthy and action-oriented.
Given the current state the world is in, there couldn’t be a better time for this.
Letting go allows our energy to flow like a river, softening and dissolving even the hardest things blocking our path.
Learning the importance of letting go
This piece was originally written in July 2018, while I was on vacation, feeling deeply affected by the news of migrant children arriving at the Mexican-US border being mistreated, separated from their families and traumatized. The news was literally making me sick. I got a migraine, my sleep was interrupted and I felt unable to be present with my family and friends and enjoy the vacation. In parallel, my distress was also blocking me from taking concrete actions that could help children separated from parents by U.S. border officials.
Fast forward today, Russia has invaded Ukraine, the Taliban is once again blocking girls from attending school in Afghanistan and we are on the heels of a global pandemic that goes on and on. I feel similar strong feelings, but I am taking better care.
A letting go exercise to free your energy
Like many people, whenever I get stuck in a cyclone of fear and worry, I get overwhelmed and don’t know what to do. The writing exercise below has helped me in the process of letting go. It gives us the space to express, channel and release heavy emotions, thoughts, worries, and fears that are clouding our mind and prevent us from living life to our fullest potential.
This exercise may be uncomfortable at first as it requires us to acknowledge all the things that are unsaid that weigh heavy in your mind and heart and all the things we tend to ignore and hide, perhaps even from ourselves.
You will see how freeing this work can be especially when done regularly. I promise you will feel lighter and better afterward. (Maybe not right away but definitely a few hours or a day later.)
You will need:
- A quiet corner and time to write in peace;
- You will need scrap paper and pen or pencil (not a journal);
- A timer;
- A safe place to burn paper – best either in a fireplace or outside.
- Set a timer for at least 15 mins;
- Start writing by answering the question, “What’s up?” or “What’s bothering me?”
- Let emotions surface;
- Write non-stop and clear out everything that swirling around in your head on the paper.
- You don’t need to write in complete sentences or with proper grammar;
- Don’t censor yourself: You can even swear, scribble and/or draw pictures;
- Push yourself to write more than you are comfortable;
- When you are done, pause and reread the paper, letting all the emotions you’ve been holding come to the surface;
- Breathe deeply;
- Then in a safe place, burn the paper as a symbolic release;
- If you can’t burn the paper safely, tear it up in tiny pieces and flush it down the toilet;
- You may even want to say the following affirmation as you burn or shred the paper: “The past is over. Today I begin a new life.”
- Take some time to relax after and fill your mind and heart with thoughts & feelings that uplift you;
- This letting-go exercise really works for releasing stresses and worries, but be patient. It may take a few hours or up to 24 hours to feel better, lighter;
- Do this exercise every day for three days straight during a cleanse, once a week for emotional maintenance and/or as often as needed.
NOTE: If after 24 hours, you feel worse, you may have uncovered something deeper. Therefore, I recommend a counseling or talk therapy session with an accredited counselor or psychologist. (I can refer to someone if you aren’t sure who to speak to. Contact us)
Ways to Relax & Recharge
Once you have completed the letting go exercise above, rest, relax and recharge. Take a bath with salt and soothing essential oils, read a spiritually uplifting book, drink a hot cup over herbal tea, massage warm almond oil into your skin and crown of head (good for the nervous system), play calming music, meditate, go to bed early and/or do any other self-nourishing activity.
Prayers and words of affirmation are also very powerful. Surround yourself in light and send light and love to those who are suffering. I begin and end each of my practices with this prayer: “I ask that this practice not only be of benefit to me but in some magical way, may this practice be of benefit to all beings everywhere.”
- Activism: Protecting Migrant Children
- Open your Nadis & Increase your energy
- Daily Affirmations to Create the Best Day Every day