We are entering spring, a time for renewal and growth. As Nature begins its process of reawakening, we are given the opportunity to do the same. In our process of reawakening, it is important to let go of all that no longer serves us; and, in this way, create space for renewal, growth, and spring blooms. Letting go is a challenging practice for most of us, but one that is vital to the advancement of our consciousness.
What is it that you are holding onto right now? It may be a t-shirt from that really awesome concert in 1993, a pair of shoes that you just know you will find the right outfit for someday or perhaps something a bit heavier like memories of a past love, resentments towards those who have hurt you, or a slew of “if I had only done that instead…” moments. What would it feel like if you were to loosen your grip on those things? What would it feel like if you were to let go completely?
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to “letting go” is our Ego, which desperately clings to what it knows, to what is familiar. To let go would mean to face the unfamiliar. The thought of opening up to this uncharted territory can be anxiety-provoking, as it exposes many unconscious fears and samskaras (deep-rooted habits and conditioning). Confronting these aspects of ourselves, as difficult and painful as it may be, is an abhyasa (practice) and may even be considered tapas (fiery discipline and work for spiritual purification).
So, how do we do it? How do we let go? That is a big question with no easy answer. My suggestion is to start with the following exercise and then allow the process unfold naturally over time:
Take a moment to glance at the objects around your room. Pick up an object, and consider what it would be like to let go of it; not just what it would feel like to unconsciously lose that object, but what would it feel like to consciously release it from your grip? What feelings arise in you when you consider this thought? You may want to stop here for now. Or, perhaps you feel ready to actually let go of the object; maybe you feel inclined to give it to a friend, donate it to Goodwill, or give it to a complete stranger. If you take this action, observe how you feel afterwards.
It is important to practice letting go of lighter things first, such as material objects that hold little emotional significance. The process will unfold naturally from there. We all have certain objects, experiences, and people in our lives that even the thought of letting go seems unfathomable. We will arrive at these heavier things when our consciousness is prepared.
So, pade pade (step by step, moment by moment), may we begin to let go of all that no longer serves us and practice patient acceptance through the process.