Copyright 2006 Reggie Odom
What if there was a way or ways to take the work out of work, out of relationships, out of life itself, while having more of what you want in all areas of your life? Imagine for a moment that you have simply let go of struggle, intense effort or hard work, and have what you really want in your life with greater ease than you ever imagined. You might find that difficult to imagine, or wonder what planet I live on where such a thing is possible. Letting go is the operative idea here.
Lets take a look at those two words, letting go, for a moment. Letting go simply means giving up attempts to control or force experience or outcomes. To appreciate letting go, it is useful to experience its opposite. Clench both of your fists very tightly and hold them that way for a few moments. Feel the tension that spreads out from your hands, up through your arms and into your body, into your head so that even your brain feels tight. Have you ever felt that way when you were intensely working, maybe struggling to make a deadline or complete your to do list for the day, or make some person listen to you or get that new client that you want?
Now simply open your hands, palms up and let them relax. You might notice the tension created by your tight fists simply melt away, and your body and mind relax. Now you are in a state of receptivity, of allowing. Letting go allows things to come your way, allows what you really want to happen. What comes may be in the form of ideas, people, places or things. As long as you are holding on tightly, youll spend a great deal of time trying to make things happen that usually dont, or if they do, there is no joy and little, if any, real satisfaction and fulfillment.
There is a story about catching monkeys in India that highlights the ills of holding on. When monkey hunters go out to catch monkeys, they use coconuts and the psychology of holding on. First they cut a hole in one end of a coconut, just large enough for a monkeys hand to go through, and place a banana in the coconut. They then drill holes through the eyes of the coconut, attach a wire through the holes and sit behind a tree with the other end of the wire in their hands and wait for a monkey. Sure enough, a monkey always comes, delighted to find a ripe, juicy banana just waiting for the taking. The monkey thrusts its hand into the coconut and grabs the banana. Theres only one problem, and a pretty big one? When the monkeys hand is tight in a fist around the banana, it is now too big to pull back through the hole. The monkey tries and tries but no matter how hard it tries, it cannot get its hand out of the coconut with the banana. There is a really simple solution which you might have already noticed – letting go of the banana. But the monkey never does that and as a result it is captured. The only thing standing between the monkey and freedom is letting go.
What are you holding on to that is standing between you and your freedom? We can hold on to people or things we love as well as those that we do not. Holding on is a form of resistance. Sometimes holding on can squeeze the life out of something very beautiful. Holding on is generally based in fear. You can rest assured that anything that is naturally yours will still be after you release your hold on it. In fact, it may be really yours for the first time since it will be yours in freedom. Letting go allows the truth to emerge, and the best course to follow.
Abraham, one of my favorite teachers, said last week that not a single action that is not an action of joy comes to any good. An action that is taken in a holding on frame of mind is not an action of joy but of fear. The reverse of that is also true – actions done with joy are auspicious actions, boding well for good things to come.
Letting go allows you greater access to your natural brilliance and passions, to the deepest truths of who you are and to what you really want.
Remember, you are a natural! You are brilliant! You are magnificent! Simply by being you. Wont you let your light shine?
1. Write down the things you are holding on to in your life.
2. Now look at your list and simply open your hands.
3. Practice opening your hands many times throughout the day, especially when you are feeling tight or tense.
4. Check in with yourself before taking action. Ask yourself, “Am I taking this action in joy, or in fear?” If in joy, enjoy! If in fear, stop for a few moments and open your hands before proceeding.