How to let go and live in the present

Have you ever heard the phrase, “let go” and wondered how, exactly, that is supposed to happen?

Most people understand that they bring the effects of past experiences into present life. Many see the effects of these experiences getting in the way of the life they want to live. But without a way to release, they struggle to let go of old ideas and impressions.

Release is not something modern society does well, so it’s no wonder people cling to the past. From childhood on, few of us have had the ability to fully explore our emotional responses as they come. This leaves unresolved feelings and deep longings for things to be different, or sometimes to stay exactly the same. This is at the heart of discontent with life. 

Without release, we look instead for opportunities to escape. We pack our schedules with busy-ness, get caught up in other people’s drama, watch television or tune out with drugs and alcohol. These behaviors lead to a path of inertia, allowing unresolved emotions to linger and take a toll on our mental and physical health.

Behavior is learned, the result of our beliefs and thoughts. It is possible to reformat yourself to a new way of living that makes space for release and renewal. This is a practice in living in the power of the present moment – where the joy of life truly resides.

​How to practice acceptance to move forward

When you find yourself in resistance to what is, you may be clinging to the past or fearing the future. You may have a fixed concept of what you think something should be, based on what you have experienced before or comparing the situation to an unattainable future ideal. When you continue resisting the present even when it is clear the situation requires a different response, acceptance will bring you relief.

Practicing acceptance is a simple way to find peace with right now, even if right now is not what you had hoped. This is not resignation, something done with a sigh and a shrug of the shoulders, but an act of empowerment. Acceptance allows you to move ahead, release what was and what you think now should be.

When the waves of life crash into your foundation, acceptance of the present moment will bring you back to your truth and open the doors to move forward. But before those big waves come, practice accepting small things – a traffic backup, running out of rice, not being ready for sirsasana. With daily practice in acceptance, you’ll be able to find your way back to your truth much faster when the big things come.

Try a simple acknowledgment of what is. By saying what is happening and how you feel about it (“I am stuck in traffic and feeling frustrated”), you create some distance between your true self and your reactive emotional state. With that distance, you can experience your emotions, but not let them define you. That understanding allows you to move past a reactive state based on past impressions and come back to the present moment with a neutral mind.

Every moment is a teacher for us. Accepting what is happening in the present allows you to take in the wisdom of now, learn the lesson and avoid repeating the situation. Perhaps the traffic backup is a much-needed moment to slow down and breathe. Shift your perspective and allow it to be an opportunity to connect deeper. Life, just like traffic, will soon move with ease.

​Two simple tools to release and replenish

We exist as energetic beings, even if we don’t acknowledge it in our daily lives. Therefore, everything we experience also happens on the energetic plane. If we don’t allow our energy to move, it becomes stuck and we experience the present moment through an energetic filter of our past selves.

One of the experiences many Hale Pule guests look forward to is guided meditation using our Intuitive Energy Practice. This is a simple structure (download the basic Intuitive Energy Practice tools for free) to allow energy to move in its natural flow so that you can enjoy the present moment and “let go.”

Here’s an exercise that you can do every morning to release and replenish. It’s best to practice this at the end of meditation, but at the very least, take a few deep breaths before you begin.

  • Release with a grounding cord: Place your attention on the base of your spine at your mooladhara, or first, chakra. Visualize an energetic cord emerging from this place extending down into the center of the planet. Notice the magnetic pull of the earth energy and, without attachment, allow anything in your physical or energetic body that is not yours or not vibrating in the present moment to release down your cord.

  • Replenish with a golden sun: Imagine a big gold sun just above your head filled with high vibration energy. You can place an intention on that golden sun – make it clarity, joy, connection in present time – whatever you need. Let that golden sun flow first into your sahasrara, or crown, chakra. Then allow it to fill your body, grounding cord and aura (the energetic field around your body), especially replenishing the spaces where you released.

​Release is a state of being

Letting something go is not something that happens once. It is a continual process of living fully in the present and continuing to step ahead, even when you don’t know exactly where your feet will land. Don’t be surprised when you find that there are layers to what you thought you had already released. When you find the next layer, practice acceptance here too, and use the tools above to shed all that you have brought from the past. It is a heavy load that you no longer have to carry.

The more you practice these tools, the easier it becomes to live fully in the present.

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