Beginning to Let Go

“Trust and surrender seem to be at the heart of the spiritual practice of letting go. The paradox is that we cannot experience trust or surrender unless we are willing to let go in the small everyday experiences and in the larger, more life-shattering events. As much as we would like to practice trust first and plan for periods of surrender, the process does not work in that linear fashion. We must learn by letting go. . . .

Beginning to Let Go

“Although the trapeze artist lets go of everything at once, that is not the way in most of our ordinary lives. In fact, it is probably wise to proceed gradually, letting go of our grip gently, softly. Where do you need to begin? Letting go of your stuff? Fasting from habits and behaviors to create empty space in which the spirit can move?

“At the heart of this practice, as in every other practice, is the willingness to pay attention to your inner and outer worlds. If you do not pay attention, you will continue to hold on to what you have always held close. . . .

“Spend some time looking back and then forward. Courage is necessary to look at these issues, to accept what you see, and then to transform old patterns of holding on to a new willingness to let go.

“To remind yourself of the power of letting go, practice tightening your fists and gently opening your fingers wide, closing and opening, closing and opening. Do this anywhere and anytime. The wisdom of your body will guide you to the next step in the practice of letting go, freeing you for a life not yet imagined.

“For Reflection: When faced with the need to let go of your life plan, how have you responded? What have you learned?”

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