by Hale Dwoskin
You are not your suffering.
You are not your story.
You’re not even your identity.
Instinctively or intellectually, you probably already know this.
Then why do most of us still not live as the beautiful, ever-present, ever-new-yet-never-changing presence of awareness that we are?
I’d like to share with you some simple concepts and techniques that will help you to uncover that reality for yourself by rediscovering the truth of who you are and helping you to see clearly — and let go of — that which you are not.
Feelings are just feelings
Most of us live as though our feelings are who we are — and the whole truth and nothing but the truth at that!
Identification with our feelings is even in our language. Notice that we don’t typically say, “I feel sad.” We say, “I am sad.”
Think about the last strong feeling you experienced. Anything: hunger, irritation, confusion, anxiety, boredom — it doesn’t matter. Did your feelings influence your actions? Did they color your words or change your plans? Did you experience your feelings in a very personal way?
Of course, we all have feelings and they dramatically influence our behavior and our attitudes. But they are not attached to us and they aren’t who we are. And because you are not your feelings, you can decide at any moment to simply let them go.
Deciding to let go
Deciding to let go of your emotions instead of identifying with them is a deceptively powerful technique. In addition to helping you become who you truly are, letting go can free you of even long-standing problems and challenges where nothing else has worked. As the first technique taught in The Sedona Method (a simple, easy-to-learn method for letting go of any uncomfortable or unwanted feeling, thought or belief instantaneously), I have witnessed the following four tiny questions transform the lives of thousands of people in very big ways — sometimes over time, and sometimes in an instant.
When you ask yourself these questions with an open mind and heart, you can melt stress, tension, anxiety and any other unwanted thoughts and feelings out of your body and mind on the spot. Try them right now and notice what happens:
- Could I welcome what I’m feeling?
- Could I let it go?
- Would I let it go?
The reason these questions are so powerful is because they’re simple, easy to use and easy to remember. The words themselves are not a magic formula; they instead guide your awareness into the experience of letting go.
As you practice letting go, you begin to break the strong identification you have with the emotions that arise within you from moment to moment. This allows you to feel more peace and joy, even when things don’t go your way. As you continue to let go of your thoughts and feelings in this way, you will begin to feel lighter, happier, more at home and at ease — both within your own skin and in the world.
3 tips for letting go to achieve what you want
Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world — we are always creating the sum total of our thoughts and feelings about a particular topic in reality. The majority of our thoughts and feelings are below the level of our conscious awareness, so we tend not to realize how much we’re sabotaging ourselves.
It’s important to clean out the old baggage from the past to make room for the new. This is very simple to do if you’re willing to let go. If you allow yourself to let go of your old beliefs, disappointments and expectations, you clear the way for greater and greater achievement now.
As one of the original 24 teachers in the movie The Secret, people often ask me how to use letting go to create or attract what they want in life. Here are a few tips that are often perceived as controversial when people first hear them because they are counterintuitive. They are only controversial, however, until you discover that they really work!
Tip #1: Let go of what you want
Many of us believe that we have to make ourselves feel really enthusiastic about our goals and aspirations in order to manifest them. We’ve been told that if we just want our goals enough, we will achieve them. In fact, we often blame ourselves for not wanting them enough.
Yet, in my experience, this is backwards. The mind equates wanting something with lack. That is, if you want something, you don’t have it. And the more we want something, the more we feel like we don’t have it.
In this moment, then, allow yourself to think of one of your goals and ask yourself, “Would I rather want this goal — or would I rather have it?”
If you’d rather have your goal, I would recommend letting go of wanting it using the four simple Sedona Method questions above. After all, would you rather want a million dollars or would you rather have a million dollars? Would you rather want good health or have good health? Would you rather want a wonderful, loving relationship or would you rather have one? I think the answer is obvious.
Tip #2: Bank in the bank, not in your head
Another common mistake we make when we’re trying to attract or achieve what we choose is engaging in magical thinking. That means that we start to imagine or pretend that we have achieved the goal and forget to actually carry through with action. We can get so lost in the fantasy of how great it’s going to be when we achieve our goal that we forget that follow-through is required.
Lester Levenson, my mentor, used to say: “Bank in the bank, not in your head.” If you’re open to it, you’ll discover that this is where the money is. Not in your fantasies.
Tip #3: See if you can actually find a “Me”
True inner and outer peace is beyond the individual. As long as we believe that we are separate from others, we feel unsafe and need to fight for our own survival in a hostile world. This prevents us from supporting an inner and outer environment of peace and is not conducive to manifesting anything but struggle. The best way to go beyond this artificial sense of separation that keeps us locked into struggle is to examine our basic assumptions about ourselves.
The following explorations are a part of “The 5th Way,” the most advanced application of The Sedona Method:
In this moment, and without going into memory, see if you can actually find a “Me.” If you are open to it, you will discover that in this moment there is no separate “me” at all.
Then take some time to ponder these questions for yourself:“Am I the body or am I that which is aware of the body?”
“Am I the thoughts I think, or am I that which is aware of thinking?”
“Am I in this body or is the body an appearance in or on the awareness that I am?”
Letting go is an invitation
Letting go is an invitation to heal both yourself and your planet.
In my experience, the world is a reflection of our combined consciousness. The amount of inner turmoil there is in each and every one of us is reflected in the outer turmoil in our world. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We live in challenging times and these times require new and powerful ways to help us to respond appropriately to what life throws at us.
The good news is that you are already whole and complete and perfect just as you are. This means that the answer is already here, already now. And as enough of us choose to let go of our suffering, our stories, our made-up identities, our negative thoughts and feelings and our sense of separation — all that we are not — it is our sincere hope that the dissolving of our collective inner turmoil will also result in outward positive change.
How will your life would be different without the death grip of sabotaging thoughts and feelings?
- You will find it easier to stick to your goals and manifest your dreams.
- You and the people around you will notice positive changes in your attitude and in your actions.
- You will laugh a lot more and have a lot more fun in life.
In short, your emotional baggage will drop off of you, and the beauty, joy, love and peace that are your true nature will shine through more and more.