Little by little I learned to let go of many thoughts that are not useful while still holding onto beautiful memories that bring me joy. This has taken time and much practice, but in doing so, I have discovered great peace in my own life.
It is human nature to gravitate towards what you know is safe. Hence, we blindly go through the motions of our daily routines, oblivious to the fact that our world is constantly moving and changing all around us.
The first thing I noticed when I entered her West Hollywood studio was the poster of Bjork's Vespertine album cover filigreeing in the kitchen. This poster told me a lot about her as personal Bjork preferences reveal everything about one's character.
I am someone who attaches easily and strongly, never gives up, and pushes through many obstacles, even if I tire or get scared or hurt. Perseverance comes naturally to me. Letting go does not. And herein lies where I've gotten my biggest life lesson.
I always wonder why the universe gives us these gifts when we let go. Don't we need them a tad more when we are desperately searching and in need? Perhaps it's the universe's way of teaching us the lesson of letting go.
How many people can say that getting laid off was one of the best things that ever happened to them? Pat Flynn can. A former architect, he was let go from his restaurant design job in 2008 as the nationwide economy was hemorrhaging jobs. That's where the story gets interesting.
We might think that admitting fault is weak or that it lets the other person off the hook for his or her faults. But actually, it takes a strong person to admit fault and it puts us in a stronger position with others.
I remember her care by caring for others, accepting their care in return. By being present in life the way she is unable to be, this is how she lives. We honor her with peace in our heart in the place of our wound.
Breaking the habitual patterns from the past is actually a lot easier and more satisfying than you may imagine. The rewards for challenging the old ways of being and doing are immediate and long lasting. And if you follow the instructions here, it can even be fun.
However they happen, quarrels are stressful, activating the ancient fight-or-flight machinery in your brain and body. A bit of this won't harm you, but a regular diet of quarreling is not good for your long-term physical and mental health.
We want to plan. We want to control. We want to be ready and look our best and come out on top. But controlling for what is coming is no guarantee you are going to make the most of what comes -- in fact, it's probably going to hinder our ability to get the most out of it.
While I have experienced -- and want to affirm -- the absolute centrality of letting go, I would like to complicate it somewhat also. Because it matters what you're letting go into -- and that, I think, is actually the harder part of the work.
There's definitely something about letting go, not trying so hard to control everything ourselves and relying on a higher power that tends to bring good things to pass. Control is highly overrated. Most times we just need to get out of our own way.
When we feel pain, emotional or otherwise, we want to resist it. In some ways it feels right to resist what hurts, what scares us, what we don't want. But pain is not the cause of the problem; it's the effect of a deeper problem.
We have all heard "Let go and let God," and the importance of letting go is well-documented by many spiritual leaders and self-help teachers. Yet, there still seems to exist an underlying confusion about what letting go is.