The Letting Go Challenge: Are You In?
One of the concepts that revolutionized my life was living in the moment. Heavily influenced by Eckhart Tolle’s the Power of Now, I made it my mission to immerse myself in the Now as much as possible. Unfortunately, I hit roadblock after roadblock. As it turns out, thinking about being present actually hurts your ability to be present and in the moment. The only times that I’d ever be able to be in the moment were the times when I was meditating, and even then it became difficult to just let myself fall into the moment. I grew frustrated, and began to feel like, while living in the Now was an awesome concept, it was actually an ideal that no one, not even Eckhart Tolle, could ever reach. The idea of living a life of “no-mind” was impossible, to me. And, as of right now – it still is an impossibility, but I’m going to try to change that.
The Letting Go Challenge Over time, I began to figure out that, by the simple act of letting go of whatever I was attached to at a given moment, I could become present. Thus, letting go was what I was trying to attain the entire time – not presence. By attaching my mind to the idea of presence and getting into the moment and all that jazz, I was actually preventing myself from entering the moment – precisely because I was attached to a concept in my head, a concept that was part of the future (or the past, depending on whether I was drawing on experience or not) – not the now. Now, I want to create a habit of letting go, so I can experience presence as much as possible. The way to do that? A letting go challenge. And I want you to join me. Here’s the one, simple rule of the letting go challenge: At any given moment, you’ll be experiencing some sensations – thoughts, emotions, sights, noises, tastes, feelings. Your job is to let go of them. Just let them pass and be on their way. This means that you can think and you can experience things – but you must let go of them as you do so. Don’t make them linger longer than they do on their own. This challenge will last for 30 days, or until November 4th, where I’ll recap everything that I experienced during the challenge. By doing this, I hope to cultivate a spirit of presence and living in the now (more on that in a later post), which will allow me to live a better life. Honestly, being present makes every single thing that you do better and makes you a more positive person. Over the next 30 days, I hope you join me in letting go. I’ll be recording everything that I’ve been doing and give you guys weekly updates along the way to show you how I’ve been progressing in letting go. You should all do the same; by telling people on here that you’re going to do something, you’ll be able to keep yourself accountable. I’m confident that it will all be worth it by the time it’s all said and done.
Strategies For Letting Go One question that’s probably in the back of your mind is this – “Well Brett, how exactly does one let go of anything?” I could say something like, “Well, Jimbo, you just do”, but that wouldn’t be very kind of me, even though that is the essence of doing anything. There are a couple tactics that I use to help myself let go of things – and I’ll share them with you. Evaporation: I imagine the things that I’m feeling and thinking are floating around my body – thoughts in my head, feelings wherever they are in the body, and so on. To let go of them, I imagine those things just evaporating out of my body and into the air, freely drifting off in the space-time continuum forever. This helps me to make the emotional letting go process feel more physical and tangible. When you practice this, you’ll notice that you’ll feel lighter as you begin to let go of more and more things. This is my favorite way to practice letting go. Music theory: This is a bit more complicated than the evaporation tactic. I imagine the collection of moments in front of me as a piece of music that goes on endlessly until the end of time. Each sensation, thought, or feeling we have is actually just a single note from a single instrument that is playing this infinite piece of music. As we latch on to things that we feel or think without letting them pass, what we’re really doing is trying to stop the music unnaturally. To experience the most “flow”, I think to myself, “Let the music of the moment play on; let go of the notes that you’re holding onto right now,” and that helps to bring me back into the moment and relax a bit. With all that said, who’s going to join me on this challenge?