Some of our recent blog posts have reflected on the need for self-reflection for all of us, adults and children alike and how we might make that become a reality in our lives. You can read about it here and here. One of the ways that really helps me to re-ground and allow myself the space to reflect is when I read a spiritual book and this week I’m sharing one that really brings the two themes together – Letting Go, The Pathway of Surrender by David R. Hawkins., Ph.D.
This book is a very useful part of self-reflection – it gives very practical advice on how to deal with the emotional issues that arise during self-reflection. Hawkins has developed a mechanism he simply and aptly calls, ‘Letting go’. That is exactly what it is – simply letting go of our attachment to the emotions that arise, not in an intellectual way but rather in an emotional way, freed from judgement and self-reproach, free from the judgement of others and instead full of acceptance of life and how things are at the moment.
‘Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender provides a roadmap to a freer life for anyone who is willing to make the trip.’ Fran Grace
So this is the crux of Dr David Hawkin’stechnique to ‘let go.’
- Firstly we need to find the head space to connect with ourselves to allow emotions to arise, honestly and deeply.
- We need to allow ourselves to feel where the painful emotion lives, maybe it’s your heart, maybe it’s deep in your belly, your shoulders or some other place.
- We need to accept that emotion without judgement, realise it is real that it lives in a physical reality and not an intellectual one, ‘without wanting to make it different or do anything about it… the technique is to be with the feeling and surrender all efforts to modify it in any way.’ 1.
- Allow it to stay for as long as it wants.
- When you let go of your resistance to feeling the emotion, then it will become less and less intense.
That’s the technique in a nutshell but the book is beautifully and simply written and explores issues like why we have resistance to accepting the feelings of our emotions as well as deeper reflections on various emotions and how they affect us like apathy and depression, grief, fear, desire, anger, pride, courage, acceptance, love, peace. It also delves into questions of stress reduction and scientific proof of this method to name just a few of the issue explored.
So looking at how simple this technique is for dealing with emotional stress, as adults we can teach it to the children in our lives if we are keen to inspire them to lead stress-free and contented lives. I wish it was a technique I had learned earlier in my own life and I rejoice it’s one my young adult children use to help them deal with issues that arise in their own lives. I believe freedom from the carrying of emotional issues will help us be brave enough to lead the lives we want to live. As a parent that is my foremost wish for my children.
1. Letting Go, The Pathway of Surrender by David R. Hawkins., Ph.D., page 20