Amy Sprague Champeau, MS, LMFT

Everett Ogawa, Integral Bodywork

The Mechanism of Letting Go

from Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender by David R. Hawkins MD, Ph.D.
(pages 19-21, 327-328)

“Letting go involves being aware of a feeling, letting it come up, staying with it, and letting it run its course without wanting to make it different or do anything about it. It means simply to let the feeling be there and to focus on letting out the energy behind it. The first step is to allow yourself to have the feeling without resisting it, venting it, fearing it, condemning it or moralizing about it. It means to drop judgment and see that it is just a feeling. The technique is to be with the feeling and surrender all efforts to modify it in anyway. Let go of wanting to resist the feeling. It is resistance that keeps the feeling going. When you give up resisting or trying to modify the feeling, it will shift to the next feeling and be accompanied by a lighter sensation. A feeling that is not resisted will disappear as the energy behind it dissipates…

“When letting go, ignore all thoughts. Focus on the feeling itself, not on the thoughts. Thoughts are endless and self-reinforcing, and they only breed more thoughts. Thoughts are merely rationalizations of the mind to try and explain the presence of the feeling…

“Sometimes we surrender a feeling and we notice that it returns or continues. This is because there is more of it yet to be surrendered. We have stuffed these feelings all of our lives and there can be a lot of energy pushed down that needs to come up and be acknowledged….”

“The secret to using this mechanism more often and more consistently is, first of all, the wish to do so. You have to want to be free of the feeling more than you want to keep it…”

Taking this method further (see David R. Hawkins, Healing and Recovery section on “Losing Weight”) and using the body as a gateway to letting go, as a feeling arises, focus inward and locate the center of the physical sensation of the feeling in your body. Ignore the thoughts that go with this sensation and bring awareness to what you are actually experiencing in your body, without labeling it, naming it, or calling it anything. Focusing strongly, penetrate into the center of the inner, physical experience and let go of resisting it. Whatever sensation is felt, stop thinking about it in your mind, stop languaging about it and giving it a label. Instead we go into the inner experience of the body sensation and let go of resisting it. Stay with this sensation as long as necessary. It will begin to change. Continue to focus into the heart of the changing sensations until they dissipate and are replaced by a sense of lightness, openness and space.

When using the body as a gateway to the letting go/ surrender process and especially when working with strong emotional content, it can often be helpful to lie on your side in a comfortable fetal position with your knees drawn up and a pillow under your head. This position serves to soften and open the deep core of your body which aids the letting go.

“When we go with it, like in the Tao where the willow tree bends with the wind but does not break, there is no resistance. Instead of being the oak tree that resists the sensation, tries to fight it with will power and then breaks, we can be like the willow tree, going with the sensation and letting go of resisting it. In fact, we welcome it. It is like we are saying, ‘More’. We want more wind, more of this inner experience. As we call forth more of this, sit with the inner [sensation] and just be with it, it will run out.” (David R. Hawkins, Healing and Recovery, page 337).