We’ve all experienced situations where we have strong expectations and attachments to how things should be. When we get attached, it often means we’ve put blinders on and get stuck into seeing only one way things could be.
Strong expectations, when not fulfilled, can set you up to feel like a Victim when events unfold differently. If things don’t happen just the way you imagined, you may feel disappointed, sad, and even powerless.
The question becomes: how do you learn to let go and lighten up while still reaching for what you want to create? It is almost a cliché to say you simply need to “let go.” It may be simple, but it is not always easy.
Tip One: Ask yourself whether you are letting go from a Victim space or as a Creator.
If you are coming from a “Victim” space, you may feel an obligation to let go and say to yourself, “I know I should let go but this is really important to me.” Or, “I have worked hard on this and I deserve it.” That might be true but coming from a sense of scarcity feeds more attachment to your expectation. From the Victim space, letting go becomes an obligation.
Letting go from a Creator space is imbued with trust and a willingness to not know how things are going to turn out. In this case your relationship with the outcome shifts, even though your desire to manifest the outcome is still very real. You may say to yourself, “I’ve worked hard, and boy, I have no idea how this is going to turn out. I will hold onto my vision and I am willing to be surprised at the outcome.”
Tip Two: Start letting go inside your body. You might notice you talk differently when you are attached to something. You may talk faster and louder. You might also notice tightness and constriction in your body. I (Donna) feel a ball in my stomach, like a clinched fist, when I get attached to a certain expectation. Your body is a good indicator of your emotional state, so let your body guide you to feel lighter and more open.
Tip Three: Get curious about the unmet need that is underneath your attachment. Something you are attached to is attempting to fill an unmet need. Your unmet need might be something small, like you’re tired or hungry. With this step you’re cultivating a discernment of what is feeding the strong attachment in the first place. Notice the unmet need and pay attention to how you can fulfill it, rather than what you’re attached to in the first place.
Tip Four: Utilize a contemplative practice to observe the nature of your thinking. A contemplative practice supports you to learn how to witness your thoughts as they come and go. Your mind is constantly chattering, and you do not have to believe every thought—or attachment—that circles through your mind. The beauty of a contemplative practice such as reflective walking, journaling, yoga or meditation is that you allow yourself to simply observe your thoughts, notice them come and go, and not take them so seriously. You will be amazed at how a contemplative practice will lighten your load.
The cost of not letting go is beyond measure. When you’re overly attached and seeing things only one way, choice is much less available to you. With these tips, learning to let go and lightening up allows you to have more choice about what you want to create in your life—and that’s priceless!