How To Let Go

More and more people are aware that Autumn is a time to reflect on what we no longer need and to release our ‘baggage’ just as the trees drop their leaves, so reading a blog about letting go at this time of year is becoming increasingly common.

However letting go isn’t always as easy as it sounds … so this blog is a little bit different because we want to share a few new (deeper) ideas on how to let go. It involves asking yourself deeply what the thing you need to let go of symbolises. You see very rarely is the thing you need to let go of the source of your suffering, the source of your suffering can often be found in its meaning to you.

‘To be free from suffering, free yourself from attachments’ – Buddha

So for example, lets say you were having trouble letting go of physical pain. To focus on letting go of the pain might help a little but asking yourself what the pain symbolises could be even more productive. So lets say that the pain symbolises an intimate relationship with your partner which you might have been avoiding for several years … now you are getting closer to the ability of letting it go.

Another example might be stuff. Perhaps you are a hoarder who can’t bear to throw anything away. Well what if all that stuff symbolises safety for you because you have experienced loss or you are at a loss with what to do with your life. Again by bringing the realisation of what the stuff symbolises to your conscious awareness you are able to enter into a more direct and heartfelt dialogue with yourself … rather than just telling yourself that you need to let go.  (Note: Once you are aware of the symbolism of your attachments, you may need to seek professional help from someone like a Kinesiologist who can gently guide you into letting go both at a conscious and subconscious level)

‘You can only lose what you cling to’ – Buddha 

Japanese MapleIt is indeed true that this time of year Autumn is synonymous with letting go, so if you are feeling the need to release things, achievements, relationships, possessions, attitudes, beliefs … you are in tune with Nature. According to the Chinese five elements Autumn is linked to metal which works with the large intestine and lung meridians of the body (where air and waste are eliminated.) It is in this season that we can potentially learn most about ourselves, having provided the harvest, everything is now bare.

Finally if you fall into the category of feeling uneasy about letting go, why not use symbolism for support as well as answers. One way to do this would be to spend time with or even plant a Japanese maple tree … these magnificent trees have long been considered a symbol of grace in many Asian cultures for hundreds of years. They represent balance and practicality and are called ‘kito’ in the Japanese language, which means ‘calm,’ ‘rest’ or ‘at peace.’ Planting a Japanese maple tree in your garden traditionally symbolizes the welcoming of autumn as a friend.

Picture: Jo’s Mum’s Japanese Maple, the canopy of which hovers just over the front door.