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On Letting Go

Practice Letting Go is one of my most yoga video to practice with on Alo Move. It has calming effect and is really a good hip opener especially for my current challenge – Dwi Pada Sirsasana and Yoga Nidra. However, yoga is not the main point of this babble and Letting Go is more than just a name of a yoga video. It is also more than just “breathing through the pain and stiffness during a yoga practice.

I have lately been struggling with letting go on many fronts - physical, mental, and many things in life. That is why I started writing here. I find that writing and really spending time reflecting on a topic of challenge really help me to find a way out or, at the very least, be at peace with the issue at hand. Who knows? Maybe, by the end of this little piece of writing, I may find some gems of wisdom.

As mentioned, there are many things that I have been struggling to let go – namely

  1. Physical objects that I have purchased or been given such as watches that I have bought but did not even use or will use, gemstones that I no longer enjoy collecting or using to decorate my room, etc. All of these, by business theory, are considered sunk costs and I don’t know whether I will have enough patience to recuperate the cost of purchase.

  2. Ideas that I have presented though it is not my decision to make. Being a mentor, I had to share a lot of my thoughts and ideas to my mentees – with full knowledge that it is not I who will be making those life decision nor will I be the main beneficiary of the decision. Being a consultant is also similar to that; it is the client who will make the decision to implement our recommendation. I think I have been trained to accept this fact, but a lot of times, I’m still quite attached to my ideas and tie my ego to them.

  3. Things that I used to invested quite a lot of effort in, but no longer the main player. I have founded a club back at the university, and I am frequently involved even until now. I have been quite disappointed by the club’s performance lately and felt the urge to really take actions on many things. However, I also acknowledge that I am no longer managing the club and have no accountability of the club’s success or failure at the moment also.

  4. The past. This probably has the greatest emotional toll on me. I still am haunted by the ghost of the past – especially those when I was mistreated emotionally or betrayed. Though it is not a full force of emotion, I still have a tingling of hurts and negative emotions. I also don’t really know how deep it is rooted.

Upon writing this, the consultant in me also have come up with some counter argument of my own emotion:

  1. We have to create space to open up for something better for our lives. This applies to both physical space and mental space. It may not be a solution, but this is a good constant reminder to myself that I have limited mental bandwidth, and I will need to allocate them wisely. I guess I want to be rather wise than unwise, right?

  2. The past has passed. Things that I have owned is already a past. I can no longer change it. I cannot “not” buy something. I cannot change what others have done to me. I cannot return to manage a club. Accountability in the past does not mean accountability today. The world has moved on, and so must I.

  3. I don’t have control over everything. There is a tendency for me to think that I have magic power to influence everything, but I know full well that I have no control over those I have given advice. Plus, I have no control over the world and even my own emotion.

With that said, there is one balance that I feel I will need to juggle – sense of responsibility vs letting go of attachment. Being a consultant, I have been taught “sense of ownership of the work or issue on-hand”. I think I actually have a high sense of ownership, but over time, I feel like I will need to let this go when I’m already off from the project or when I’m on break or weekend. I will need to find that balance…

I guess there is really no solution to not being able to let go but rather a change of mindset and a constant self-reminder. When there is a sign of emotional attachment, a mental nudge may help? Let’s see…

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