The Joy of Letting Go

By Leo Babauta

A surprising number of our daily struggles stem from our attachments.

Let me list a few:

I’m not going to pretend that these are easy problems to deal with, or dismiss them in any way. I’m saying that our attachments are at the heart of these problems.

If that’s true … can we let go of our attachments? What would it be like to gently release what we’re holding on to?

I try to practice a joyful letting go.

Let’s take a look at how that might go in practice.

A Joyful Letting Go

The first thing is to realize that our struggle comes from an attachment. Review the list above and see if any of them apply. It can be easy to point the finger in someone else’s direction, or to feel bad about things. But what if we could simply notice where we’re feeling attached to something?

Once we can see the attachment, we can practice with it, and see if we can release the attachment.

It might go something like this:

  1. Breathe. Turn towards the present moment.
  2. Let yourself feel the emotion associated with the attachment. Just be with it, mindfully, and feel it as sensation in the body.
  3. Ask if the attachment is serving you.
  4. Ask would it could be like without the attachment.
  5. Joyfully release the attachment like releasing your grip on a balloon … and let it float away! See if you can experience a few moments without the attachment, and see what that’s like. What’s available to you when you are free of the attachment?

Try it now – is there something you’ve been frustrated about, avoiding, addicted to? Could you notice the attachment that you have and joyfully release it?

What would that be like for you?