Learning to Let Go with James McCrae

This guest post is written by James McCrae, author, poet, and creative guide from Austin, Texas. In his writing and art, he applies the principles of mindfulness and Eastern philosophy to modern life with humor and candor.

"When things feel too heavy, try letting go." 

This is good advice, but easier said than done. 

We live in heavy times. I often talk about how helpful it is to our overall state of well-being to let go of our worries, our burdens, and our anxieties. 

The question is: HOW? 

There's no magic bullet. Letting go is an art, and mastering any art takes practice. Here are 5 ways to practice the art of letting go. 

1) Laugh at the divine absurdity of the universe 
First and foremost, nothing is as serious as it seems. When we're in the weeds of the human experience, it's easy to feel like the stakes are high. But we came into the world with nothing and we leave with nothing. What happens in between is an experience to help us learn and grow. 

Just because life doesn't always make sense doesn't mean it has to be heavy. It's okay to laugh at the divine comedy of it all. 

2) Purge clutter
Just like we hold onto thoughts and emotions that no longer serve us, we do the same with physical objects. Learning to let go of old clothes, books, and other clutter you don't need anymore is a good way to train your mind to release excess baggage. 

3) Forgive yourself for past mistakes
Much of what holds us down is our own guilt and negative self-image based on past events which are no longer in our control. 

Guess what? You're not the same person you were 10 minutes ago, let alone 10 years ago. Don't punish your current self for something he/she/they had nothing to do with.

Allow yourself to be somebody new. 

4) Mix up your daily routine
We can become addicted to our daily routines. Vacations are exciting because they represent a break from habit. But we can break our habits every day. And small changes can make a big difference. 

Try taking a new route while running errands, cooking a new cuisine, or exploring a music genre you've never listened to before. 

Let go of the old. Find new ways to make daily life feel like a novelty. 

5) Visualize it first
Thoughts become things. For both better and worse, the mind conditions us to experience reality in a certain way. Using visualization techniques can prepare us to release old energetic entanglements. After all, letting go is an energetic or spiritual process, not a physical one. 

Close your eyes and visualize yourself unraveling layers of old energy that are wrapped around your aura. Don't use force. Just visualize it naturally releasing its grasp. 

Watch it gently float away and feel the emotional weight lifted.

Follow along with James on Instagram @wordsarevibrations.