By: Paddy Honan On: February 03, 2015 In: Emotions, happiness, Life Comments: 3

Let it goLet it go! We all have heard Disney’s ‘Frozen’ song at this stage, I guess and have managed to gather up some baggage going through life, such that we can empathise with the character’s challenge. It is the nature of life that we will suffer to some degree. Whether it is experiencing some painful situation or that our pain has come from being separated from something that we love, or even the day to day challenges that life can provide, life can be a handful. Naturally we have a challenge to shake off that dust and let go of that pain, so this is a journey for us all I guess. Buddha explained that attachment in this life causes dukkha, which is unsatisfactoriness or suffering. Good news eh?

Some go off and try to detach themselves from the world on a mountain, but letting go is not that easy in the day to day western world. We must balance acceptance and action. But when should we do one and when the other?

I call this the LET GO / LET’S GO balance

“Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,  the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

Sometimes it is hard to accept the things we cannot change or even to act when we should, so let’s have a look at what we can do about it. The things that we cannot change include the weather, other people, the past, mistakes that we have made. Or sometimes we talk about the present moment as something that we don’t want. We should be doing something else, wanting the moment to be what it is not. This aversion to reality is quite insane when you think about it, but we all do it every so often. Most of us anyway. It is a sort of self-justification. It is not my fault that my life is not working, look at this thing cheating me…Life is not playing fair. More craziness.

So let’s sort this mess out.

Get a piece of paper and a pen (or vice versa 😉 )

Ok now list all the things that bug you or that you think you must do, should do, didn’t do, others didn’t do..should have done or not done. You get the idea. Just your thoughts, or worries basically.

Get it all out on paper, everything in that internal chatter that delivers your should list constantly.
Keep writing until all your worries are on the page. That feels better, doesn’t it?
The diagram below shows two circles, one of control and one of non control, (originally an idea by the late, great Dr. Stephen Covey). This diagram gives you an idea of what kind of things we can add to these circles, to make our new agreement with life.

Now like the diagram below draw two concentric circles. In the outside one write ‘let go’.
On the inside one write ‘let’s go!’ Now fill in that outside circle from your list, with the things that you have no control over. On the inside circle, the things that you can take action on.  Now, for the things that are beyond your control, is there a different meaning that you can give to the situation? Could you see that set back and think about the lessons that it has offered to you? Can you focus on the blessings in your life and see a negative event as a wake up call? If so you can choose to look at that event differently and take action on your new internal perception of it.



If you find yourself habitually dwelling on things that you have no control over: 

  • Break that habit by being more aware of your thoughts (guarding the doors of your mind), refuse to dwell in it and allow it to fall away as you move your attention to where you can progress with things that are within your control.
  • If you have feelings that you don’t like and cannot shift from, easily, sometimes just relaxing and being present with them, and allowing them to be as they are, while you relax around them and visualising them fall down like confetti, can often diffuse the feelings.
  • Be thankful for what you do have in your life.
  • Rather than stressing about trying to impress people who don’t ‘get’ you, be thankful for the friends that love and support you.
  • Just like keeping fit needs to have regular exercises, so too, does training yourself out of old habits of whining about life, so go easy on yourself when you find you are complaining. Just begin again. Every moment is a new start.



On the other front, if there is something that you can act on, forget about how you haven’t done it up to now. This is a fresh moment to begin again.

  • Decide what you want in this situation.
  • Remember a time when you took action and overcame a challenge before. With this memory believe that you can step up and make your vision a reality.
  • See your goal as done already and that it is just a matter of taking the steps.
  • Realise what it will cost you if you don’t take action.
  • Break down what you have to do to get there.
  • Do step one immediately even if it is a small step put that thing in motion.
  • Be flexible and learn as you progress, but stay committed until you get to where you want to be.


The LET GO ‘yin’ allowing approach is connected also to having faith, the law of attraction, presence etc. This is an economical approach energy-wise where one can really find flow and see what turns up. The challenge is that we can become sort of superstitious, passive or even lazy if we don’t play our part in the process.

Blessings coming our way, just like fine weather and good fertile soil, will be of no use if we have not planted a seed. Set your intentions, trust and allow abundance into your life, but take action while letting go of the outcome emotionally. Just keep working your way forward with the feedback each time, until you are where you want to be. Good luck. 🙂

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    • Iulia Saplacan
    • February 05, 2015
    • Reply

    Just beautiful!

    Thanks Paddy. 🙂

      • Paddy Honan
      • February 05, 2015
      • Reply

      Thank you Iulia. This is something that we have to remind ourselves of very often. Those circles are such a simple yet powerful tool. Glad this helps :).

    • Yayi
    • February 09, 2015
    • Reply

    Interesting exercise Paddy!

    I like the Let Go vs Let’s go approach. I think that the frontier between “letting go” and “giving up” is quite thin.

    I found a useful analogy with a growing a tree/ tomato plant etc. “Letting go” would be the action of planting the seed and trusting the process without worrying. With appropriate care, it will grow anyway.

    Thanks again!

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