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How To Let Go Of The Past: 3 Techniques You May Not Know About

Wendy and Dan Hennessey sitting on an NYC bench

"Letting go takes a lot of courage. But once you let go, happiness comes very quickly."

-Thich Nhat Hanh

Greetings friends! Today we're going to dive into one of the most important aspects of creating a healthy and happy life - letting go of the past.

Our past experiences and memories can often hold us back from experiencing true happiness and fulfillment right now in this beautiful present moment. So we would like to share some simple steps that can help you on your journey that will have a huge impact immediately.

Sometimes we may not realize that letting go is an option. It might not seem possible at times. But it's comforting to know that there is always a choice, and it can be much simpler than we think.

How To Let Go Of The Past

One effective way to let go and make a transformational shift is by giving ourselves permission to adjust or update our mindset. Just this intention alone is huge!

This can be done by noticing at least one thing going well instead of focusing on what's going wrong for example. As you intend to see a more positive aspect of life you immediately shift your focus and your grip on the past softens a little bit. This can change your inner climate a few degrees and you will notice you might feel a bit lighter.

When we focus on the positives we feel more fulfilled and content. By recognizing and giving more space to the positive things in our lives we naturally create more positive experiences going forward. We are all hesitant to let go at first, but when we finally do decide to let go, happiness comes very quickly.

Letting go doesn't have to be complicated and it shouldn't be. If you practice just one of the techniques below, you too will see how simple it can be to let go of the past. Let's look at three unique techniques below that you may not know about yet.

The Sedona Method and Sedona Red Rocks

1. The Sedona Method

The Sedona Method is a valuable tool for letting go of the past. This technique involves asking yourself a series of questions that help you release negative emotions and thoughts. By doing so you will be tapping into your higher self and practicing self-love. This will help you to connect with your inner wisdom and find peace.

Here's how to do the practice:

  • Identify the feeling or emotion: The first step in the Sedona Method is to identify the feeling or emotion you want to release. This is typically the hardest part. This could be a negative emotion like anger, fear, or sadness, or it could be a limiting belief that's holding you back. Don't rush this part, instead give yourself space to let your emotions naturally bubble up. It also helps to write this out. Writing can help us unlock aspects we typically overlook. Once you've identified the feeling or emotion, you can move on to the next step.

  • Ask yourself three questions: The next step is to ask yourself the Sedona Method questions. For each question, take a moment to reflect on the feeling or emotion you identified in step one, and then ask yourself the questions below. Repeat the questions as many times as necessary to release the feeling or emotion. When you do you will be able to notice a shift within yourself and how you feel in your body. The three questions are:

1. Could I let this go?

2. Would I let this go?

3. When?

  • Welcome and make peace with where you are: The final step is to welcome the feeling or emotion, which is a form of release. To do this, take a deep breath and imagine your heart opening up to the feeling or emotion and welcoming it. Make space for peace to flow in. As you welcome it and your heart opens notice the change in your body. You might feel a swelling up or a dissipation. Whatever you feel just allow it to be. Then visualize the emotion as a ball of light or energy that's moving out of your body and into the universal energy field. Repeat the Sedona Method questions as needed until you feel a sense of release or relief.

Neon light that says "breathe" overlayed on greenery

2. Breathwork

Breathwork is yet another powerful tool for letting go of the past. As no surprise, breathwork also has many other positive health benefits for your mind, body, and spirit. By focusing on your breath you are practicing presence. This will uncover any negative emotions bubbling in the background. As you practice you will naturally release the past and cultivate a sense of calm and inner peace with real-time results.

Here are three steps for practicing breath work:

  • Find a comfortable position: The first step is to find a comfortable position. It's all about creating a space you enjoy. You can sit in a chair or on the floor, or even lie down if that's more comfortable for you. Make sure your body is relaxed and your spine is straight, but not stiff or rigid.

  • Focus on your breath: Once you're in a comfortable position, start to focus on your breath. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, taking slow, deep breaths. Pay attention to the sensation of the air moving in and out of your body. If your mind wanders simply come back to the breath once you notice you have drifted off.

  • Try different techniques: There are many different breathing techniques you can practice. Each will have different results, so experiment to see what feels best to you. Here are three techniques to get you started:

Box breathing: Inhale for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, exhale for a count of 4, and hold for a count of 4. Repeat this pattern for 1-5 minutes.

Belly Breathing: Place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Breathe in deeply through your nose, feeling your belly expand, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Focus on breathing deeply into your belly rather than your chest. Let your abdomen expand and contract with each round.

Alternate nostril breathing: Use your right thumb to close your right nostril, and inhale deeply through your left nostril. Then, use your right index finger to close your left nostril, lift your thumb, and exhale through your right nostril. Now repeat to the other side. With your index finger on your left nostril, inhale through your right nostril and close your right nostril with your thumb again. Lift your index finger and then exhale through your left nostril. Repeat this pattern for at least 3 full rounds on each side.

Cartoon woman meditating and doing breathwork

3. Mindset Coaching

Shifting our mindset is a powerful tool that can help us release negative emotions from the past. Our mindset is the foundation underlying all techniques and methods. In our 1-on-1 coaching program, we have an array of methods and techniques that we have gathered from over 18 years of personal self-exploration and from helping thousands of clients live healthier and happy lives and manifest their dreams.

Here are 3 steps anyone can take right now to make a positive shift in their mindset:

  • Recognize negative thought patterns: The first step in shifting your mindset is to become aware of your thought patterns in general. Scientists have found we have on average 60,000 to 90,000 thoughts per day and 70% to 90% are negative! So it is helpful for us all to pay some attention to our thoughts and how they may be impacting us behind the scenes. Throughout the day notice when a thought is positive or negative/self-limiting. Once you're aware of these thought patterns, you can begin to change the pattern, reframe them, and grow in a new and wonderful direction.

  • Challenge negative thoughts: Once you've identified negative thought patterns, it's important to challenge them by questioning them. Ask yourself if these thoughts are true and how can you know that they are true. Notice how negative thoughts are always based on assumptions, mistruths, opinions, and other things that are not the actual truth about who you are. As you see this, more positive and healthier patterns organically flow in and manifest themselves.

  • Cultivate a growth mindset: A growth mindset is a belief that you can learn and grow from all of your experiences, yes even the ones that seem impossible. Rather than being stuck in a fixed mindset that limits your potential, a growth mindset says you might not know how just yet, but you know you will be able to figure out a way. Start by embracing challenges and setbacks as stepping stones that are helping you get to where you want to be. Celebrate progress and successes along the way every chance you get. Change your perspective and your entire life will change.

Remember, letting go of the past is a process that might require some patience and persistence especially if you're trying to do it on your own. Be kind and loving to yourself. Don't rush the process, instead let it unfold. We wish you all the best on your journey!

With love and compassion,

Wendy + Dan



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