“Let go and be free.”

Recently I dreamed an elderly Japanese man offered to do an energy clearing on my hands. In the dream I recognized I needed his help but didn’t want him to do it and refused. Events then led to me to taking a Qi Gong class from him during which I was clearly the most advanced student in the group, however he singled me out as behind the others because I refused to let go of anything and was holding on to old ideas. He then called me out for work I was doing with one of my teachers, saying “You’re giving all your energy to him, your energy is supposed to go to you!”

I woke from this dream with two lessons I am slowly unpacking. The first is about attachment, and the second power.

Everything requires energy and space in order to exist. If energy is going to something useful there is less room for things that aren’t, and vice versa. If I hold onto what I think makes me wise, smart, or right, there is less room for growth and truth. For this reason, sacrifice becomes an important and defining element of personal development.

Upon waking from the dream I asked myself, “What is something meaningful I can let go of today?” I answered by deleting an addictive app from my phone. I have continued to tune into this question with the intention of letting go of at least one thing a day, be it an object or a belief. The lesson of attachment is that the less I hold on the less I am held back.

Which brings me to the lesson of power.

Not being held back means being more and doing more. If my energy isn’t going to false ideas of myself or my abilities it’s available for useful ventures. This process happens almost automatically as a consequence of letting go. Meaning, you don’t have to try hard to be the preferred version of yourself, just stop thinking you’re not.

That sounds simplistic, and I don’t mean to imply it’s easy. There’s a reason sacrifice is called sacrifice. However, when you focus on letting go you conquer the mountain before taking the first step. It’s a more effective and rewarding way of traveling through life than constantly trying to break through walls.

For example, all my life I struggled with relationships and believed I could never have a partner, while at the same time I desperately craved one. After years of struggle I had a session with my teacher in which he took me down into the pattern to the point where I recognized there was absolutely no benefit to continuing it. In that moment it broke open, and within two months I met my husband.

When we realize that what we are holding onto isn’t helping it becomes very easy to let go, and suddenly the impossible dream becomes easy.

To let go of beliefs that aren’t helpful, ask what the perceived benefit is of keeping them, and then examine if they are actually providing that benefit. For myself with relationships I discovered it was a way of seeking connection with others. By having this problem others were put in a position of giving me attention and caring for me, which to my unconscious process was worth the pain. It broke open when my teacher pointed out how I was pushing people away and alienating my friends. Once that registered I could no longer identify with the problem and it disappeared. Then husband showed up.

Now more recently in my dream the man said I was giving my energy to this same teacher, not myself. I interpret this to mean I’ve made my teacher responsible for my progress (or lack thereof) without owning the work I do or its consequences. In this way I made an attachment to him paramount and my personal work inconsequential. When I stop thinking about him and focus on the work, my efforts become far more effective. Simply put, I need to do things to please myself, not to please someone else.

Whenever there is something you want in life that feels inordinately hard to achieve, it is a symptom of an attachment. If you have a pattern of constantly butting up against an invisible wall, look at what you are being asked to let go of. Then ask what the perceived benefit is of keeping it, and if it is actually helping you achieve this benefit.

Some beliefs will easily let go in this questioning process, others will be more stubborn and may require outside assistance. Either way, simply acknowledging that attachments can be let go unleashes your power, for you can see the path out of the locked room. Once the mind perceives a way out, it’s only a matter of time before it makes the journey.