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Learning to let go

In Coaching, Counselling and Personal Development, Insight and Experience, Mind and Movement by George GintilasLeave a Comment

What is the look of a real letting go?


For years I’ve watched people in therapy sessions battle with their intellect and all the conditioning they were brought up with. Setting up the conditions to help this undo is part of my job. It can be a tough nut to crack sometimes. These days I hear more and more people say “I can’t stop this over-thinking in my head, it’s driving me crazy!” That’s the intellect – running the show more than it was designed to do. Because we have overvalued it in society, we tend to over use it.

All good deep energy/therapy work bypasses the intellect. The intellect is a hindrance in most cases to freeing the body and energetic system that has become dense and stuck.

You do not need to know the cause of a problem intellectually or understand it rationally in detail in order to heal it. It is the intellect that wants to know, a remnant of the old medical/intellectual model. You can understand your problems inside out and still have them strongly entrenched.

The intellect is not the answer. It is part of the solution but it is not the answer, as we have been taught traditionally and would, perhaps, like ourselves to believe.

The intellect may help a little, like reading here, to get some understanding, but the actual release work does not involve the intellect too much. The intellect needs to stand back and just allow the unfolding, as the body and energy system untangles themselves.

The best therapy is done when the intellect has no idea what has just happened, which is why some quiet time afterwards is important for letting go. Normally many thoughts become unnecessary after a good session.

So to get access to more of the goodies lying within you, one of the big keys is to learn how to let the intellect go.

From years of observation with clients, here are some insights into how to let go some of the over-holding of your intellect, which helps to free and reveal more of your inner power and peace.

To let go it helps to know what a real letting go feels like. There are false ones where you think you have let go, think you have changed, but you haven’t really. You just buried the old thinking habit temporarily with willpower.

So what is the look of a real letting go?

Types of responses that constitute a release in the progress of letting go.

It is worth mentioning the following types of releases to help you to know what is normal. Otherwise, your intellect on first sign will promptly stop them from happening.

The following can be a threat to your intellect, because they don’t involve the intellect. It’s also the list of things you wouldn’t normally do walking down the street. Outside in the street, the intellect rules; you need to look ‘cool’ and your intellect will do its best to do that well for you but when you want to let go, looking ‘cool’ doesn’t help.

When the intellect really lets go, one of the following things can arise:

• An emotion:
A feeling/emotional release. You feel some feelings—hurt, anger, sadness, fear, pain, crying, laughter, giggling, pleasure, delight, love, contentment. It can be auntle or overwhelming.

• A realisation:
A new idea. Some new thought form ‘clicks’ in your head. A whole new understanding opens up before your eyes., one that you never saw; a real mind stopping ‘Aha!’

• A memory:
An old forgotten memory flashes to mind, good or bad.

• A reflex action:
You have a fight/flight (autonomic reflex) release where subdued or past incomplete
defences activate spontaneously. For example, your arm may just flinch outward for a

• A sound:
New sounds or words come to mind; ones that you would normally not think of.
For example; ‘Go away’, ‘leave me alone’, and ‘help!’

• A sensation:
A jerk, twitch, shake, hot or cold flush, a tremble in a muscle occurs for no reason. A tension or throbbing in a muscle.

• A movement:
Hands may push, pull, grip, fist; arms want to push, pull, hug; legs want to run; the body wants to turn away, maybe twist; whole body jerks; jaw wants to move; head wants to turn or shake, like saying ‘no!’

If you can allow one or more of the above things to happen then you are on your way to more intuition, magic, miracles, gut feelings, spontaneous healings, revelations, realisations and deep insights. All are so named because the intellect cannot explain these phenomena. The intellect is actually not online and in control when such moments happen.

So how do you keep this habitual intellect out of the way when letting go and allow your body and energetic system to do its amazing healing and releasing job?

There are many things you can do. Here are some tips:

1. A big step is just noticing when you are analysing something instead of just letting it be. You don’t have to say, “Oh no! I just analysed again!” and beat yourself up. That will just add more intellect. All you need do is notice.

2. Spend some time meditating each day, even five minutes, and just let yourself unfold and be. If you do it because ‘you have to’ that’s the intellect again cutting in.

3. Take time to notice your body sensations throughout your body. Take them just as seriously as you do your thoughts. The real you is throughout your body, you are not just in your head. (A whole article can be written just on this point alone.)

4. ‘Let’ things happen more and ‘make’ things happen less. Accept reality just as it is in this moment, which means accepting yourself fully right now, warts and all. People think by doing this they will be stuck with their problems forever, but the opposite is true. By fully accepting and allowing, you allow that part to let go and release, rather than fighting it or keeping it hidden because you don’t like it.

5. When was the last time you went dancing, real dancing, not just a little minor jiggle for a few minutes? On the dance floor there are normally plenty of opportunities to let go in a civilised way. It’s one of the best activities that we accept in society as okay to ‘let go’ in public. If you want to stay sane, dance more!

6. See a therapist once a year for a few maintenance sessions. I cannot overstate the value of this one. Over the years I’ve learned the value of having a few maintenance ‘non-intellect release type’ sessions with a good therapist. I don’t wait any more for a problem to arise. I already know that it’s been accumulating. So I now always go, every year, and have three to six therapy sessions. They are usually mostly non-talking ones that allow the opportunity for my body to really release material that I completely buried and made unconscious. So I go where my intellect dares not go and cannot go. Then I am fine again for another 12 months—more alive, calmer, freer, less reactive and settled again in my body—and normally I find afterwards that I feel even better than I did the previous 12 months.

How do you know with letting go and releasing that a true change has happened? The obvious sign is that you feel better, the problem you had has changed and you feel different without any effort. It feels real and permanent and it lasts without having to over-exert will power, and, even better, you completely forget what the problem was in the first place.

The more chances you give yourself to let go, the more you can follow what ‘feels right’ – rather than what is always logically the best option in your head, in your intellect – and the freer and more alive and happier you become.


George Gintilas is a Body Psychotherapist and P.S.H. Therapist in private practice for 15 years. He practices, runs workshops and is co-director of the Elwood Centre for Wellbeing.

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