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  • Writer's pictureBarry Shirley

Mumbo Jumbo News - Issue 6 - May - 2020

Hi guys. In this May blog (Issue 6), I would like to contemplate the subject of ‘Letting Go’ (or surrender).

This subject has been written about extensively but is essentially about countering negative emotions by letting go of things that you cannot control or relinquishing an obsessive attachment to something. And, accepting a situation fully and knowing that you have a choice about your attitude in navigating your own way (every life experience contains an opportunity for reflection on how you can do this).

As in my previous blogs, I will draw on the views/opinions of past and current masters/sages/mystics/gurus/philosophers and generally wise people. These blogs are designed to only give you a ‘taste’ of the information, knowledge and wisdom that is out there on the wonderful internet and in books of course.

In a general sense we all carry ‘baggage’ around (negativity) which spills out of the particular ‘bag’ if triggered by certain situations and thoughts which in turn ignites mainly negative emotions – i.e. anger, fear, anxiety, disgust, hatred, resentment, judgement, jealously etc. This is all natural of course (through your ego and lower self), which we have to acknowledge, but it is not good for your body or immune system (see New Scientist 2/9/2003 and Medical News Today 5/1/2019).

A lot of the, so called, ‘baggage’ includes being obsessive, judgemental, defensive and related habitual thoughts which are actually provided to you by your upbringing, culture, peers, school, society and your own personality etc. It also certain that you are being influenced by your ego (and possibly a ‘professional’ ego developed by you in terms of your occupation, where you feel obliged to perhaps go against your true nature).

This ‘grab bag’ of stuff is also part of the human condition and is a form of programming and habitual thinking (including compulsive behaviour) that we need to try and detach from (i.e. to unlearn some of the ‘programming’).  Awareness of what is actually happening to you is the key in all of this.

It’s not about stopping these emotions dead in their tracks, as you have to arrive at ‘letting go’ or surrender by having an awareness of what is happening to you.

This all takes courage and if you can develop such an awareness of the negative emotions, you can then engage a strategy to respond (or making time to respond) rather than having a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction.

Deepak Chopra (US Author, Physician, Spiritual Teacher) suggests that you can use a strategy called S.T.O.P. = Stop what you are doing; Take 3 deep breaths; Observe your body and smile; Proceed with kindness and compassion (a simple practice that can be used at any time, not just when having negative thoughts/emotions).

As we know the mind is never peaceful (peace of mind is an oxymoron). The late, Dr David Hawkins (US Author, Psychiatrist, Spiritual Teacher) said; “Every activity or desire will reveal that the basic goal is to achieve a certain feeling. There are no other goals than to overcome fear and achieve happiness. Emotions are connected with what we believe will ensure our survival, not with what actually will. Emotions themselves are actually the cause of basic fear that drives everyone to seek security constantly”. (Letting Go – The Pathway of Surrender – Hay House 2013)

Dr Hawkins went on to say;“Over two thousand years ago, the Buddha made the observation that the basis of all human sufferingwas due to desire [i.e. cravings which can never be satisfied] and attachment [i.e. things that maximise the ego state], and human history has merely proven the truth of his teaching. What is the solution to that dilemma? As we can see, it is only the small aspect of oneself that becomes attached [i.e. the lower self]. The smaller self buys into the frightened, inadequate set of programs that we have unwittingly allowed to run us. The purpose of letting go is to de-energise these programs so that they no longer run us; then, we are free to expand into the greater awareness of our Higher Self”.

In respect of the COVID-19 virus pandemic; this is probably triggering a feeling/emotion/ attachment in terms of grieving the life we cannot continue with. If this is so, an attempt to let go of this feeling by practicing gratitude may be beneficial (i.e. grateful for living in Australia at this time perhaps).

If you have a spiritual mindset; the mere fact that you are awake to your consciousness gives you enough to begin to regulate your senses – it is all about not being obsessively attached to anything and to see what happens if you accept everything in an equal way (ie equanimity).

In terms of Eastern belief systems, both the Bhagavad Gita and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (both popular ancient Indian Sanskrit teachings) illustrate the aspect of surrender or letting go. The term, Ishvara Pranidhana (Yoga Sutra 1.23.) relates to the surrender of the ego to a higher purpose (whatever you think that might be, i.e. consciousness, oneness etc). As the ego stops fighting to be number one, you can embrace gratitude more and seek your inner power to guide you in life. The Gita talks about letting go of the fruits of our actions, i.e. doing stuff for others without expecting to get anything in return and in turn, surrendering to the higher self.


“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” - Lao Tzu – 6th century Chinese philosopher said to be the founder of Taoism.

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” – Carl Jung – 1875 – 1961 – Swiss Psychiatrist, founder of Analytical Psychology.

“In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” - Deepak Chopra – US/Indian Author, Physician, Spiritual Teacher.

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” - Thich Nhat Hanh – b1926– Vietnamese Bhuddist Monk – Zen Master

“Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.” - Paulo Coelho – Brazilian writer – b1947.

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” - Alexander Graham Bell – Scottish/American Inventor, scientist (telephone etc) – 1887 – 1922.

“Surrender means the surrender of your ego.” - Radhanath Swami – Guru – spiritual teacher – b1950.

“Awareness gives you choice. Choice gives you freedom”. John Assaraf – Canadian/Israeli Author – CEO of - b1961.

“At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you.” - Elizabeth Gilbert – US Author – memoir, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ – b1969.

“Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.” - Wayne Dyer – US Self Help Author – 1940 – 2015.

“Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory.” – Jim Carrey – Canadian Actor/Writer – b1962.

Take away

  • If negative emotions arise engage the S.T.OP. strategy

  • Go with the flow and accept everything that comes your way, as if you had asked for    it.

  • Let go! Let go! let go! – reflect on what you can let go of - freeing up must be good for you, i.e. live your own life and not what is expected of you.

  • Quiet the mind - reduce the opportunity of negativity (this allows homeostasis) – try meditation and/or Yoga – this will help.

  • ‘Press’ the gratitude button – practice gratitude (see previous post on gratitude).

Compiled by Baz Shirley – contact:

*See also:

Instagram: @bazabstractart

FaceBook: Barry Shirley

and all other posts on

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