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By Hale Dwoskin, author of The Sedona Method

Learning to release emotions will help you achieve peace, happiness and emotional well-being

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One of the main ways that we create disappointments, unhappiness, and misjudgments is by holding on to limiting thoughts and feelings. It is not that "holding on," in and of itself, is inappropriate. Holding on is perfectly appropriate in many situations. I wouldn't suggest, for instance, that you not hold on to the steering wheel of a car that you were driving, or not hold on to a ladder that you were climbing. Obviously, the results of such choices could be unfortunate. But have you ever held on to a point of view even when it didn't serve you? Have you ever held on to an emotion even though there was nothing you could do to satisfy it, make it right, or change the situation that appeared to cause it? This is the form of holding on that is counterproductive.

It is not that feelings don't occasionally appear to be justified. It's just that feelings are only feelings, not who we are&emdash;and we can easily let them go. Choosing to let them go frees us to perceive what is actually here, and to act, or refrain from acting, accordingly. This translates into an ability to handle life&emdash;to make stronger, clear choices. It allows you and me to act in ways that support us in achieving our goals and aspirations as opposed to sabotaging them. I have seen the process of letting go of the emotions grow into an ability to have more money, better relationships, more radiant health and physical well-being, no matter what is going on around us.

The Sedona Method® is a unique program I created based on the emotional releasing techniques originated by my mentor Lester Levenson. This method shows you how to elegantly and easily tap your natural ability to let go of any unwanted thought or feeling on the spot. In addition to gaining deeper awareness of the ultimate truth and your natural state of unlimited happiness, this program can free you to have more personal and financial success, and break bad habits and other self-sabotaging behaviors.

Letting go is the opposite of holding on. Both letting go and holding on are part of the natural process of life. This fundamental understanding is the basis of the Sedona Method.® Letting go, or releasing, is a natural ability that we're all born with, but which we get conditioned against using as we mature into adulthood. Where so many of us frequently get stuck is that we don't know when it is appropriate to let go and when it is appropriate to hold on. And most of us err on the side of holding on--often to our detriment.

It is interesting to note the emotional component of holding on and releasing, and the degree to which our bodies are impacted by our feelings. Have you noticed that, when people are upset, they often hold their breath? In the process of breathing, both inhalation and exhalation can be inhibited by holding on to unresolved emotions. Most of us also hold residual tension in our muscles, which never allows us to relax fully. Again, it is the unresolved or suppressed emotions that are the basis for these forms of constriction.

But why do we get stuck? When we suppress our emotions, rather than allowing ourselves to experience our feelings fully in the moment they arise, they linger and make us uncomfortable. Through avoidance, we are preventing our emotions from flowing through us, either transforming or dissolving, and it doesn't feel good.

Have you ever watched a very young child fall down and then look around to see if there is any reason to be upset? When children think no one is watching them, in an instant they just let go, brush themselves off, and act like nothing has happened. The same child in a similar situation, on seeing the opportunity to get attention, may burst into tears and run to the arms of a parent. Or have you ever watched a young child get furious with a playmate or parent, and even say something like, "I hate you and will never speak to you again," and then, just a few minutes later, the child feels and acts as though nothing at all has happened? This natural ability to release our emotions was lost to most of us because, even though we did it automatically as young children, without conscious control, our parents, teachers, friends, and society as a whole trained us out of it as we got older. In fact, it is because we were unconscious of our ability to release that it was possible to train us to hold on.

Every time we were told "no," told to behave, to sit still and be quiet, to stop squirming, that "big boys don't cry" or "big girls don't get angry," and to grow up and be responsible, we learned to suppress our emotions. Furthermore, we were often seen as an adult when we got to the point where we were good at suppressing our natural exuberance for life and all the feelings that others convinced us to believe were unacceptable. We became more responsible to others' expectations of us rather than to the needs of our own emotional well-being.

The balancing point and natural alternative to inappropriate suppression and expression is releasing, or letting go&emdash;what we call the Sedona Method®. It is the equivalent of turning down the heat and safely beginning to empty the contents of your inner pressure cooker. Because every feeling that has been suppressed is trying to vent itself, releasing is merely a momentary stopping of the inner action of holding these feelings in so you can allow them to leave, which you will find they do easily under their own steam.

Though you have probably become an expert at suppression and/or expression, even so, you are still letting go. True laughter, for instance, is one of the ways that you let go spontaneously, and the benefits of laughter in the area of health and stress elimination are well documented. Think of the last time you had a really good belly laugh. You may have been watching a funny program on TV or having a conversation with a friend, and all of a sudden, something struck you as funny. As you laughed, you probably felt lighter and lighter inside and progressively happier and more relaxed, almost warm and euphoric. This is also a good description of what you may experience at times when you learn to use the process of The Sedona Method®. Although most of the time you won't laugh out loud as you let go, you will often smile and feel the same sense of inner relief that comes from true laughter.

Have you ever lost your keys or your glasses and turned the whole house upside down only to find them in your pocket? When you found them you let out a sigh of relief--Aahhh--as your tension and anxiety melted away as you discovered you already had the keys, or the glasses, all along. This is another example of how you release right now.

As you perfect your use of The Sedona Method®, you will find yourself able to go right to this point of realization and relaxation, even on longstanding issues that you were tearing your life apart trying to resolve. You will discover that the answers have been right inside you all along.

Adapted with permission from The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well-being copyright 2003 by Hale Dwoskin, foreword by Jack Canfield (Sedona Press).

Hale Dwoskin is an international speaker, facilitator and author. He has taught the Sedona Method for over a quarter of a century to individuals and in corporations throughout the U.S. and the UK. He is CEO and Director of Training of Sedona Training Associates, an organization that teaches courses based on the emotional releasing techniques originated by his mentor, Lester Levenson. For more information, please call (888) 282-5656 or visit


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