4 Steps to Letting Go
What comes first: thoughts or feelings?

We assume that what happens is that we have a thought, and this then determines our feelings and physical responses. This is the intuitive way to imagine it.

However, in his book ‘Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender”, David Hawkins presents evidence that supports the opposite view, that our thoughts are often driven by how we are feeling.

This means that we cannot only focus on positive thinking and make the feelings go away. However, we can use our thoughts to challenge those feelings, and slowly teach our body not to produce them.

“Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender” by David R. Hawkins

The book “Letting Go” by David Hawkins is about allowing yourself to experience your own emotions, that specifically means, in particular negative emotions such as fear, sadness, anger and their correlatives such as rage, despair, worthlessness.

Hawkins elaborates a path to healing and letting go of wounds/blockages that are preventing the realization of higher states of consciousness. Hawkins details a simple yet profoundly powerful technique called the ‘Letting Go Technique‘ that can be used anytime, anywhere to skilfully process emotions and lead us toward higher, lighter, freer stages of human development.

The Hawkins’ Chart

We have different ways to deal with negative emotions: when we feel an emotion that we do not want, we have a tendency to either suppress it, repress it, express it, or escape it.

The Hawkins’ Chart, also called energy chart or vibrational chart, brings together emotions that we will feel at some point in our lives.

In this chart, emotions are categorised by a traffic light system.: green (good), yellow (ok) and red (bad). The colours represent warning signs, with red being a “call to action” where we need to change something.

David Hawkins Energy Chart
David Hawkins Energy Chart

According to Dr Hawkins, each emotion is like a folder in a computer, a folder that contains hundreds of associated thoughts.

Changing and releasing a particular emotion allow us to change all those associated thoughts that are in the folder.

Letting Go Technique

Here is an excerpt from Letting Go that explains precisely how to do the technique:

“Letting go involves being aware of a feeling, letting it come up, staying with it, and letting it run its course without wanting to make it different or do anything about it. It means simply to let the feeling be there and to focus on letting out the energy behind it. The first step is to allow yourself to have the feeling without resisting it, venting it, fearing it, condemning it, or moralizing about it. It means to drop judgment and to see that it is just a feeling. The technique is to be with the feeling and surrender all efforts to modify it in any way. Let go of wanting to resist the feeling. It is resistance that keeps the feeling going. When you give up resisting or trying to modify the feeling, it will shift to the next feeling and be accompanied by a lighter sensation. A feeling that is not resisted will disappear as the energy behind it dissipates.

As you begin the process, you will notice that you have fear and guilt over having feelings; there will be resistance to feelings in general. To let feelings come up, it is easier to let go of the reaction to having the feelings in the first place. A fear of fear itself is a prime example of this. Let go of the fear or guilt that you have about the feeling first, and then get into the feeling itself.

When letting go, ignore all thoughts. Focus on the feeling itself, not on the thoughts. Thoughts are endless and self-reinforcing, and they only breed more thoughts. Thoughts are merely rationalizations of the mind to try and explain the presence of the feeling. The real reason for the feeling is the accumulated pressure behind the feeling that is forcing it to come up in the moment. The thoughts or external events are only an excuse made up by the mind.

As we become more familiar with letting go, it will be noticed that all negative feelings are associated with our basic fear related to survival and that all feelings are merely survival programs that the mind believes are necessary. The letting go technique undoes the programs progressively. Through that process, the underlying motive behind the feelings becomes more and more apparent.

To be surrendered means to have no strong emotion about a thing: “It’s okay if it happens, and it’s okay if it doesn’t.” When we are free, there is a letting go of attachments. We can enjoy a thing, but we do not need it for our happiness. There is progressive diminishing of dependence on anything or anyone outside of ourselves. These principles are in accord with the basic teaching of the Buddha to avoid attachment to worldly phenomena, as well as the basic teaching of Jesus Christ to “be in the world but not of it.”

4 Practical Steps to Letting Go

Letting go involves being with the feeling and allowing the feeling to be there without resisting it.

Here are 4 practical steps that can assist you in Letting Go.


Take a comfortable position. Relax your body. Take a few deep breaths.

Now bring up something you wish to let go of. May it be a thought, event, behaviour, desire or something else.


Focus on that you want to let go and immediately tune in to how you feel.

Do you feel resistance immediately?

What emotions come up?

Can you give the emotions a name?

Is it sadness, anger, resistance, frustration?


Try to localise the emotion in the body (exp. head, neck, arms, legs).

Be very specific with the localisation and try to describe the emotion using colours, temperatures, or even physical states such as (liquid, solid,..) (exp.: “a burning sensation around my eyes”, “a cold stream around my belly area”, “huge tension on my shoulders going all the way into my neck”)


Now fully feel that sensation in your body and be totally present with it. Stay there until you feel a sense of relief or a fading away.

Relax into it. Set all judgment aside. Do not think about how long you should spend with that sensation. Just stay there as long as the emotion needs (this can take 1, 5, or even 20 minutes).

Stay there until you feel a sense of relief or a fading away.

Usually, there are multiple levels to an emotion so the sensation you just felt may transform into a different sensation. If so, repeat that process. Repeat that process multiple times with every emotion that comes up.

When the emotion is fully resolved and you feel a sense of peace in your whole being, you can slowly come back and open your eyes.

Integrating The Letting Go Technique With Reiki

The “Letting Go” Technique” can be integrated into a Reiki self-treatment with the intention to tune into the root cause of an emotion that we want to let go of and ask Reiki to heal it.

This involves starting the Reiki self-treatment by grounding, protecting and cleansing your energy. Different Reiki symbols can be used during the self-healing session; in particular the Distant Symbol can be used to go to the original event/root cause of the identified emotion.

In the post Integrating The Letting Go Technique With Reiki we discuss all steps in more detail.

Best Quotes from “Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender” by David R. Hawkins
Letting go quote
David Hawkins – Letting Go – Quotes

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”

“If you want to forget something or someone, never hate it, or never hate him/her. Everything and everyone that you hate is engraved upon your heart; if you want to let go of something, if you want to forget, you cannot hate.”

“Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.”

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.”

“No matter how much suffering you went through, you never wanted to let go of those memories.”

“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.”

“Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.”

“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”

“If people refuse to look at you in a new light and they can only see you for what you were, only see you for the mistakes you’ve made, if they don’t realize that you are not your mistakes, then they have to go.”

“Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.”

“Time doesn’t heal emotional pain, you need to learn how to let go.”

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, maybe the very reason why you don’t have something better.”

Dr. David R. Hawkins’ videos
Dr. David Hawkins: Let go, you are safe…
Dr. David Hawkins: You are the Infinite Field

Giancarlo is a fully accredited Holy Fire® III, Karuna Reiki® Master Teacher, Past Life Regression Therapist, Spiritual Healer and a Consultant Healer of the College of Psychic Studies in London.

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