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Book review of "Letting Go" by David R. Hawkins

Updated: Nov 24, 2022

"In truth, we exist and survive, not because of the ego, but in spite of it." - David R. Hawkins

A friend of mine sent me a great book as a gift I have never heard of before, "Letting Go" by David R. Hawkins. The title immediately intrigued me as I have read a lot about letting go and surrendering, with its many benefits for the well-being of our own and literally the world, but I have not fully understood how to really live this. The book looks quite thorough and touches all areas of life, such as money, relationships, work. Fun fact: When I asked how my friend got to know of this book, she said that apparently Russell Brand had recommended it! :-)

Funnily enough, I had finished my other book, "Super Attractor" by Gabrielle Bernstein, before starting this book, as I realized they talk about a similar concept, the emotional scale, only in different terms. The emotional scale is about a range of our lower-vibrational and higher-vibrational emotions. Following the "like attracts like" principle, these emotions naturally attract similar energies - so if we feel down, more negative feelings and thoughts may surface. If we feel joyful, more happiness may be felt. Both authors say that if we are, for example, stuck at one negative energy - such as fear -, instead of pressuring ourselves to move up the whole emotional ladder to the highest positive emotion - such as joy - it would be more than enough to just move one step up, just the next higher emotion, at a time. So from fear, we may move up to anger, which is already livelier and may give us energy to move forward. From anger, we can move to courage, our willingness to change something. From courage, we can move to contentment, being proud of our small achievements. From contentment, we can move to passion, love, peace.

While Bernstein puts a more "Universal" context to it, saying that the higher we go, we can also better tap into the Universal support around us, Hawkins highlights that moving up the emotional scale helps release, or let go, the negative emotions, that often get piled up. What I like about Hawkin`s book is that he shares his world view of current things, too. We human beings operate mostly on low-vibrational energies, often on fear. We are also not used to deal with our emotions, esp. negative ones, so what we do is either suppression (repression), expression, or escapism. Following these three channels unconsciously, this leads to more negative emotions stuck in our body and unconsciousness. So we only need (sometimes already small) trigger events, of which there are plenty in this world, to not only retaliate or act on auto-pilot causing more suffering in the world, but also to suffer on our own (e.g. by stress, body pain, mental ill-health).

While I have not finished Hawkin`s book yet - but as the foreword promised, reading the first pages already help us implement the knowledge into our lives -, Hawkins already outlines ways we can deal with our emotional inventory and create a life that truly serves us. The three mechanisms - suppression (repression), expression, and escapism - can be indeed leveraged to release our negative emotions, if done so consciously. It may be that a crisis or situation can be so overwhelming that we need these outlets consciously and temporarily to let go of our pain step by step. The ultimate goal is to let go of our attachments to the pain, incl. the thoughts (judgments) that are associated with this.

To give you an example - if someone has lost their job, this situation can be very overwhelming. This person`s mind may start to be absorbed by thoughts (judgments), such as "What should I do now? How can they do this to me? What am I supposed to do? How I can take care of me and my family financially? What will others think? The economy is not going well right now. I am such a loser ...". Hawkins explains that to interrupt this spiral of thoughts, we need to get closer to the underlying emotion. In an overwhelming situation, the person may only start to express their emotions by crying and feeling victimized (expression), or watch Netflix (escapism), or pretend they are fine towards others (suppression). Once these emotions are released, the person may then start to feel angry at the former employer and the current circumstances. After this, the person may then start to make plans what to do next, even if in small steps, such as making an overview of their finances or starting to look for other opportunities. At one future point, this person may even be grateful for their growth during this situation or the opportunity to choose something else, more fulfilling and aligned, to do professionally.

This example not only shows how we can move up the emotional scale step by step in our own time and capability, but also how letting go of negative emotions frees up resources, shifts our perspectives, and can even make us grateful for something that was painful. Our mind, that wants to protect us, is really good in attaching to the physical form of our world (remember those moments where we can`t seem to let go of the date that didn`t reply, this happy memory, the good old times?), making it a bit difficult for one part of us to just let go of the emotions that come with the attachment. Being attached to something is a way for our mind to control, have something tangible, even if it hurts us (purpose in pain).

However, if we really want to grow into our Higher Self, experience the vast greatness of life, and transform our suffering into excitement for life, we can give permission to ourselves to let go and make room for something new (positive emotions). Yes, it may be scary - at the end, we have been used to the familiar pain and don`t know what the unknown can bring. And this is where Bernstein`s Universal concept comes in - we can trust that there is an ever-present field of love around us, that supports and guides us. If you feel scepticism or resistance, you can just start doing small exercises, such as having breaks to do nothing (s. my blog post on "We are not human doings, but human beings"), and if you are honest with yourself, your body will love you for this - to have a break from doing and controling, and to truly enjoy the moment and your natural being with joy.

Are you ready to let go of your familiar pain? Let me know by sending an email to – I very look forward to hearing from you! :) PS: Subscribe to my #mindfulmagic Newsletter to stay in touch for upcoming posts, free offers, and news :)


This week`s ...

  • Inspiration: David R. Hawkins - Letting Go

  • Reflection: How can I move up the emotional scale, step by step?

  • Intention: I am ready to let go of my negative emotions, that hold me back, to make room for emotions that bring me joy.

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