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Mindfulness

A New Path to Happiness

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Open the door to emotional freedom, happiness and success by learning to release negative emotions, thoughts and memories with the Sedona Method.

By Tammy Mastroberte

What if someone told you there was a way to stop self-sabotage, achieve your goals, and be happy no matter what circumstance or situation surrounds you at any moment? And that not only could you let go of uncomfortable or unwanted emotions quickly and easily, but that you already know how to do it?

Right now, you may feel your emotions are in control. Fear, anger, guilt, anxiety and sadness can overwhelm us, and the immediate instinct is to suppress these feelings and make them go away. We turn on the television, bury ourselves in a new novel, or turn to food, drugs or alcohol to squash these uncomfortable emotions. Then, after an extended period of this suppression, we may suddenly blow up in rage at the wrong time, place and person because the buildup becomes too much to bear. Sound familiar?

Well, what if you could take back control of your emotions, and instead of pushing them deep down inside, and walking around like a human time bomb ready to explode, there was another healthier option? What if you actually acknowledged the fear, anger or sadness, sat with it and welcomed it … and then consciously choose to just let it go? No storage, no buildup and no explosion — just release and relief. Welcome to the Sedona Method.

Created more than 50 years ago by Lester Levenson, a physicist from New Jersey, and brought to the mainstream by one of his students, Hale Dwoskin, author of the best-selling book, “The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Wellbeing,” this simple, yet effective method offers techniques to reconnect with the peace and wellbeing already inherent within all of us.

“The Sedona Method is a way to put you back in touch with your own natural, inherent ability to let go,” says Tim McCavitt, a Sedona Method Certified Coach who worked closely with Levenson starting in 1978. “We use the expression ‘let go’ all the time, but nobody ever taught us how to really do it. Babies are masters of letting go. If you watch them, you see they have feelings that bubble up, and then they let them go. They don’t hold on to things like us adults do.”

Releasing using the Sedona Method is the true definition of letting go. It’s not denial or ignoring an issue, thought or feeling, but actually acknowledging it and making the choice to release it. Believe it or not, it’s a process we already do without realizing it.

“When you are trying to search for something, maybe your car keys or your glasses, and you suddenly say ‘never mind’ and in that instant let go of the search or the lost item — that is releasing,” notes Annrika James, another student of Levenson, and co-founder of the Sedona Releasing Worldwide with McCavitt. Nine times out of 10, shortly after letting go of the search, the item is discovered.

The difference with the Sedona Method is this unconscious releasing is brought to the conscious mind. Rather than the struggle of holding on, we can discover the ease of letting go. “The Sedona Method supplies instantaneous technology for unlocking energy flow and freedom,” says David Ellzey, Sedona Method Coach and author. “It’s a new way to deal with thoughts and emotions.”

Picture a large ocean trying to flow into a small river bed along its path. If something were to constrict the flow, it would hurt and cause an overflow of water, Ellzey explains. But without the constraint, the water simply flows to the easiest path. The same is true with human emotions, he says. When we try to constrict the flow of energy and emotion, it causes pain, destruction and harm.

But when we let go of the constriction, everything just flows through us with ease. The key is to accept that emotions exist, and then choose to let them flow through us so they don’t get stuck, Ellzey says. “There is no one emotion that is toxic. However, when it’s held onto and replayed, it causes toxicity.”

If we think of a negative thought as a horse, we can choose to get on the thought and go for a ride, or we can simply give it attention, such as an apple, and then send it on its way, he notes. “The human journey is dynamic, and we all have emotions that come and go, but the issue is not the emotions — it’s what we do with them. Do we get on them and ride them out, or do we see them and just let them go?”

With the Sedona Method, we can learn to bring mindfulness to the emotion or thought and become the witness, but also take it one step further, where we learn to dissolve it and let it go.

“Our essential nature is awareness and consciousness, but we identify with the feelings and thoughts within us as opposed to the consciousness itself,” says Ellzey. “When we let go of the transient feelings and thoughts that come and go, what remains is our true divine nature.

USING THE METHOD
 In 1952, Lester Levenson was sent home by his doctors to die. He was only 42 years old, and had suffered his second heart attack, along with a series of other illnesses. It was then that he discovered a process of self-inquiry, which he called “correcting things with love,” that later became the Sedona Method.

“He discovered he was unhappy, and that what he felt was only a feeling. It wasn’t him. So he realized he could just let it go,” James explains. “It’s amazing how much we want to change things around us that we can’t, and this becomes very stressful. He went back over his life, welcomed the memories and stories, and just let go of wanting to change them, including people in his life. He kept going deeper within himself and letting go of things such as the desire for security or to feel safe, and he noticed he continued to feel more at ease and relaxed. His mind got quieter and his body relaxed.”

Not only did he begin to feel at peace, but an amazing side effect took place. His body healed. Sent home to die at 42, Levenson lived until he was 84. So what is this process of inquiry Levenson discovered that can help people feel better within minutes? There are a variety of techniques, but it starts with bringing mindfulness and focus to an emotion, thought or situation in life that a person wants to change or feel better about in the moment, James notes.

“When you think of the situation, just notice what it stirs up inside and focus on that now feeling. You can even rest your hand on your solar plexus,” she notes. “Then ask yourself, ‘Could I allow that feeling to be here or just simply welcome it?’ We feel it is counterintuitive because normally we want to push it away, but when we push it away, it actually takes over.”

Instead of suppressing it, it’s about noticing what the feeling stirs up inside and then going through a questioning process. The basic releasing questions are: What is your now feeling? Could you welcome or allow the feeling? Could you let it go? Would you let it go? When? After going through the questions, we should check in again with what we feel in the moment. Are there any remaining sensations or feelings? Then repeat the process.

“Would I let this feeling go, or am I willing to? Would I rather feel this way, or would I rather be free? Then you go back and check in again. Do it two or three times until you reach your desired result,” says James. “You may just feel clearer, or have more enthusiasm to take action. The process frees up the energy to take action with.”

Another technique is referred to as Holistic Releasing, which allows for the current emotion to exist as well as the opposite emotion. “If I am angry, I allow myself to feel that, and then to feel at peace, calm and clear,” Ellzey explains. “I go back and forth between the two until they both settle down and what remains is just clear and calm.”

This technique can also be used to improve current life situations. For example, if someone would like a higher income, but fears they won’t get it, they can start with allowing themselves to feel the fear of not achieving the goal, Ellzey explains. Then allow the opposite, “I open myself up to receiving full abundance,” he suggests. “Repeat both back and forth and pretty soon, the mind neurologically cancels itself out and what remains is peace and calm.”

These releasing techniques can be used at any time throughout the day on emotions, thoughts or situations in life — especially anywhere anxiety or other emotions are standing in the way of happiness and success. “If you improve your inner world, you will have less reactivity, and the body and health are impacted by having a better emotional landscape,” Ellzey says. “It’s about dissolving the negative undercurrents so positive thoughts have that much more power.”

Whether talking on the phone, sitting in a business meeting, standing in line at the bank or getting cut off in traffic, feelings are always present, McCavitt notes. Throughout the day as feelings arise, intentionally sitting down with a goal, or working with the memory of something in the past — we can just welcome the emotions and then let them pass.

“Use it wherever you have self-imposed, negative feelings about something — your looks, your weight, your spouse, the neighbors — the world is constantly dishing up wonderful opportunities to let go, rather than holding on and suppressing.”


UNEXPECTED BENEFITS 

In addition to the instant relief felt when using the Sedona Method, there are also other benefits that come from learning to let go of emotions — which Levenson realized when his body healed on its own. One of these is changing our level of attraction.

“When you are already feeling loving and good about yourself, you are much more likely to attract that back,” says James. “The law of attraction was helpful for so many people to know about because it got them out of apathy and to the stage of wanting. The Sedona Method moves beyond that to the letting go of wanting and taking action.”

Whether it’s losing weight, starting to exercise or making any other changes in our lives, the work begins with letting go. That is when things begin to fall into place, she explains. Feelings are just feelings — they are not who we are, and we can choose to simply let them go.

In “The Sedona Method” book, Dwoskin reveals a variety of personal stories — both from his own life and from those he has worked with using the method — that reveal the profound changes made in all areas of life as the result of letting go.

“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, and an ability to be happy, calm and focused, no matter what is going on around us,” he says in the book. And who doesn’t want that?

For more information on The Sedona Method, visit the offical website, www.sedona.com. Sign up for a free newsletter and special offers; purchase products, including books and CD programs; and sign up for live seminars.

Other resources, including certified coaches, include:

David Ellzey Companies LLC

 David Ellzey

 www.davidellzey.com

Sedona Releasing Worldwide

 Annrika James & Tim McCavitt

 www.sedonareleasiingworldwide.com

Lester Levenson, Founder of the Release Technique

 www.lesterlevenson.org