Letting go

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. – Joseph Campbell

There is an ancient story from China.  It describes the traps they used for monkeys.  A coconut is hollowed out through an opening that was cut to the size of a monkeys hand.  Rice was then placed in the carved out coconut, which was left in the path for the monkeys.

The monkeys would smell the rice, place their hand in the coconut, but once they fisted the rice, its hand could no longer fit back out.  The monkeys that were caught, were the ones who would not “let go” of the rice.  (This story is from “The book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo)

“What is our rice” and what is keeping us from opening our grip and letting go?

Sitting still and listening can help us understand where we are insisting to control what we want, and how this stubbornness stops us from letting go and allowing.

In opening our fist and trusting in life, we will find, that what is rightly ours will flow freely and easily to us.  How and when that happens it’s not our concern.  Our freedom is always in letting go, surrendering and allowing our life to unfold exactly as it is meant to be.

This doesn’t mean we do not create and open or build doors towards our goals, it means we need to loosen our grip and stop holding on so tightly to our plans and dreams.  When we contract our fist, we become prisoners unable to receive.

When we open our heart and hands fully in life, we can begin to receive the immense abundance, love and freedom that is waiting for us.


26 thoughts on “Letting go

  1. An insightful and very important post Karen, every one can learn from the quote of Joseph Campbell, “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” If we refuse to let go of the life we planned then we miss out on so much of life. On honoring the ones we love in life as well. Wish you a great weekend ~

    1. Thanks Randall, you are right, we miss so much when we try to control the plan. I have experienced this many times in my own life and each time I trust a little more and let go a little more, I find freedom. Have a great weekend too! 🙂

  2. This post is wonderful, coming to me at a time when it is really needed. I have kept wondering how to let go. The story of the monkeys is perfect to help me visualize what I need to do.

  3. A wonderful story that is so true, and crucial insights about the importance of letting go to the things we cling to in our fear. Thank you for sharing these.

    1. Carol your comment is spot on. It is our fear that clings us to wanting to control the plan and its timing. Trust is the key. Letting go is the action. Thankyou

  4. Oh wow, this is so fascinating and I better understand, with the help of this story, your comment about letting go that you left on my blog a few weeks ago.

    Letting go of what we *think* we need can allow an infinite number of other outcomes to have a chance. I will be holding onto this post 🙂

    1. So true Dana, what we want and what we need often don’t match up. I found this story helped me visualise what we do in life too. We can expand our possibilities everyday! Have a great weekend.

  5. It is so true that we have to let go of things we think will nurture us (as historically they always have) in order to find a different and sometimes better way.

  6. I’m a clingy person. I hold on to things tightly … just like a monkey. 😀 I’m less of a crowd person. I’m more comfortable with few. I’m like that with my belongings, friends, intimate relations …. I’m a one-woman man. I hang on to others as much as possible. But when something happens, something breaks, that’s it! It’s easy for me to let go. Bad as it sounds, I forgive and forget.

    1. Its good you understand who you are Rommel, not many people can step back and see the bigger picture. We all have areas to work on, becoming aware of those areas is the first step. Thanks for your honesty 🙂

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