I’m glad you asked! I am so excited to review this firm favorite of mine
Now, I have a version from 2005 (it was originally published in 2003) which has the tag line ‘How to get rid of your emotional baggage and live the life you want’. Now that got my attention! The latest version has the tag line ‘Your key to lasting happiness, success, peace and emotional well-being’ and I really can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t want that. So what is the Sedona Method?
In answer to that question, the intro says:
‘You feel like your heart is warm and open, your spine is pleasantly tingling, and your body is floating on air. As you look around the room, the colors seem brighter and the sounds clearer, like you are truly experiencing your surroundings for the first time. Your mind feels profoundly quieter, yet there are many new and wonderful possibilities floating into your awareness about how you can improve your life and live happily now. You feel relaxed and at ease, knowing that all is well and everything is unfolding as it should be’. Reading this again I don’t want to put the book down but have to get this review written!
The basic premise is that the things we all crave in life – certainty, security and solidity can only be found inside of us yet we are all looking on the outside. However, by releasing emotions we can find everything we need to live the life we dream of. Normally we have two ways of releasing emotions – these are normally to express – which can be fine and healthy (or not depending on the circumstances), or to repress which is so often what we do, particularly when we are furious, grieving or perhaps don’t have anyone that we can share with which is very unhealthy and can store up future mental and physical health problems in the future.
How do you do it?
‘There are 3 ways to approach the process of releasing, and they all lead to the same result: liberating your natural ability to let go of any unwanted emotion on the spot and allowing some suppressed energy in your subconscious to dissipate. The first way is choosing to let go of the unwanted feeling, The second way is to welcome the feeling, to allow the emotion just to be. The third way is to dive into the very core of the emotion.
Let me explain by asking you to participate in a simple exercise. Pick up a pen or some small object that you would be willing to drop without giving it a second thought. Now, hold it in front of you and really grip it tightly. Pretend it is one of your limiting feelings and that your hand represents your gut or your consciousness. If you held the object long enough, this would start to feel uncomfortable yet familiar.
Now, open your hand and roll the object around in it. Notice that you are the one holding on to it; it is not attached to your hand. The same is true with your feelings, too. Your feelings are as attached to you as this object is attached to your hand.’
What a brilliant analogy. He goes onto say that we then go on to misidentify with our feelings by using words like ‘I am angry’ and ‘I am anxious’ instead of saying ‘I feel angry’ or ‘I feel anxious’. How true this is and I’m sure it makes us keep holding onto those feelings even longer!
Part One – The Sedona Method Course
Part One teaches the basics of how to release and walks you through each method. One (or more) will be right for you. In Chapter 3, The Roadmap to Emotional Freedom, Hale outlines nine basic emotional states that we may experience throughout the day: apathy, grief, fear, lust, anger, pride courage, acceptance and peace. (There are many, many, subcategories to these also.) To practice the method, you are asked to go through each one of the emotions, bring up a memory of the last time you felt this and you are then you are guided through how to release that feeling.
This section also shows you how to apply the method to achieving serenity, setting and attaining your goals, and decision-making.
This was a key theme for me in the book. (There is also a section on this in my review of The Miracle Equation.) But what is resistance?
‘Have you ever started a project really gung ho and lost enthusiasm somewhere in the middle? That’s resistance. Resistance is quite insidious. It’s one of the main things that stops us from having, doing and being what we want in life. In fact, we often resist the things we really like and care about. And if someone tells us to do something, that’s a sure-fired trigger for resistance. It may come up even if we would like to do what we’re being told to do. Resistance can be self-sabotaging and counterproductive, and it’s operating constantly because we live in a sea of ‘shoulds’ and ‘have tos’ and ‘must dos’ and other imperatives. Any time there is an imperative, it stirs up resistance.’ The good news is that resistance can also be released! (Just as an aside, I find it really useful if instead of saying ‘I must’, saying ‘I want to’ – this makes me much more likely to take action.)
Letting to of the four basic wants
Apparently we have four basic ‘wants’ that drive our behavior which are:
- Approval / love
- Security / survival
- Separation (not wanting to belong)
It’s such an interesting concept – basically we need to get rid of the ‘wants’ in order to actually have what we want. The question is ‘do you want to want it or do you want to have it’. This is an important element in the Sedona Method as it is applied to everything that you are releasing. For example, you are furious at you husband (or wife) for coming home late so you need to ask yourself where has that feeling come from? Is it from wanting control, approval, security or separation? (I’m guessing control and security.) So first of all you would release the fury (or you could express it depending on the circumstances!) then release the want. (It is explained much better in the book!)
Part 2 – Real life applications
Part 2 is the practical application in the areas of letting go of fear and anxiety, guilt and shame, breaking bad habit and creating wealth as well as relationship ‘magic’, developing radiant health, and organizational freedom and effectiveness.
Who should buy this book?
If you like the sound of the intro and the philosophy, do not hesitate to get a copy of this book. It really delivers on the promise but it is not a quick read. It has 400+ pages and you have to be applying what you are reading as you go. (You can’t skip to part 2 and expect to be able to jump in there!) It is really a course in a book. The ‘work’ is incredibly simple but does take practice – if you have been holding onto an emotion for 20 years, you won’t be able to release it in one sitting but the rewards will be totally worth it.
Who should not buy this book?
If you love just to read personal development books or anything about how the mind works but are not one to implement what you are reading, then you will just find this mildly interesting. Unless you are prepared to take action on all the steps and have a true desire to have ‘lasting happiness, success, peace and emotional well-being’, this is not one for you.
Have you read this book?
If you have read this book, please comment below. I would love to know your experience with the Sedona Method.