Holding On and Letting Go: a 5-Week Audio Course with Ann Weiser Cornell

Struggling to know what to do with all the things in your life?

What will you do with the stacks of papers that surround you?
The closets full of clothes you might someday wear?
The boxes of mementos from past versions of you?
The books you might read again… or might not?
And if you’ve inherited the possessions of a loved one, how will you sort through your own memories and feelings along with all that stuff?

by Ann Weiser Cornell

Digital Download: $79.95



A Note from Ann About Why She Created This Audio Course

How Focusing Can Help

Some people say: “Let it all go. Ask if it brings you joy… or ask if you’ve used it in the past year… and if not, let it go.” But if that were easy to do, we would have done it already! There’s something about all that “stuff” that is intertwined with our hopes, dreams, even our identities, in ways that are not easy to sort out and sift through.

Because this topic is so fascinating to me, I created a Focusing course to explore with people the many aspects of simplifying our lives: sorting through clutter, deciding what to keep and what to let go, sensing when it’s right to forge ahead and when it’s right to go slowly, and of course spending time with the parts of us that don’t want to do it at all!


Click headphones to listen to
an audio sample.

My experience managing the belongings of a loved one

I spent seven weeks alone in my mother’s apartment after she died. Slowly, day by day, I could feel myself coming to terms with her loss, in large part through the choices I was making about what to do with her things. Many items I let go of easily, and valued the process of finding good homes for her clothes and most of her furniture. But I was left at the end of the seven weeks with an irreducible remainder: things I simply could not let go, because they meant too much to me — because letting go of them would have meant letting go of my mom, who had already gone before I was ready. So I loaded up a U-Haul and drove it across the country, from New York to California.

Looking back on that process fourteen years later, I can see that most of the furniture and other items that I carried to California I did not really need. But I don’t regret any of it. I honored my own needs and my own timing. I stayed in touch with myself and guided the process from within. Today I am convinced of one thing: What you do with your things — or with the things of someone you love — is not as important as how you do it.

A few details about this audio set

Ann SmileThis is an edited recording of an actual course so you will also hear people like you sharing their difficulties and their triumphs from trying out the processes each week. I loved doing this course. I learned that exploring our relationship with the “things” in our life is even more fascinating than I had thought! So I’m really pleased to be able to make this whole course available now as a downloadable audio so you can be listening to it and experiencing the changes within just a few minutes!


Physical Product (5 CDs)

Digital Download Product (MP3s) + Workbook (PDF)

Not available as a CD set. 

$79.95     ADD TO CART

What’s Covered

This audio course on “Holding On and Letting Go” includes 10 guided exercises and a workbook.

  • ONE: How It Is and How It Could Be – Acknowledging the current state of your space and how you would like it to be instead
  • TWO: One Drawer, One Shelf, or One Pile – A grounded aware process for lovingly going through just one drawer, one shelf, or one pile of papers
  • THREE: The Emotional Meanings of the Things in Your Life – How to acknowledge the emotional meanings of the things you can’t let go of, and why that matters
  • FOUR: Where Would IT Like to Be? – What if we treated our things as if they themselves knew where they would like to be?
  • FIVE: The Other People You Carry Around in Your Head – How the worry about what other people will think stops us from clearing our own space, and how that can change
  • SIX: Connecting with the Part that Refuses to Deal with It – How to invite and explore the resistant, reluctant parts of us
  • SEVEN: Getting Into the Real World with Our Projects – A process for sorting and planning for action when your clutter involves things you need to do
  • EIGHT: An Agenda-Free Decision-Making Process for Stuff
  • NINE: What This Space Wants to Be – Envisioning the forward process of your whole space
  • TEN: How You Want to Live in Your Space – The final exercise pulls the whole course together

What You’ll Get:

A series of guided exercises, supported by:

  • A custom-designed workbook
  • An array of experiences that support you in forming a new relationship with the things in your life.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to know what works for you as you start to sort through your stuff. 
  • How to be with all the different feelings and experiences that get evoked by the idea of clearing your space.

Additional Information


Available as an MP3 audio set.  Includes a supplemental workbook, provided digitally after purchase.

Total Length: 8 hours 12 minutes
File Size: 444.7 MB

Note: Audio files were recorded during an actual phone seminar and have been edited. Sound quality may vary.

About Digital Downloads

When you purchase the digital download product, you’ll receive an email after checkout with a link to download the MP3s, which you can then save to your computer.

*Please Note: Each purchased digital copy is licensed to one individual for personal use only. 

What People Are Saying

  • Sharry Teague
    sharryteague-new-small"One of the things that stood out for me about the class was that we weren’t expected to Let go of something until we knew it was right. The default was “keep it” as we sensed deeper into its meaning to us. Then, even if we let it go, the issue felt resolved. Overall I felt I developed richer relationships with the things in my life."
  • Gail Miklatek
    GailMiklatekMy husband and I had just moved after living together in an apartment for many years and we were suddenly confronted with all that we had generated together. We needed all the help we could get and Holding On & Letting Go was precisely that. Holding On & Letting Go prompted me to explore issues of meaning - how meaning can actually trap us and act as an obstacle to that innate wish to be free and simple. The course helped me to really sense into what I want to own and the rich, deep joy of things versus that compulsive cultural pattern of building a mindless shrine to one's history. I threw out a lot of stuff as a result of this workshop and I continue to do the exercises to help me when it is not so easy to find an answer. The workshop also gave practical tips and resources on how to approach whatever the project is without being overwhelmed. I recommend this course to anybody looking to change their relationship to their environment and what they have generated in their lives as well as discover more truly what they wish to generate going forward. And Ann was very creative at discovering what I call "ports of entry" for a felt sense to form about these matters.



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