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

Focusing Helps You Deal With The Things In Your Life Differently

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

This 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 an audio set you can download so you can listen to it and experience the changes within just a few minutes!


What you do with your things isn’t as important as how you do it…


It can be hard to know what to do with all the things in your life. Holding On & Letting Go makes it easier for you to sort through your feelings about your stuff so you can move forward.


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What’s Covered

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

  • 1. How It Is and How It Could Be – Acknowledging the current state of your space and how you would like it to be instead
  • 2. 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
  • 3. 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
  • 4. Where Would IT Like to Be? – What if we treated our things as if they themselves knew where they would like to be?
  • 5. 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
  • 6. Connecting with the Part that Refuses to Deal with It – How to invite and explore the resistant, reluctant parts of us
  • 7. 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
  • 8. An Agenda-Free Decision-Making Process for Stuff
  • 9. What This Space Wants to Be – Envisioning the forward process of your whole space
  • 10. 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 sense of lightness and clarity as you allow the things you live with to teach you what you really value and how you want to live
  • An array of processes that you can use over and over whenever you need to hold on or let go

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. 

If you have more questions about digital downloads, click here for our digital download FAQs.



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