Much has been talked about the power of saying yes and your ability to be open to new thinking. This is all well and good, but the universe acts like a bourse of exchange. In order to receive you must also be able to let go. Letting go is a challenge and very few of us rise to it.

Particularly in our western culture it is frowned upon to refuse a favour or to decline an invitation. Social norm has it that you must be following the conventional norm blindly or risk being labelled as rude and worse still shunned by your peers as an undesirable outcast.

It is of course well documented that people thrive better, are healthier and live longer when they are actively engaged in small communities. The anonymity of city life is the partial cause of many behavioural problems, including depression. It goes without saying that depressed people will not be good members of any society and are unable to make worthwhile contributions, let alone perform in peak states, be this in their work or relationships.

Our society inadvertently encourages living lonely lives and forming friendships out of need rather than a genuine feeling of mutual harmony and overlap of interest. While this feels a core need, at least superficially it does you no favours in the long run, because it will weaken you energetically.

One of the steps to personal empowerment is identifying the things you do that leak away your inner strength and resolve. Many of us are frightened to say “no” because we are frightened that it may in some way go against us.

Quite the opposite is the case. The old wisdom tradition of HUNA advocates cutting energy cords with the people in your life. The underlying premise is that each time we think of someone a connection is formed. In HINA this connection is referred to as aka cords. Can you imagine how many billions of aka cords are formed through your lifetime? This means that you receive the good and bad energies of everyone you ever connected with and also leak your own energy to everyone you have connected with.

Over time this leads to a massive leaking away of your own inner strength. You are of course unaware of this as this energy seepage happens very gradually over time. As you get older your energy levels gradually dwindle away. Part of the reason may be that you simply have too many aka connections which should be released.

The regular practice of releasing those connections is very liberating. You can do this right now by examining your circle of friends and acquaintances carefully. Who is there in your life just taking, without offering anything in return? Who makes you feel drained and tired, and who makes you feel good about yourself? Keep your emotions out of the way and don’t feel guilty for realising that some of the people you are associating with are not helping your progress.

Believe me this kind of thinking is not a crime, but a necessity, particularly in times when our inner strength is under constant attack from outside negative influences. You need to keep your inner powerhouse up at all costs.

In the long run it is a kindness to yourself as well as the other people who do not fit your criteria. You are releasing them from a burden too, even though they may not be aware of it yet. Part of growing is about cutting away those things that do not serve us and this is as much about ridding yourself of that dress you have not worn for the past five years as it is about ridding yourself of those people around you who make no contribution to your life.

Many feng shui books talk about the need to clear out clutter. There is a lot to this advice. Alas, what do you think will have a bigger impact on your life? Getting rid of a few unused items or freeing yourself from those people and hangers on? I also call them energy vampires?

So look at your so called friends, look at your business colleagues. Make the alliances with those stronger who have something to offer to you. It works both ways if you are more focused with your personal and business friendships you can also give more of yourself to those relationships, thus making a powerful impact on each others life.

You can gently break away from those people who hold you back. You do not need to fall out with them, just distance yourself in a polite and quiet way. Setting the intention alone is often enough. You will gain energy and build personal momentum and become much more assertive in the process.

Author's Bio: 

Mercedes Oestermann van Essen is a human development coach, energy therapist and author. She has created the Happy Venn Diagram for environment, body and mind and teaches integral life principles in her books, audios, workshops and retreats. Sign up for my newsletter and receive your free five week course: 5 Little Known Keys To Happiness at