A Journey of Letting Go
I have had my fair share of practicing at the art of letting go. Sometimes, I might even be TOO good at it. I don’t attach sentimental value to anything. I have literally been seen throwing out greeting cards as soon as I’ve read them. I had my wedding dress online to sell 4 days after my wedding. I am GOOD at letting go of possessions.
When I was 16 years old my mother emptied my bedroom. She threw out all of my personal effects. What remained was bedroom furniture and clothing. I don’t own anything from my childhood. When I came home to see what she had done, I was devastated. And at 16 years old was pretty darn dramatic about it too! But what a lesson it taught me! My life continued as it had before I owned all that ‘stuff’. I was just as happy a week after the incident as I had been the week before. And my childhood, well I still remember it as clearly as I did with out the trinkets to remind me. So have I mastered the art of letting go? No, I have not. I still work on it in other aspects of my life. Letting go of control is a big one for me. I don’t consider myself a control freak, not by a long shot. But I do feel the need to control my surroundings. I feel the need to clean, to tidy and to make things look pretty. But bigger then this! Currently at the forefront of my life, I need to let go of something I poured my heart and soul into. I’m working on it. I sit and ask for answers, what aspect of closing my business is bugging me? I’m excited for my new office, I’m happy to no longer carry a crushingly huge rent, I look forward to never seeing my former business partner again….what is it that I need to shake off?
I feel as though praying is talking, while meditating is listening. And so, I listen. You see, the first step in letting go is figuring out what exactly isn’t serving you. What do you need to shake off? I came to this; I blame myself for going into business with my former partner. I need to let that go. I saw all the warning signs of a toxic person and I proceeded to go into business with her anyways. I ignored my gut, told myself it wouldn’t happen to me, she wouldn’t behave that way towards me. I ignored all the warning signs and forged ahead. I had a dream that I wasn’t willing to let go of 5 years ago, despite all the warning signs to stop the opening. I blame myself and I need to let that go. My inability to let go of my dream has now turned into an inability to shake my anger. My anger is not towards her, AT ALL. For her, I only have hope. I hope she too can let go. I hope that she finds peace. No, my anger is all mine. I ignored my gut – ignored the signs from the universe telling me to back out. I have not mastered (by a long shot!) the ability to listen and trust my gut.
So why is letting go so important? There are a few motivating reasons for you to look into what needs to be removed from your life. If you are holding onto anything that no longer serves you, it is dragging you down. It creates a feeling of heaviness and sits in your tissues. As an Osteopath DO(MP) I see the effects of holding onto emotions first hand with my clients. I see it in the diaphragm and spine quiet often. Where there is diaphragm dysfunction there is breathing issues and back pain. Often there can be pelvic floor issues and even jaw pain presenting itself. Whatever you are not releasing is hurting you physically.
If that’s not motivation enough – how about this; ultimately, we all need to let go in the end. When you pass, your energy will not die. It will transfer. It will transfer to all the good stuff in this world, the birth of a baby, the healing energy your family will need to grieve your passing, the gentle wind on a spring day. This to me is heaven. Or, it will transfer to the negative aspects of the world, the evil thoughts of the next world leader, death, war, illness. This to me is hell. But to everyone who doesn’t feel worthy, to those who aren’t ‘bad’ and won’t contribute to evil but think “who am I to try to heal” or “who am I to contribute to the wind”, those who have not let go of their perceived shortcomings – those people have energy that gets ‘stuck’. This to me is purgatory.
I can’t tell you how to let go. Of course, as a yoga teacher for many years I’d suggest that yoga certainly leads you in the right direction. In yoga there are 8 limbs – 8 branches that a yogi seeks to live by. The physical movements are just one of these 8 limbs. So if sweating it out in class, or sitting silently in deep meditation aren’t for you then I urge you to seek out your version of yoga. What does that mean? Find your happy place. Find something that allows you to feel free. I recently began taking horse backing riding lessons. My teacher told me that yoga and meditation aren’t for her, that she’s never been interested. That’s cool. But in her lessons she tells me to move with the horse, to keep breathing because this connects me with the horse. She tells me to watch my energy because the horse will feel it. Ugh…..she’s teaching/doing YOGA!
Sit and listen, ask for help to recognize (if you don’t already know) what you hold onto that no longer serves you. Once you know what you need to let go of, then whatever makes your heart sing will help you let go of whatever makes you feel heavy.
“Let go – Or be dragged” –Zen Proverb-
Dana Smith Manual Osteopath DO(MP)