The Huddle #18: Let It Go
As summer closes and I begin a new job, I’m realizing how much I’ve been holding onto.
Often, I’ll be in a yoga class and hear the instructor tell us to “completely surrender, just let go…” etc. etc. This usually happens in savasana and, almost 100% of the time, triggers the sh*t out of me. Even if I wanted to completely surrender, telling an Anxious Annie such as myself to totally let go just sends my mind into a downward spiral of all the things I wish I could let go of, but can’t.
One thing I’ve realized through therapy, therapeutic yoga, and a heavy dose of Oprah’s Super Soul Sundays, is that this act of letting go doesn’t have to be a big grand thing. It’s not some boundary between the “old you” and the “new you”. Not all of us can be Elsa, releasing her grip on her magical powers and shooting ice out of her hands so that she can finally fulfill her destiny. And none of us should be.
No, this letting go is a small, but mighty, and most importantly, constant, practice. If I’m in a trash mood, the idea of slapping a smile on my face sounds disingenuous and, frankly, super f**king annoying, but one thing I can do is take a breath, notice one small thing that isn’t going horribly wrong, and lean into that. And then a little bit later when I’m in a trash mood again, and repeat steps one and two.
When it comes to bigger things, this practice gets a little trickier. A big project that isn’t going well, a diagnosis, even a loss- all of these can trigger us into action mode. We don’t want to surrender, we want to fix it. Completely letting go of that instinct is unrealistic, but how about creating just a little more space between ourselves and our need for control? Often times, taking one step back can offer perspective, maybe even a little bit of relief.
On those hard days, when I’m in savasana I might not be able to relax my entire body and still my mind, but I can practice letting go by starting with the physical - releasing my jaw, unfurrowing my brow, letting my fingers curl in, and letting my belly soften. And then a thought might come in that makes me tense up again, and I’ll repeat the process.
Here’s to the little (and the big) letting-go's. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite little poems by Safire Rose.
She Let Go
She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort.
There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…