On Letting Go - For the Sake of Living a Happier Life

First off, thank you all those that asked about the skipped article in May. Yes indeed I did NOT send an article out in May. This was due to my decision to direct a lot of my time to thinking and fussing over my little sister's wedding. And so sometimes there's more living going on than contemplating about life! It's all good, but we are happy to be back on track and inspired to share with you all. So without further ado, this month's message is titled "On Letting Go - For the Sake of Living a Happier Life."

Have you noticed that in my classes I frequently use the phrase "Let go, let go, let go" during the final relaxation? Well let go of what? Good question. Obviously this is a very personal question, being something different for each one of us. We may be letting go of worry, or self-judgment, maybe of anger or blame. In each Yoga session this may change or it may stay the same for a period of time. But what I find remarkable is that even if we don't know exactly what it is we need to release, by just allowing that affirmation in "Let go", it instigates a change in our physiology: our body seems to know to let out that sigh, or to gently close our eyes and to allow the muscles to flop down. I love that moment. That place where my body feels so safe, it just allows the mind to soar. Ahh.

This week I learnt a valuable lesson from one of my very wise teachers. There I was tears rolling down (yes, I do cry occasionally), and he asked me, "What is it that you need to let go of?" Puzzled, I continued crying and in a slurpy inhalation I exclaimed "But I don't know what it is that I need to let go of!" Sob, sob. Fortunately, this didn't go on for much longer as my wise friend supplied an answer for me. He calmly said, "Let go of the struggle". I took a deep breath as I ran that through my mind a few times, until, it hit me, or hit home, or hit a home run, or whatever you want to call having a sudden, and real understanding. I began to see that it wasn't the circumstances that were making me miserable, it was the struggle I was having within me. I was going about things from a place of having to wrestle with things so that they go my way, struggling through, pushing through, as if it made a difference! I mean the rain is going to rain when it wants to and it doesn't matter how much you resist it - it's going to rain!

"Let go of the struggle" doesn't mean things are just going to go your way all of a sudden, or that you are giving up on anything. You can still do whatever needs to be done to accomplish your goals but you do it without the inner struggle. Very powerful stuff.

What a relief, what a liberation. Suddenly there's a sigh of acceptance. An understanding that there is a stress free way of going about the same tasks. You will find a clarity that will most probably serve you much better than the struggle ever did.

There's a catch though, the trick is in keeping your mind in that frame of thought, because "the struggle", believe it or not, is comforting. Without it, after the initial relief, you may find yourself thinking "hmm, it's so quite in here, could something be missing?" Or "I think I'm supposed to be concerned about." And before you know it, you invite the struggle to move back in. Post the eviction sign back up! The upside is that it seems to get easier to recognize "the struggle" from a distance.

So I am practicing "Letting go of the struggle", it really helps me to go about my day in a happier state of being.

I hope you'll try it too!