I was talking about "letting go" in the yoga class yesterday and someone said that it is all very simple in theory and yet ever so difficult in practice. And this is true, yes, letting go can be a challenge, but this is the reason that our practice is so important, for it provides us with an opportunity to realise how much we are holding, how much our mind won't let go of something, be that a thought, an idea or its relentless need to plan for the future, or reflect (again and again) on the past.
It shows up on our yoga mat. We are practicing, yes, our body is resembling triangle pose, but our mind is somewhere else. The teacher reminds us to focus on the breath and to push our big toe mound into the mat, but we are still thinking about that event at work that threw us off balance, and now we come to think about it, we have a bit of a wobble going on in triangle pose, oh yes, back to the breath, bog toe mound and off we go again, back to the event, running it over and over in our mind, and then we are thinking about what we are going to eat later that evening, and back to the breath, and here we are moving again.
It is exhausting!
So how do we let go? Well I have been playing around with this and it really is all about catching yourself and literally letting the thought go. Changing your mind. We are back there really. It crops up constantly, the holding, the craving, the likes and the dislikes, the wanting things to be different to how they are. Its all in the mind. So that's where we learn to let go. By changing our mind. By catching ourselves and literally, quite literally, letting it go. Breathe. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Arghhhhhhhhh. That's right, sigh it out. Gone.
I love what Jon Kabat-Zinn writes about this...
"The phrase "letting go" has to be high in the running for New Age cliché of the century. It is overused, abused daily. Yet it is such a powerful inward manoeuvre that it merits looking into, cliché or no. There is something vitally important to be learned from the practice of letting go.
Letting go means just what it says. It's an invitation to cease clinging to anything - whether it be an idea, a thing, an event, a particular time, or view, or desire. It is a conscious decision to release with full acceptance into the stream of present moments as they are unfolding. To let go means to give up coercing, resisting or struggling, in exchange for something more powerful and wholesome which comes out of allowing things to be as they are without getting caught up in your attraction to or rejection of them, in the intrinsic stickiness of wanting, of liking and disliking. It's akin to letting your palms open to unhand something you have been holding on to."
It basically means that we need to be present. To accept whatever is happening and be okay with that. I have to say that there is a huge relief in living like this. To have trust in the process and the divine nature of all life. We are ok. Everything is fine. In this moment This breath. We are alive. Now. Beauty. Everywhere. Breath, body, mind. Letting things be, just as they are, right now. It will all be okay.
Still, it is all a work in progress and it is all practice. And on that note, I am off to my mat...practice, practice, practice, it is all in the practice and being kind, let's not forget that. Kind to self. Let's not forget that either.
just adore what Jon Kabat-Zinn says about this