The Art of Letting Go

When I creep out of the house on Saturday mornings, everything is quiet. The house. The neighborhood. It seems I’m the only one who didn’t get the memo that Saturdays are for sleeping in.
But, for me, heading to yoga is better than extra sleep. I need to twist, stretch, wring it all out. I need to nurture and challenge myself. It’s a moving meditation for me, and one of the few times all week that I move freely, without an extra little body attached, pushing or pulling or directing me.
Last Saturday, in the midst of holding bridge pose, my yoga instructor said, “This position can be challenging. Where are you holding on that you don’t need to be? Where is your body gripping that it doesn’t need to be? Scan your body. Let go.”

Her words hit me like a bolt of lightning. I forgot about the body scan and went straight to the life scan.
This is a message I have gotten many times, through many people, in many ways—and it’s never been about yoga. It’s funny that the least direct way that I’ve heard this message is the one that resonates the most.

When life gets challenging, where can I let go?

Am I gripping tight to things that I have no need to cling to? Am I tensing up and creating resistance in my life? Am I expecting it to be hard and so it is hard—but really, the difficulty is caused by the fact that I’m creating tension in places where it doesn’t need to exist?
It’s a perfect metaphor.
I scan my body. Yes, toes are gripping. Don’t need to be. I let them go. Hands are tense. Relax.
I scan my week. Real deadlines infused with self-imposed ones. Urgency created where none exists. Feelings of worry. Doubt. Tension in places where I could just let go.
Let go, relax, let go. I’ve gotten that message from everyone: life coach and husband. Friends and strangers and, yes, even messages channeled from mediums. (Yes, mediums; no, I’m not kidding.)
Why do I grip so tightly? I don’t think I always know best, but it’s true that I want to feel in control. Don't we all- especially in motherhood, where there is so much out of our control, so much that we're at the mercy of? And-- especially lately, it seems-- so much that can make us feel helpless?

Where can you relax and let go, mama?

What are you holding onto that doesn't matter? Are you creating tension where it doesn't really need to exist? Let go, relax, let go.

What really matters...and what doesn't? Let go, relax, let go.

Like yoga, letting go is a practice. You're never done, never perfect. The art is in learning what's worth hanging on to, and what isn't. When you let go of all the stuff that doesn't matter, you have more room (and patience and strength and passion and energy) for the things that do.

This world needs more mamas just like that-- lit up by the things that matter, not bogged down by the things that don't.

Ready to get lit? No, no, not like that. Like this.