Thursday, January 10, 2008

Just Let Go

"It's okay, Mommy. Just let go." That's how my day began early this morning. I was greeted with these words of wisdom from our 4 1/2 year old son, as he and I snuggled together under his covers before we began the morning routine of getting out the door for the day.

"It's okay, Mommy. Just let go," The Kid had said with an easy smile. He was referring to the blanket that we both clutched. We were hiding underneath it while continuously having to hold it up with our elbows in an attempt to keep it from falling on our faces. We were "hiding" from his dad, my life partner, who was getting ready for work. When we first started hiding under the cover, The Kid had really wanted to keep the blanket up above our heads so that our shapes weren't as easily detected (You know, a "fun" shock for dad at 7:30 in the morning when he would inevitably stumble into this morning "surprise". Nothing says "Good Morning!" like an ambush attack from one of the rooms of your own home! ). After many, many attempts to keep the blanket off of our faces, The Kid had finally just accepted the blanket falling onto him as part of the reality of hiding underneath it for so long. Still half asleep, I hadn't even noticed that I was the only one still putting my elbow up, trying to keep it from falling on us.

"It's okay, Mommy. Just let go," The Kid had said with an easy smile, looking right into my eyes. He gave a bit of a shrug and then moved my arm from above the covers letting the blanket fall onto both our faces. We both laughed; him at the blanket that fell on my face, and I at the realization that I hadn't even noticed that I had still had my elbow in the air. I also knew, on a deeper level, that I had been putting this behavior into practice in other areas of my life, carrying on as usual, not really noticing that I have been acting without much awareness. To a certain extent I had been avoiding and continuing on with what I've already done, yet still expecting different results.


When I can, I practice at a local yoga studio, and over the past few months, thanks to a schedule change, I've had the amazing opportunity to take classes with a variety of instructors. Each instructor has a distinct and beautiful way of teaching and sharing their yoga knowledge. Despite the differences in teaching styles, I've noticed that the same questions have been asked over and over again. While we are holding poses for a length of time, they ask: "Can you turn your awareness to your body and find any place or places where you are gripping?" "Can you find a way to soften that grip?" "Can you find a way to be gentle with yourself even in the face of hard work?" Always a kinesthetic learner these questions have had huge impacts on me, on and off the mat.


There are a lot of uncertainties and changes going on in my life right now. Sometimes I go onto auto pilot and just keep doing what I've been doing when things are like this. Other times, I grip onto a behavior or way of being, especially in the face of the unknown. When my son spoke those words of wisdom, he provided me with a moment of awareness, and a chance to revisit my yoga logic. It all suddenly seemed so ridiculous-my worries, my "trying" to make things work, my avoiding and gripping. In that moment, I realized that I have been unnecessarily creating suffering in my life. It is said that learning to let go is a process that we go through over and over again. In this silly moment with The Kid, the awareness gave way to clarity which provided me with an instant moment of relief. A reminder that with awareness comes the ability to make better choices and to access the answers that already lie within.


This blog is another act of letting go. I've wanted to start a blog for the past year or more. I've been reading many blogs (and lurking!) for a long time, but I haven't taken the leap to write my own. I hope I am able to loosen my grip, to soften in the face of sharing my writing, and to just let go.

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