Thursday, October 18, 2012

Kinds of Letting Go




Part of my meditation practice is to notice my physical body and relax all of the parts of it I'm not actively using. I relax my teeth, the soles of my feet, my belly, and other stuff too. I never get bored of noticing the unnecessary muscle "recruiting" I'm doing and softening it. I like this work because it is a tangible way of letting go---a process that can feel ethereal and elusive.

One day last week during my meditation, I noticed unnecessary physical tension and was able to let go of it and into deeper and more satisfying breaths. As the day progressed, various things happened that were not in line with my expectations. At first I felt hurt, then pissed, then these two emotions melted into one of my regulars: sadness.

On this particular day I had more time than usual to sit with the sadness I was experiencing. I took it out onto the porch and sat with it as I felt soft wind on my skin and saw yellow leaves with my eyes. It occurred to me that I was holding on to the sadness much like I was holding on to my belly earlier that day in meditation---and what if I just let it go? Breathing in and out, I cried and practiced The Five Steps of Forgiveness, and then I practiced The Five Steps of Forgiveness again. Lightened, I felt more open to the beauty of the breeze, the leaves and the harmony of the two together. By feeling more present in the moment I saw right now wasn't just not-so-bad, it was pretty-freaking-fantastic. Holding on to my story of being disappointed and sad, (much like keeping my jaw tight keeps me from the flow of my breath) keeps me from the flow of the moment. Kinda like after holding your breath in for a long time and finally letting it go feels good, letting go of physical and emotional tension can feel good too.

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