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  • Kitty Edwards

Of holding on and letting go

My sister-in-law Paula introduced me to the Zen proverb, “Let go or be dragged.”

It is so true. It is a lesson I have learned over and over again.

At times I hold on because I think someone’s life depends on it. Or, I hold on because I have tied my identity too tightly. I might hold on because I don’t know what the future will bring if I let go. And, at times I hold on and on in order to avoid grief.

Every time I hold on beyond my capacity to find balance, my body suffers from staying in the fight too long.

What does it mean to let go? And, what exactly am I letting go of?

I like to solve problems. In fact, I can solve problems that never existed. My brain loves to create scenarios that take time and mental acuity to wrestle through the fictitious puzzle until a solution is found, when the real solution was to let go.

In order to let go I have to let go of the notion that I have to be perfect. What will people think of me. Ultimately, I have to let go of being in control.

When I am in a situation that I know I need to let go, I gain clarity and awareness through ritual practices that allow my 3 brains – head, heart, belly – to relax and find peace in the present moment.

My head brain appreciates a morning meditation practice which allows my chattering brain to slow down to the point that there is no problem to solve and nothing to be fixed. Then, with ease, I can slip into my day.

My heart brain finds peace in the HeartMath® techniques of Heart-Focused Breathing™ and Quick Coherence. When practiced daily, these techniques create a physiological response of acceptance, empowering my body to acknowledge my feelings of overwhelm and grief. When I master these breathing techniques, I am able to move from fear or grief into a neutral balanced state. From there I can step into gratitude. Gratitude renews my energies and enhances my resilience.

My belly brain wants to laugh. These are not small giggles. They are full belly bouncing laughs. I search out people, videos, movies that will trigger a full outrageous response in me. Currently I am watching very old skits from vintage Saturday Night Live.

Belly laughs enhance my oxygen intake and increase the release of endorphins in my head brain. Plus, it improves my mood.

All of these practices bring me into a state of awareness that is full of knowing.

I know how to let go and be free of the need to hold on. I can honor my emotions because I know I have the ability to shift out of the depleting emotions and into renewing ones like trust, joy and love. I can let go of the stories that require me to be the most perfect rescuer or the powerless victim.

I am free to find the courage to be me.

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