I literally ran right over this poem while out on my morning run.
No matter where you are stuck or overwhelmed, how does practicing letting go support your optimal health?
It struck a nerve with me because I've been very aware, this month, of how difficult it is to find the balance between trying and letting go.
"Trying," for me, is synonymous with accomplishing, strategizing, healing, taking-care-of, parenting, planning, creating, leading, collaborating, leaning towards... there are many external rewards for these behaviors. I notice that in my life and I also see it with the people I work with.
But "letting go"? Not so much.
Our culture is not set up to reward letting go.
I notice that when I turn my attention inwards, however, I can feel that the "letting go" is strength building. In fact, it requires more skill and practice to open the fists and let go, for many of us, then it does to hang on tight.
Like the friend who is practicing letting go by walking next to her young adult daughter who is struggling, rather than trying to control the conversation.
Or the friend who is practicing letting go of the seduction of an extremely lucrative career in order to more closely align his life with his values, rather than believing what Wall Street has to say about success.
Or the lovely friend who is practicing letting go of her dying father in order to take in the sweet the time they have left, instead of trying to maintain control over every last detail.
Just as metal becomes stronger with repeated cycles of heating and the cooling, we become stronger, more supple vessels for holding the precious life we want to live when we "try" and then "let go." Quiver and stand still.
When I remember that letting go is a strengthening practice, it feels super healthy.
Make remembering to practice letting go, on a regular basis, a healthy habit.