17 Feb Let It Go
The other a day a practice member came to me to have her spine checked because she had been rear-ended in an accident. She said her body felt tight and out of alignment, and she was clearly stressed, upset and sad about the incident. She said that after she stopped to get the other driver’s information, the woman who had hit her did not get out of her car, saying, “I am late for an appointment. And I am not stopping. You are just going to have to let this go!” And the lady drove off before anyone could even get her license plate number. My client was astonished and was now in my office dealing with the experience both physically and emotionally.
Having to let it go despite her not being in the wrong and her being the one injured left my client incredulous at the situation. She got her spine adjusted, we chatted, and at the end of her session she was at a place of laughing about the whole incident. In my practice, we have a community room where people get their spines checked together, and her experience initiated a conversation about how valuable it was to be able to simply let things go.
Except is it not all that simple to let go of things (especially those heavy on your heart).
We have all been told at some point in our life to just let it go. Often we know this is the right instruction, but it can feel so difficult and we are often convinced that we’re the ones in the right or who have suffered an injustice. As we get older we come to understand and begin to value the real skill of letting something go — to release its energy, its grasp on our minds and bodies. To move forward with less baggage.
I find that letting go is something I must practice on a moment-to-moment basis.
Today, I let go of cleaning out my car and will live with the mess for another day (or week). I let go of my staff not completing a task. I let go of my teen not hugging me back.
As a child, no one ever taught me how to let go. Not only did nobody mention it, no one showed me, no one taught me the value of it, and I wasn’t even exposed to the idea until I was an adult. My experience (and I think this is true in a lot of families) is that parents often expect a child to let go, but they don’t say how to do it. They want kids to “get over it,” to go from A to C, but they don’t give them a B.
The best thing a parent can do, besides modeling how they let go, is to help guide their child through conscious conversation, offering things they can say or do to release attachment and move through the experience. I believe that letting go works most effectively when there is a physical component included in the process. The hurt, anger, or frustration creates physical responses and chemical changes in the body that need to be dissipated.
Here are some great ways to help your kids (and you) let go:
• Hiking, jumping jacks, stretching, climbing anything
• Standing on a whole-body vibration machine
• Punching pillows
• Chiropractic adjustments, massage, craniosacral treatment
• Talk therapy
• Yelling, growling like a bear, squawking like a bird
• Naming and stating what they feel, loudly with a good foot stomping or quietly with a hug
• Crying (followed by moving the body to seal the deal)
• Walking in nature, taking them out into the fresh air
• Doing a handstand up against the wall (a great reminder that there’s always a different perspective)
• Rocking a small child (or a larger one, if they’re up for it)
• Pumping the legs of a baby after a crying jag
• Mommy and baby yoga
And then there’s the most important piece: the closing affirmative statement. “I am letting this go,” or “It is done,” or “I am moving on.” Go with whatever feels like a releasing phrase to your child.
And I think this leads us to what the sage Gurumayi meant when she said:
“The heart does not solve problems, it dissolves them and gives us a new situation in which we are freed from that problem.”
Conversation and movement together gives us a path through the heart and into integration.
We always have the choice to let go or not, but we don’t have the choice to change, alter, control or make right what happened by ourselves. Letting go is something we can do independently, without permission or cooperation. We do have the power when we consciously choose to let go.
This applies to letting go of the forces that impact us from outside as well as those we create internally, like parental guilt. Try letting go of having a clean and presentable house, a kid with combed hair, or even dinner on the table. Your kid will benefit much more from releasing control than from your stress about perfect meals — and they may love breakfast for dinner tonight!
My client had all sorts of reasons NOT to let go, and I was glad to be able to provide tools for her to start releasing instead. She got her car fixed, her body tuned up, had a few laughs, and now has a really great story to tell.An empowered child has the awareness and the ability to let go, and together we can teach them to use this tool. #goodparentingmoment
What have you needed to let go of lately? Share in the comments below. Trust me, it’s cathartic!
Want to know my story? Check out the About section to learn more about the education and life experiences that inspired me to start a health revolution.