Letting Go: Slow Down and Reflect
“We have become champions of self-fooling. We keep ourselves busy attending so many things hardly ever paying attention to WHY are we keeping ourselves busy.” Pandit Rajmani Tigunait
Fall is a great time to absorb the teachings of letting go. Just as the leaves drop from the trees, we need to release our more active outer selves and draw our energy inward toward the core of our being.
In Yoga, we talk about the balance between effort and surrender. Sometimes we need to push ourselves. To face our fears and exert even beyond what we think is our limit, in order to realize that we are capable of so much more than we thought. We need Tapas (drive), we need fire and passion to push us out into the world. Desire to achieve is a part of life and we need it get motivated, to push past inertia and get things done. But there is a fine line between stepping up to a challenge and overdoing it because we just don’t know when to stop.
We live in a culture that praises doing but it does not understand letting go. This is where Yoga can help. Yoga teaches us, that effort and surrender need each other, like day needs night. We learn how to release control and find ease. To connect with the flow of life and to find the sweet balance between the activity and rest. Yoga asks us to say “yes” to facing our fears but it also allows us the grace of saying “no” to whatever is no longer working for us.
Effort without surrender can lead to a ‘spinning of our wheels’. It can keep us stuck in a rut. In Yoga the deeply conditioned habits we are trapped in are called Samskaras. These habits are very difficult to break free of. First we need to be aware of these tendencies. This takes reflection. We need to slow down and quiet the mind to cultivate the part of ourselves that observes our actions without being entangled in the web of their drama. Yoga refers to this state as the Witness. The still point inside that is there when we simply surrender completely. Without the balance of letting go, our actions may remain trapped in a ‘hamster wheel’ where we just repeat the same patterns and the transformation we seek keeps eluding us.
This Fall, I ask you to take some time to slow down and reflect on what you need to release. What can you drop? Your expectations? Your fear? Your need to be perfect? And as you pull your energy in, what are you left with? What are you deep inside? Don’t be afraid to let go. Pull into your center, pause for a moment and rest there. Be fearless and just let go. You may find the energy to move in a whole new direction.
For information on balancing your chakras, please check out this article!
Photo by Tony Frantz