When we learn to let go, more energy flows and less effort is needed.
When we become overwhelmed and things are not going as planned, it is natural to hold tighter to our goals and try to force things to go our way. In the process, we tie ourselves in knots, tensing our shoulders, jaws, and muscles throughout our bodies. Our mind tells us that this is how to get a firmer grip on a situation that feels out of control, but as we create knots in our bodies we are blocking the flow of our energy, exhausting ourselves by exerting more effort yet accomplishing less. At these times, though it may seem counterintuitive, our higher selves know it's better to let go.
This may not be quite as easy as it sounds… we need to be aware that this is a process to breathe through. First, we need to let go of our idea of what the perfect outcome should be, and allow that the intelligence that drives the universe knows better than we do how everything fits together for the highest good. Then we might have to release our imagined consequences and realize that, in most cases, the worst that could happen really isn't that bad. We may need to remember how to relax, first by taking deep breaths…
…When we relax and let life's energy flow through our minds, bodies, spirits, and lives, we will find that we can accomplish more with less effort and feel good doing it. We don't have to tie ourselves in knots. Instead, we can let the ribbons of our energy unfurl to gracefully direct us through life's abundant flow.
When I read the above passage from The Daily Om, I immediately thought of sitting at the pottery wheel, wanting the outcome to be beautiful and perfect, but instead getting tense in my shoulders and — not really realizing it — holding my breath. Watching those who have never thrown pottery before, I can often see the hesitation and the holding back; just as often I see tensing and tight gripping, trying to gain control of the spinning wet clay lump.
I still tense when I sit at the wheel, especially when I have a fixed idea of what the final product ought to resemble. But when I am aware of my forcing and illusion of control, I relax a bit, take a deep breath and just feel the clay, guiding it to center. The more I breathe and relax, the more the clay cooperates. The less I hold my breath and hunch my shoulders, the looser my grip becomes… and the better the outcome.
Of course, this applies to so many things in our lives. For me — at the wheel and in my daily routine — I am trying to pause, feel the tension then let it go… gently guiding instead forcing. When I remember, the task does get lighter and I feel much more in the flow.