“The most exquisite paradox: as soon as you give it all up, you can have it all. As long as you want power, you can’t have it. The minute you don’t want power, you’ll have more than you ever dreamed possible.” ~Ram Dass
The first time I felt this paradox was in the middle of savasana after a challenging yoga class. I always say that yoga is a metaphor for life, and this is exactly why.
Savasana is the final resting pose in which you lay flat on your back, close your eyes, and do nothing.
The more you are challenged throughout the yoga flow, the more likely you are to be pushed to a place of brokenness. You gave your all, and now you are spent. Dizzy and exhausted, you settle into savasana and release your entire body into the earth.
Lying on the cold, hard ground never felt so good. You lie in silence, let your thoughts and breathe go, and completely release. You feel deliciously blissful. And you might actually be feeling emotions for the first time all day, or maybe even all week.
A slight smile spreads across your face as the sweat beads drip from your forehead. Or tears quietly stream from your eyes as you feel absolute joy and gratefulness. By the end of that savasana, you feel incredible. You feel like yourself again. You know you are whole.
And it’s a good thing they have you do savasana at end of class, because you need the build up of tension during your yoga flow in order to allow yourself to really let go and just be.
Could you imagine doing savasana at the beginning of class? Mind buzzing from a long, stressful day, thoughts racing. It’s possible, but much harder to do.
This was how I came to understand the paradox of letting go in order to become whole. And trust me, it took many years of meditation, reading, seeking, and savasana to get there.
We often cling to our desires and fight for them because we think we’ll be happy if we get what we want. But when we let go and accept what is, what shows up for us are often the things we need.
These things tend to be the ones that really count, creating true happiness and meaning in our lives.
But let’s face it, letting go on some issues is easier said than done. When it comes to deeper issues and matters of the heart, letting go can feel downright impossible. And on some issues, letting go may never happen. Some burdens may be too important not to bear. That is okay.
However, even on the more difficult issues you may be facing, there still may be places in which you can soften your grip.
Whatever ideal outcome you’re clinging to, could you be open to the possibility of releasing it so that you can breathe, yield, and expand into something that is bigger? Could you give yourself time and create space so that you can become concise and clear about your being? If you can do these things, you will get what you need. Not unlike that challenging yoga flow I spoke of earlier, the real work comes when your body, mind, and spirit has been fully broken, your heart has been ripped wide open, and there is nothing left to do.
And, no this is not easy. It will be hard.
Letting go will make you question your identity, leaving you wondering if you give this one thing up, who will you be? What will you stand for? Will all your stress, worry, pain, hurt, sadness, be in vain? If you let go, who will believe your story? What will others think of you? What else will you have to let go of? What will you do next?”
And here is where the paradox begins!
“What will I do next?” is a tough question that can be scary to even consider. But it is here that change happens, and you do have a choice. Wholeness is knocking at your door, and you know what they say, “When one door closes, another door opens.”
All that is required is to let go of the past and step boldly and bravely into your true self, your beautiful, loving, compassionate, deserving self. It is from this place of being that you may know wholeness.
Enjoy The Journey!