The following movements take place in our hearts/mind. All of us have used them in some way throughout our lives. However, over time, we may have forgotten them.
What’s wonderful is that with some attention, we can recover and increase our capacity to do them.
Take a look.
It takes a lot of courage sometimes to allow things to be just as they are. We often want an immediate change, especially if whatever it is that is happening is unpleasant or painful.
Letting be involves an attitude of exploration and curiosity. It asks questions from a place of wanting to explore even when understanding is not really possible.
For most of us, our impulse is to fix. Letting be is the opposite of this. Instead of reacting to a situation, we respond after we have observed. This is not an easy practice. All around us we are stimulated to react.
Slowing down consciously takes work. If you were climbing a steep mountain, you would probably feel that the climb was a difficult one. You most likely would not attribute the challenge to the fact you are doing it wrong. It’s the mountain itself that is providing the challenge. Letting be is very much like a challenging mountain to climb. Taking little steps can go a long way.
Each morning before you get out of bed, intend to slow down to allow yourself to let things be. This is not a passive stance whatsoever. It takes great courage to refrain.
This second movement is an outgrowth of the first. Letting go is an opening of space that allows for the dissipation of those things that often grip us, sometimes these come as emotions that seem to finalize situations.
Anger and hatred come to mind here. When gripped by emotions that shrink our capacity to feel compassion and connection with others, we have an opportunity to practice letting go.
Practicing this becomes easier when we have a strong sense that holding tightly to whatever view or experience we are having is ultimately limiting us. Not letting go makes us suffer and prevents us from enjoying the fullness of our lives.
Letting go with that understanding is the most logical and natural thing to do. But, it takes some strong practice and even stronger commitments to our own happiness and wellbeing for us to move in this direction.
Each morning, notice where you may have taken up a limiting stance. Notice where you have closed down. Without judgment, take a couple of seconds to make space for whatever it is that is holding you so tightly. Once you have noticed, become aware of your breath for a couple of minutes. On the inhale, you can say to yourself, Looking at the places I have closed off my heart and mind, I breathe in, smiling at those places I have closed off, I breathe out.
Clearly seeing how you hurt yourself as a result of holding on to something that you don’t need to is also most helpful. To hold on makes no sense.
By letting go of those things that diminish us, we may find more space for those things that increase our capacity to experience joy and love.
This third movement is about embracing what is useful and affirming. If we are full of worry, anxiety, anger, and judgment, we can’t have much room for love, joy, and peace. But when we clear out our heart-space, we can have room for these things.
This week see how you can cultivate love, joy, and peace. One of the easiest ways to do this is by being of service to others. We don’t need to go very far to serve. Our homes, friends, and local community are perfect locations. Aim to serve with joy this week.
Although these three movements are natural to us, we often need to practice intentionally in order to increase our skill and capacity. Setting your mind to do so can go a long way.
Summer Training in the Movements
Please join me this coming June for a great opportunity to practice more consciously these movements. We will be learning mindfulness meditation while serving our community through a letter exchange with incarcerated women at Homestead Correctional Institution.
Visit the page below for more details.