Letting Go is Moment to Moment
The Girls Weekend was my friend Diana’s pick to celebrate her 50th birthday. On the menu: a variety of exercise and outdoor activities, spa treatments, and all-around pampering. One of the activities I signed up for involved swinging from a bungee cord. Billed as a fun event, it was by no means extreme compared to the courses that require any degree of athletic skill. You go up, have a little wee-I’m-swinging thrill and that’s it.
Other than a few butterflies, I wasn’t scared. It seemed less intense than zip lining or parasailing, which I’ve done before. Best of all, we were invited to use it as a symbolic opportunity to Let Go. The entire week prior, I kept a running list in my mind of things I’d be letting go of. I felt psyched and ready.
The last to go in a group of eight, I was hoisted up with cheers from my teammates. Celebrating the moment, I shouted a few declarations and with one last silent intention, I let go of the line as instructed. Three seconds into my release, an errant bungee cord whipped my right calf with violent disregard. I’ll spare you the video of this debacle along with the photos of my bruised leg. My injuries are healing and will be for quite some time. Suffice it to say that I am lucky that bungee didn’t smack me in the head.
Once back in my room and with ice pack on an elevated leg, I whined to my friend (whose birthday I had definitely made memorable) that I was looking forward to this letting go event and it was supposed to be fun. As she turned to the door to fetch more ice, Diana summarized it aptly, “Well, now you have this to let go of.”
Let Go or Be Dragged
Diana told me that I’d probably get an article out of the experience but I wasn’t so sure. What more is there to say about letting go than what I’ve written previously? But alas, she was right and upon reflection here’s what I realize:
#1) When you let go, it’s not always clean. Despite trying to “do it right” you might get a little bruised in the process. Expecting to control how the letting go will go is an oxymoron!
#2) The initial letting go doesn't always take. You may think you’ve let go of something only to discover there is more to release.
#3) It’s humbling before it’s freeing. One of my teammates approached me after the mishap and suggested I take it as a humbling experience. My initial thought was: Great, I wanted this to be a freeing experience not a humbling one. He was correct though, because it does take a measure of humility to acknowledge where you’re prone to get tangled up and what else there might be to let go of.
#4) You’re never done letting go. Every time you allow yourself to exhale deeply, you are in effect letting go. Letting go is moment to moment.
#5) I’m done with all things bungee. As my brother, Tom, quipped when I boasted about my plans for the weekend, “Couldn’t you just release some balloons as a symbol of letting go?”
The Grace of Letting Go
After my mishap and a little rest, I willed myself to attend the aerial yoga class we had scheduled, while being careful with my injured leg. That turned out to be a good choice because it was during that class that I felt the sweet release of being free.
It turns out that letting go is partly something you initiate and partly a grace that occurs spontaneously. When that happens, you can celebrate and surrender to it with joy and abandon. Each letting go prepares you for the next.
This Week’s Call To Action:
- Notice when you are breathing in a shallow manner or even holding your breath. Consciously take a few deep breaths with longer exhalations.
- What is something you want to let go of? How will releasing it free you?
Keep letting go, even if it takes a few tries.
“Let Go or Be Dragged.”
See you in the current,
For more on today’s topic, see also: Let it Go!; The Art of Abandon; Is It Time To Go With The Flow?
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