Tag Archives: acceptance

Let your head go

That’s what the yoga instructor said. “Let your head go.”

I’m pretty sure she was talking about physically releasing the muscles in our necks, thinking about relaxing and not holding our heads up, as we eased into humble warrior pose. Needless to say, I heard a bunch more.

I did ground my feet and feel the strength of my legs. I did bow my torso down towards the ground and aim my shoulder under my front leg. I did (my best to) clasp my hands behind my back and allow my arms to raise away from my back…as much as they would go. And I did let my head go. And I let my head go again.

As I held the pose, hearing the instructor repeat her loving challenge for us to let our heads go, I thought about how else I could let my head go.

I aim to let my heart and soul lead my daily actions more than my head. I aim to come from love – for myself and others – and live for joy. I aim to get out of my head and my “stinking thinking,” as I once heard it described, so that I can feel life more fully and show up as my best self.

And my head likes to get very involved in every process.

Now I’m not arguing against thinking things through. I’m not recommending that I don’t use my beautiful, powerful brain to figure things out. I’m not suggesting that there is no value in the incredible value that my mind brings to situations and challenges and opportunities.

But I know my ability to get lost in my thinking. I know my potential to overthink and, especially, over-worry. I have an amazing knack for getting lost in fear or over-analysis.

So I’m practicing letting my head go, just as I practiced during humble warrior.

I’m watching my thoughts and questioning if I need to follow the trail they’re carving in my brain. I’m observing the stories I make up in my mind and challenging myself to breathe, look again, and allow for a different – maybe even more pleasant – story. I’m noticing and noticing and noticing again.

I’m still invested in my meditation practice. I hope I always will be. I’ve witnessed how I can reach more stillness more often, and I love it. I’ve felt myself calm my heart, soul, and mind when the “stinking thinking” gets racing. And I love it.

I’ve let my head go. Again and again and again.

I’m going to let my head go some more.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Let go and let god

There really isn’t much more to say after that.

I learned “let go and let god” years ago, when I first crawled into Al-Anon. It was one of the many sayings and practices that saved my soul and helped me begin to piece my life back together.

It’s at least as essential now.

The book keeps moving ahead: The details are many and, at times, blurring – as exciting as this whole process is. The decisions seem nonstop and overwhelming – again, as exciting as this whole process is. What if I forget something essential? What if I make the wrong decision? What if I f—k everything up?

Boy my “editor” is potentially having a hey day judging my every move.

Let go and let god. I remember I can only do what I can do, and I’m honestly not in charge of everything (and certainly not in charge of how successful the book is…or isn’t).

My desire to help my dad – to ease his suffering and brighten his monotonous, depressing life – continues. And while I’m researching a few options to change the way things are, there are some ways I have to let things be. I can’t make his life great. I can’t ease his pain – physical, mental, emotional, or otherwise. Again, I can only do what I can do, and I need to let go and trust for the rest of it.

My need to continuously (and continuously) better myself. To be my best me. That is certainly something I need to let go (and let god) about. I know I am a work in progress, and though many of you might happily point out to me my highly perfectionistic ways of approaching my life and my self, I give myself more grace and mercy (thank you again Anne Lamott) than I ever did. I let go and let god and remember that I can only do what I can do, and that I am, by definition (as was pointed out to me many, many years ago) doing the best I can. Honestly, I know myself well enough to know that if I could do better at something, I most likely would. Yes – to my big brother – I even try to do “not perfect” perfectly.

Let go and let god. It allows me to breathe. It allows me to slow down, ponder, ease, and enjoy. It allows me to release my false sense of control and somehow know that everything will be okay. And if it’s not okay, I will get through it.

Let go and let god. One of the best things I ever learned. One of my most important lessons to remember.

Let go and let god.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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I distract myself

The other day a dear friend asked me what I did when I was upset at something, or someone. When my anger or sadness was taking over every minute. How did I handle it to stay calm and okay?

I paused before answering. (Did I mention we were running, and I always have to pause to get enough breath to answer?) “I look at what’s good,” I told her.

“Oh,” she replied. “Do you mean you look to see all you have, and how many awful things could be true for you that aren’t, and you realize you should be grateful rather than upset?”

“No,” I answered (again after trying to catch my breath). “I look for things that feel good right now. I distract myself like I would a toddler.” Another pause.

“I notice the trees against the sky.” (As I’ve written here often.) “The sound of seagulls.” (I was just in Portland, Maine.) “I hug my kid.” (Or anyone who will let me.)

I distract myself.

I no longer believe in covering up or denying my feelings, and I certainly no longer believe in beating myself up because I’m sad or angry or struggling. I’ve learned to allow those feelings to be – and to be part of me. (The anger was the hardest one to accept. I had learned real well not to get angry.)

But I’ve also learned that “I’m more than my feelings,” and “Feelings, not facts.” I’ve learned that I don’t have to stay in my anger or hurt or pain any longer than I want to. And I’ve learned that the best way to lighten my load is to lighten my load. 🙂 To look for situations or experiences or sensations that will ease my heart or relax my body.

To distract myself.

I’ve learned that if I look up – literally and metaphorically – I can usually find something to smile about. I’ve learned (and I teach) that when I smile, my brain somehow thinks I’m happy. I wouldn’t be smiling if I wasn’t happy – I’m not that crazy – so I must be happy. I use this to my greatest advantage.

It’s not that I have no right to complain because other people have it worse than me. My pain still hurts. It’s not that I shouldn’t feel pain, and I need to shut it down right away. Sometimes feeling – and leaning into – my pain and suffering is what I really need. It’s not that I need to be stronger, or better, or more resilient. I am (quite) strong enough, good enough, and resilient enough. And sometimes things just hurt. Or suck.

But I can lift myself out of my pain and suffering when I’m ready to be lifted out of my pain and suffering. And sometimes it’s as easy as just distracting myself.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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