Leaning In and Letting Go

This past week at yoga, the instructor said, “Where in your practice are you resisting or rigid in ways that are not serving you well? Blam. These words really hit home for me- not just in my yoga practice, but in my life.

Jennifer Alley, LPC

Jennifer Alley, LPC

As I noticed my tense muscles and began focused relaxing and leaning into the pose, I also quickly realized that any tension in relationships I am currently experiencing, any interpersonal difficulties, resentments, or stresses that I am ruminating on, tend to be very related to my own ideas about how things “should”be, how others “ought”to be, or ideas that I am holding onto that are making life more painful and stressful for me.

After the class and since then, I have tried to think about my relationships in new ways, asking myself: Where can I let go? What beliefs or ideas are inhibiting or hindering my relationships with people I love and care about? What “shoulds”are keeping me from being humble and open-minded to people and relationships that I tend to have more difficulty with? In what areas is my need and desire to control failing and making life much more painful for me (and for others)?

As I work on this, I feel somehow freer, lighter, more able to lean in to others and less stressed with managing outcomes or relationships. I am purposed to check in daily with myself to notice my feelings, to pay attention to the tension and beliefs or ideas that are behind the resistance. I am going to try to lean in to the discomfort, letting the rigidity and desire to hold on go, deepening my ability to be vulnerable, more authentic, and open-hearted in my relationships with others.

Suggested questions for journaling/meditating on:

  • What people/situations tend to be most difficult for me?
  • What are my beliefs/ideas about this person/situation/conflict?
  • What are my feelings about this person/situation/conflict?
  • What are my fears regarding this person/situation/conflict?
  • What is my personal agenda/ what do I want to have happen?
  • What am I holding on to that is not helping me or my relationships with others?
  • What beliefs/ideas/agendas could I let go of that would be helpful?
  • Are there ways that I can “lean in” or “let go”?
  • Is there someone that I can share my feelings/fears with?

“Letting go is hard, but sometimes holding on is harder.” ~Unknown