Letting Go to Take Control

It begins when we take our first breath. It replenishes our mind and body with new life. In the span of that breath, in-and-out, we begin our first lesson: how to breathe independently, healthily. It becomes unconscious and instinctive. However, that which brings us life must also be released. If we hold on to that breath too long, we become light-headed, panicky, desperate and eventually out-of-control. When we ultimately exhale, we ‘let go’ of that old breath, giving us a feeling of tranquility, relaxation.

In our long-winded and complex adult lives, the thought of ‘letting go’ may appear daunting. Moreover this action seemingly lends itself to the fear of being even more out-of-control! One might ask, “how can I ‘let go’ of something that requires more and more of my energy to maintain the control I currently have?” Therein lies the problem. How can one claim to be in control when it takes an increasingly inexhaustible effort to eke out even the slightest of gratifications? The situation is already out-of-control! I ask instead, “how can you afford not to let go?” Your health is at risk.

Nonetheless, when we work tirelessly giving to others for so long, forsaking our own needs, the mere thought of shifting our attention to ourselves comes across as unnatural, foreign. An even greater panic can ensue as to how to make that positive change work. It is akin to hyperventilation; by acting frantically to fight the very thing that we want to change, we increase the rate of its loss. Our actions become irrational.

If, on the other hand, we let go of those old ways of thinking, those old ways of reacting, we take control. It may seem paradoxical but it is true. When we no longer care to define ourselves by outside influences or hold onto worn-out behaviors that might have served a purpose a long time ago, we regain our ability to realize what is important for us. Besides, how can we help others if we are not right with self?

Start with your breath. When we focus our intent to breathe naturally, fully, we can also convey that same principle in our own lives. As we deeply inhale – courting a rhythmic, prosperous flow of what feels right to us, individually – we can then comfortably exhale - letting go of our old limits and restrictions. This allows for greater self-trust upon how to draw our next inspiration. It is a process of self-discovery, nurtured by our first breath.

- Rian O'Meara, C.Ht.

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