Move Slow to Let Go
Nov 22, 2021
As humans, one of our greatest downfalls is that we tend to hold on to things that hurt us. We hold on to tension, we hold onto wrongs done by others, we hold on to thoughts, we hold on to opinions, and we hold on to fears. We hold on to all the things that take away from our happiness, health, and vitality. As a result, we become miserable, sick, stale, and stagnant.
The things we cling to often harm us and darken our days. Naturally, the path to health and happiness, to brighter days, would be to let go of these things that we hold so tightly.
“Just let go.” Have you heard that before?
Letting go is truly the path to freedom, health, and happiness. BUT, letting go can be challenging, especially when you aren’t aware of what you’re holding onto, but also especially when you try to cognitively let go. Using your mind, willing yourself to let go of things, doesn’t always work, and it often only aids you into holding on even tighter.
“You need to calm down.”
Does it help you when others tell you that? Does it help you when you tell yourself that? Does it take the stress away? Or, does it just make you aware that you’re holding onto something that you really wish you could let go of if only you knew how to let it go.
Fears, thoughts, opinions, stress, anxiety - they jump on you and in you like ninjas. They come and go as they please, or they come and stay. You can be aware that they are there, and your awareness can be what intensifies their strength through your focus on them. Letting go - while it is the fantastical, perhaps mythical, the answer can sometimes seem impossible. Especially when we try to let go with our minds.
But what if there was another way to let go? What if there was a way you could taste freedom from your cares, even if only for a few minutes? And if you could be free from all your worries even if only for a few minutes, could you imagine that a few minutes could lead to a few days eventually? And maybe a few carefree, happy days could even lead to carefree, happy years.
What if the best way to let go of the things that harm us was to focus on how we move instead of focusing on the problems?
Movement is often the wide-open back door to letting go of our problems - it bypasses our minds, and our mental attempts to “just let go.”
To keep this an article and not turn it into a book I’m going to offer three “movements” that can be quite helpful in letting go:
- Smile - It doesn’t even matter if you don’t feel like it. A smile changes everything. It tells your nervous system that you’re not in danger. It can tip your autonomic nervous system into the parasympathetic state, which can actually alter your emotions and your thoughts, perhaps even temporarily hijacking them from what you’re clinging to. A smile can open the door to more powerful movements which can lead to even more freedom.
- Breathe in through your nose, exhale through pursed lips. - One powerful way to melt stress and tension out of your muscles and also allow worries to simmer down in your mind is to exhale slowly through pursed lips. Simply breathe in through your nose (with your tongue on the roof of your mouth) and exhale through pursed lips. When you exhale, ALLOW the air to leave on its own. Don’t force it. This is a true act of “Letting go.” This further shifts your autonomic nervous system into the parasympathetic state - the calm and peaceful state. Again, you simply let the air in your lungs let itself out through pursed lips. As it leaves, your emotions and your stress will start to melt away. Leaving you with a calm clarity that may help you deal with whatever you’re dealing with.
- Slow Motion Movement - Pick a movement (crawling, rolling, a squat, etc.) and make sloths jealous. Move as slow as you absolutely can and control every single facet of the movement you’re making. Do this for a chosen period of time, say 5 or 10 minutes. Moving so slow, controlling the finest details of your movements, takes extreme focus and concentration - a kind of focus that releases anything else you’re holding onto. It’s hard to worry, be afraid, or even be mad when you’re trying to make sloths jealous of your slow-moving prowess. It can provide a respite from your cares and it may even help you discover a way to let them go altogether because slow-motion movement also opens the channels of creativity.
These are powerful movements - they can help you let go of your problems - even if only for a moment. But It only takes a moment to lead to a different path. Done regularly, the moments can add up: a smile can last, a breath can permanently set you free, and a sloth may bow to your greatness.