why all those letting go rituals are actually creating more resistance
I want to talk about letting go and surrendering. When it comes to action, words matter. Both of these phrases are thrown around a lot and when that happens, I generally find it's important to take a look at the energetics they hold.
It is not unusual to hear people talk about what they are letting go of. It can run the range of relationships to a favourite t-shirt, to a behaviour or a belief we have about ourselves. The act of letting go can, in fact, be extremely powerful, and I want to step back for a moment and consider what it means to let go and how this declaration informs our growth as both spiritual and human beings.
There is a big difference in the energetics of surrender and release. Surrender suggests and invites us to simply stop resisting and to let go of control. Releasing that which keeps us from being our best self is a part of that process, but what I am finding is that the juiciness of transformation is in the surrender not in the release.
Certainly, when we choose to let go of an old story, an old way of being, friendships, relationships and expectations there can be a sense of lightness. No longer carrying what can feel burdensome and heavy makes way for freedom.
And yet, I invite you to consider the following; what if instead of proclaiming what it is we want to release, we instead proclaimed what we are surrendering to? Think about that for a moment. Do you feel and hear the difference?
Several years ago I struggled to let go of a relationship and the expectations I had placed upon what a future with that person might look like. I tried all the tricks in the book of those on a spiritual quest; I wrote and burned letters; moved my body; cut energetic chords; ceased all communication, and I prayed down on my knees to be free. And while I do not discount that each of these practices supported me, it wasn't until I surrendered to the understanding that this person could not be all the things I hoped, wished and wanted them to be that I felt liberated from our relationship, from my own expectations and from the barriers I had created around my heart, myself.
When we claim what it is we are ready to sink into there is a shift in dynamics. When we feed that which we are striving to let go of, we continue to feed and fuel that story which creates more resistance. Our thoughts, emotions and energy focus on the 'thing' that is seemingly in the way of whatever we want to have, do or create. But when we surrender, we shift our relationship and the vibrational pattern between us and that which is holding us back. The more we resist something, the harder it is to release it from our grasp. For anyone whose car has been stuck in the snow or mud, you'll know the best way to get the car moving again is to work with the ice or mud instead of against it.
When I speak about surrendering it does not mean giving up. The definition of this word refers to 'laying down of arms; submitting to authority'. Nowhere in the definition does it mention defeat. When we surrender to a higher authority - Source, God, Truth, Love, you decide - and choose to lay down our arms - stories, belief systems, conditioning, expectations - it creates a stillness and settling. The resistance ceases allowing the energy to move with greater fluidity.
The only way through resistance is to surrender. The only way through pain is to surrender. The only way through grief is to surrender. The only way through growth is to surrender. The only way through fear is to surrender. Surrender is the way.
Ways to practice surrender:
Lie down on the ground, your bed, your sofa. Don't try and meditate or chant mantra. Try to avoid making lists or overthinking. Simply lie on the ground, allow the Earth to hold you and breathe. Notice.
Next time you find yourself striving, perfecting or rushing to do something repeat to yourself either out loud or silently 'Just put it down', then breathe and notice what happens in your body.
Book an hour this week and don't make any plans. Resist the urge to even plan to take a bath, read a book or do yoga. When the time comes, just sit and surrender to time, to your breath, to the wisdom of your body. Just allow whatever it is your heart and your body need.
Practicing how it feels physically to surrender creates an experience in the body that over time cues the mind. When this occurs we can draw on that memory to support ease. The more we practice and notice, the greater the ease in moving into a state of surrender becomes.