On the occasion of it being the beautiful-est of all days, Today, and this being the grandest of all hours, Now, we are gathered in this holiest and magical-est of all places, Here, to witness the most marvelous of all people, You, receiving the magnificent-est of all honorary degrees, an Le.G. (in Letting Go!), summa cum laude, no less!, from this here oldest and most revered institution of highest learning, Life!
[Crowd goes crazy cheering, blowing trumpets, throwing hats.]
Here to present you with your degree, I am delighted to introduce you to your most faithful companion, in good times and in bad, in wealth and in not-so-wealth, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, your Body.
[Wave upon wave of roaring applause.]
~ * ~
Many people think they are terrible at letting go but I am here to tell you that quite the opposite is true. Every day, all the time, you are letting go.
Take breathing. You exhale every few seconds, at least several times a minute. You don’t have to make it happen. It happens. And in this very basic way, letting go happens on its own, in its time, every time, all the time. And, as Life would have it, we don’t even have to think about it. Whew! We inhale what we need, we exhale what we don’t. Whether we cry our breath or sigh our breath, laugh, dance or whisper our breath, it happens. Hurrah!
You may be shrugging this all off: “What of it? I exhale. Big deal.” OK. I see your point. But in addition to highlighting the no-effort-ness of what happens already, I want to show you a simple but powerful trick.
You’re going to exhale, no matter what, right? Even if you don’t notice, you will. And even if you fight it and hold your breath like the best of 3-year-olds, eventually you will, right? But showing up with your awareness and noticing it while it happens can be like hitching a ride on a mighty and gorgeous wave.
Another way to think of it is piggybacking on the exhale. Remember how fun it was (or is!) to climb on someone’s back and have them carry you around? Sometimes, when my clients come to me very stressed out and very much struggling to relax, I invite them to, rather than trying to make themselves relax (if that sounds like a whole lot of effort, that’s because it is) to instead simply notice their breathing and hitch a ride on the back of their next exhale. Ahhhh…
The next wave will happen whether you notice it or not. So will that sunset and summer storm. And so will that whatever-it-is-that-comes-next. But oh the possibility when you show up and notice. Riding a wave involves ease and strength. Good thing you have both! How do I know? You just exhaled.
See you surfing! See you piggybacking! And, if you’re in the Boston area, maybe I’ll see you on my table. Hope so!