What Happens When We Let It Go?

Nature is our best teacher. She continually reminds us what it means to absorb the sunshine and bloom, and then release when the time has come. We are now in the Fall season, and in the northeast, leaves are starting to turn colors in preparation for the greatest visual lesson of the year—simply let go. Trees know they can’t keep holding on. The leaves fall so that the tree itself can be lighter in time for the upcoming Winter weather.

Although leaves dance around us and fall to our feet, many people have a hard time putting the lesson into practice. It’s easiest to keep on the racetrack of life, sticking with the same routines, flow and expectations—even if they no longer work. Change takes time, patience, a leap of faith and a new perspective to understand “what could be, if only”. But when you release what you’ve been holding and simply let it all go, it’s amazing how light and free you can feel.

So what happens when we let go? Imagine this.

Just for a moment, put yourself in a situation where you are frustrated and angry. Perhaps someone cut you off in the parking lot. Or worse, maybe the job promotion you’ve been expecting goes to the guy who hardly lifts a finger. Sit in that emotion for a moment. How does your body respond? Can you feel your muscles tightening? Do you feel the frustration rising? What do your facial expressions look like?

Our emotions impact the whole of our bodies. And when we allow our emotions to have a physical response and we get stuck in that, we eventually feel aches, pains, or other health issues that arise over time.

Practice letting go.

Remind yourself of your frustration. Then picture yourself standing under a colorful maple tree that is gracefully releasing its leaves. One by one, leaves fall to your right, left, and collect at your feet. As they fall, breathe in and breathe out. And as you breathe out, you let go of little bits of your frustration. After a short while, you feel your shoulders and neck start to relax. Breathe in and breathe out. You feel your chest and torso loosen a bit, as the feeling makes its way down your arms and to each of your fingers. Breathe in and breathe out. The relaxed sensation finally moves through your legs and down to your feet. Breathe in and breathe out. Now you are so relaxed that you are sitting among the falling leaves. Breathe in and breathe out. Allow the frustration to roll off of your shoulders and fall away, mixing among the leaves. With one more breath, the wind carries it far away from you, leaving you feeling peaceful and free.

It’s amazing, isn’t it? We have such power within us—the power to hold onto emotions and the power to let those emotions go. Release what no longer serves you. Allow yourself to be peaceful and free.