This is part 2 to an undetermined number of posts about letting go.
You can find part 1 here.
If you really want to sabotage your physical body, you’ll become a master of holding on. Of collecting. Of hoarding. Of not, letting go.
I had a small realization that I say the phrase “just let it go” at least twenty times in one yoga class. It feels…. safe, for me to use those words. That white-knuckle grip in frog pose? Let it go. The expression on your face as you hold warrior 3? Let it go. That thing, that life experience, that you’re holding onto… LET IT GO.
I get it, it’s our natural reaction as humans… We pick up all of these things around us and glue them together and say “all of this life has made me the person that I am today”
There’s truth in that. But where do you go from there? What if you don’t want to continue being the person that you are right now? What if you’re being pulled to grow in a different direction? Do you get to take your sticky ball collection with you? Or do you leave it behind and set out on that scary path of starting over? Do you let it go as simply as the words flow out of my mouth in a yoga class?
I think you have to. Here’s why:
Physical Manifestation // How I’m Getting Over Resentment:
Here’s a personal fun fact. I’m currently struggling hard with resentment. I think I have been for longer than I’m willing to admit. And like any other flesh-eating, chronic illness – there are good days and bad days.
Resentment is defined as a feeling of anger or displeasure about someone or something unfair. Resentment is a process where we repetitively replay feelings of hurt and the events that led up to it. However, when we go through the event in our mind, we don’t just think of the facts, we also relive all the feelings associated with it. It affects us over and over again – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
This resentment that I carry is eating me alive. It’s currently taking years off of my life. And as of recently, I’ve realized that it’s manifesting problems into my physical body. Like, disease.
And the purpose of this post? I know I’m not alone.
But. I. Can’t. Stop.
In a sense, I’ve sort of created an identity around my resentment. Espresso&Fit, boiled down, exists as a weed of my resentment. While I like to think of my blog as more of a beautiful flower – it started as a bitter weed that sprouted up as a result of pain. I wanted a voice when my voice was otherwise taken from me. I wanted to share my experience without sharing my experience. I can get drunk off of all of my resentment over and over, it’s that powerful.
I think we all do it. We all begin to identify with the things that bring us down. People build entire careers out of their resentment. They start foundations after coming to terms with a diagnosis. They write super inspiring books as a bi-product of their struggle. All of which is great.
But there’s others – who bottle their resentment up so tight and build walls so high that the damn sun can’t even get in.
That – is sabotage.
It’s one thing to struggle with resentment, but making an effort to let it go… it’s a whole other beast to pretend that it doesn’t exist within you.
“I’m fine” we say.
But are you? Are you actually fine?
Because that pain that you’re holding onto will manifest into your body’s physical tissue. It will multiply and spread and take over your temple. I think they call it cancer? But it starts as small annoyances; aches, pains, rashes, lumps. Things just don’t function as they should. They don’t feel right.
You’re not able to do what you used to be able to do… But it’s just because you’re getting older, right? Wrong… Pain is not your new normal. Exhaustion is not your new normal. Headaches are not your new normal.
Those are all symptoms of resentment thriving in the very cells of your bones.
You’ve gotta let that shit go. Your life depends on it.
But again, HOW?
I get it… I’m not going to preach forgiveness to you. I hate forgiveness and the concept of it. It’s ridiculously hard and quite frankly our owner’s manuals were very loose in describing just how we’re supposed to go about forgiving. Sure, it’s a beautiful idea in theory. But I fear that “in theory” is where the buck stops for most.
I’m not asking you to just stop thinking about it either… You’d have to never think again, I’m sure.
I am asking you to trust. A few things…
“Everything that appears in the physical realm is always connected with energy flow at the invisible level.” – Nan Lu
I read this and thought wow – we have to trust. Letting go is the most intangible act. Forgiving and loving and healing are all intangible. You can touch someone’s warm embrace and hear they’re “I’m so sorry…” but you cannot sense what is happening on a spiritual level when we make an effort to let something go…. It’s invisible. And probably for good reason. When we put in the effort to let go, we are chipping away at our resentment; piece by fucking piece. That statement is discouraging to me – I was hoping for more of a dynamite-type of destruction but…
So that’s the thing – we can begin to let go by simply beginning to let go. When someone, including myself, says “just let it go” – you cannot.
It’s a micro-movement – a series of small efforts – a journey.
Until one day you really will wake up and not feel that resentment anymore. It’s this feeling of peace that can only be described as grace.
You know – Savasana (the part where you get to nap at the end) in yoga is also called corpse pose. Not in a morbid way at all, it’s actually celebrated. Because every time you come to your mat to practice, a layer of yourself is shed off. Something that you were carrying around with you is burned off and it dies. It becomes no longer yours to carry. After so many yoga classes, you can start to look back and see how all of those sun salutations got you to this point where you could let go. You’re too busy holding a warrior 2, you can’t hold onto that divorce anymore. You’re so busy getting on top of the fear you have towards crow pose, that you can’t carry the fear you have around quitting your job. Get the picture? Things like yoga replace your resentment with more constructive building blocks.
Last night I had my third sound bath experience.
Sound bathing is a beautiful, meditative experience where you simply lay or sit and someone else is creating intentional sounds (usually gongs and crystal bowls).
The sound waves and vibrations penetrate your body on a molecular level and your soul on a Devine level. The sound waves are healing and powerful and invisible.
It seems too simple to be effective but sound has been used for healing on a spiritual level for centuries. In biblical times, they would send the choir out on the front line towards the enemy in war (like, in front of those with weapons). In church, worship music is always used first to prime one’s heart to hear the message. It’s a totally natural and holistic form of therapy that is quite effective.
The first two times I sound bathed, I had all sorts of expectations. I wanted to feel something change and I didn’t. I felt nothing at all. I didn’t know what was supposed to happen, but to be honest – no one knows what is supposed to happen. These experiences are 100% unique. Some vibrations will address your current struggle while others penetrate deep to address a childhood struggle (or even past life, if that is your belief).
Last night, however, I went in with a totally open mind. I knew what to expect as far as the experience goes (loud gongs and vibrating floors for about 45-60 minutes), so it made it easier for me to just simply lay there open to receive.
At many points during the sound bath, I got teary-eyed. I had no idea why, I just felt moved by certain frequencies that the gongs reached. At other times, I felt completely smothered by the vibrations – almost as if I was wrapped in a blanket of sound. At one point the gongs – to me – sounded like a mother’s heart beat. I felt like I was in a womb, in a sense, hearing my mother’s heart beat… It was a really cool experience.
About midway through the cleanse, I started to get really warm. Like, sweating. I was uncomfortably hot. I thought the heat had been turned up, but afterwords I checked and there was no change. After researching more, I found that heat is associated with the liver. The liver is associated with anger and resentment… The liver is also the organ I’ve been working with to heal my acne. Coincidence? Probably not.
I think that sound bathing is one of many really great ways to start chipping away at the things you desperately need to let go of. I suppose some things you can let go of by just simply dropping them and letting them fall to the floor – shattering into a thousand pieces. Other things, are not that easy to release. But not impossible either. It takes trusting the invisible micro-improvements that are happening as a result of your hunger for healing.
I like that… hunger for healing. You have to be hungry in order to heal, because this sport is not for the weak. You have to want it. Everything you do, every decision you make has to be one with a conscious effort to be in line with your commitment to letting go. Ask yourself, does this align with the person that I want to be, not necessarily the person I am right now? Because the person you are right now may be resisting letting go of something – something that is taking up precious space.
Because who doesn’t want to travel lighter? For the rest of your days, from this point forward, I wish upon you a lighter journey. One where you’re picking up new and exciting experiences but also simultaneously letting go of what is no longer serving you; dropping it behind you like dirty laundry on your way into the shower.
Let’s all let go of more – so that we can offer more of ourselves to this life.