Monday, August 25, 2014

The Art of Letting Go

Today is the first day of school.  I don't have a picture of me in some kind of celebratory pose at the bus stop or the healthy lunch I packed for my son. If I had a picture to show, it would be of me trying to hold back tears as I cleaned up the kitchen after breakfast.

I cannot tell a lie: this summer has been fun and also trying at times. Yes, there were days that seemed so long and my patience ran thin. Some days it snapped. But as soon as I put my son on the bus and walked back in the house, I couldn't help but cry. It's still the closing of one chapter and the start of another. It's a still a day when I'm leaving him in someone else's hands. And perhaps today wouldn't sting as much if we were back in Maryland. But we are in a different country and even though he is at an English speaking school, it's still vastly different. I don't know all the parents and teachers. It's not around the corner.  And although he hopped on that bus without looking back, I could see on his face he was incredibly nervous. Yet somehow his 6 year old soul mustered the courage to go. And I'm so proud I could cry. Am crying. 


Image from JonesID.com
The thing that keeps going through my head right now is "Life is a balance of holding on and letting go" by the poet Rumi.  I think this sums up being a parent. You have to know when to hold on and when to let go. I remember when I taught my son how to ride a bike. I ran along next time him and was trying to hold his shoulders. At some point, I thought what if I just let go for longer? Sure enough, he wobbled so much but didn't fall - he zigged, zagged, tilted left and right but managed to balance himself. I was actually doing more harm by holding on to him. He needed to feel the discomfort of being off balance and figure out how to get upright on his own.


A still of him riding for the first time.
This art of letting go is a necessity in all walks of life whether you are a parent or not. It's becoming more apparent as I continue to learn more from yoga.  The tighter hold we have things, the more we try and control them, the harder life becomes. In yoga, that equates to holding your breath and forcing yourself into a pose. In life, it might equate to having some image in our head about how life is "supposed" to be and berating ourselves if we don't live up to it. But we have to let go of these images to truly live life. We have to accept the ways things are, even when it's the discomfort of being off balance. If we believe in a higher power, we have to have faith. 

It's strange how I can usually relate what's going on in my fitness life to my household life. Perhaps they are just one in the same. Last night everyone went to bed early and I had extra time to practice. As I went into wide legged forward bend, I focused on my foundation. I engaged the legs, held the core tight and really just let everything up top go. I held on and I let go. And I finally my head touched the floor. For months I've been trying to force my head to touch the floor. But the key was focusing on my foundation and letting the rest go. 



So I guess that's what I should do today and other days when I'm feeling sad or out of sorts. Trust my foundation and let the rest go. With my son, I have to trust the foundation I hope we have built in him. And count the minutes until he comes running off the bus :)

I recognize this was a long post with random thoughts. But I needed it. And maybe someone out there can relate. Thank for sticking with me. 

Until next time,
Michele

11 comments:

  1. I hope your son has a great first day at school and that things get easier! I love that quote from Rumi and the way you pulled the lesson through into your yoga practice. It really is funny how many times I can use a fitness lesson in the rest of my life and vice versa.

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    1. I know, but fitness is such a part of our lives it's no wonder it all relates :)

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  2. Ahhh - it's all about letting them grow up :)

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    1. I know, I know. It will never get easier :/

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  3. letting go is a tough one for me too. I will be sending both of mine off to HS this year-how did that happen?

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    1. Ack! High school! I'm sure it goes by fast. I'm sure it's awesome to see them grow into young adults. But they will always be my babies.

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  4. Beautifully written! It is incredibly hard but important to let go sometimes. This is something that I really struggle with sometimes.

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