We can’t receive with clenched hands.
When we let go of who and what should be, we become what could be.
“In order to taste my cup of water you must first empty your cup. My friend, drop all your preconceived and fixed ideas and be neutral. Do you know why this cup is useful? Because it is empty.” ~ Bruce Lee
Too often when we show up to teach or practice or really into any situation in our life, like a date, or an interview we come in with too many expectations, agendas and judgments.
We have literally rehearsed, planned the playlist and prepared for the moment so much that we are no longer receptive to the possibility that is actually presented when the moment arises. We may even leave the one of the most powerful moments in our life, feeling unimpressed, bored and unfulfilled.
When we try to control everything we tighten up, we close the gaps, reduce space and we become infertile. We lose connection and our life, our teaching, our parenting and our lovemaking becomes a performance, mechanical, stale, a means to an end.
When we try to control we lose those special opportunities and possibilities, you know, that magic and sweetness that just seems to arise spontaneously in the moment. I believe Oprah calls them, “Aha Moments.”
Let Go & Flow
When we let go, we create fertile space for possibility. The problem arises when we become so fixated on crushing our goals that we cease to pay attention to the moment; we cease to take in, savor and juice everything we can from our experiences.
Because life is a series of moments and ultimately the attention we are investing in the present is what will move us in the direction of our goals, if we are paying attention in the moment we can make intelligent decisions based on the feedback we are receiving; like having your finger on the pulse of the universe.
If our consciousness is like a garden, we get to choose what we water and fertilize and also when we are paying attention, we begin to recognize the weeds, the roots of our discontent and obstacles to optimal experience and starve them out.
We use the term “paying attention” for a reason.
Your attention is a precious resource, like money and we get to choose how we invest it.
If it is true that what ever we “pay” our attention to gets stronger then we should invest and spend more wisely.
Often when setting goals we get blind sided by the achievement of success and completely miss out on the process, but the process is the path; your life is the process.
“Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue…as the unintended side effect of ones personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.” ~ Viktor Frankl
Let Go & Flow
“Instead of forever straining at the tantalizing prize dangled just out of reach, we can harvest genuine rewards for living.” ~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
I love vinyasa yoga, martial arts and gymnastics, basically anything with flow. Movement is not necessarily flow. Grace has little to do with strength and flexibility and everything to do with attention.
When practicing vinyasa yoga we need to keep practicing yoga during the transitions instead of focusing on trying to get into and conquer the next pose.
Often we get so focused on trying to get somewhere that we lose the connection to the experience we are having; we lose the flow. Yoga sequences are not just intense physical exercise, but also a method of drawing us deeper into the innate wisdom of the body. You lose yourself—your conditioned way of living and relating with your body and the world—and get lost in the ebb and flow.
The mind begins to quiet down and you become fully absorbed in the moment, no past and all the regrets, comparisons, judgments and doubts that have grown from it, no future and all the expectations associated with it.
In the moment there is no such thing as success or failure there is just sensation and pure experience and consciousness, nothing to hold you back or to force you forward, inhibitions turn into innate wisdom and “knowing.” We cant always control the waves that the universe churns out, but we can learn to surf them.
“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless—like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water…Running water never grows stale.” ~ Bruce Lee
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Kathryn Muyskens / Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo: Courtesy of Author