More wise words from my yoga teacher today. As we were sweating and stretching and trying to kiss our toes just a little bit more, she made us stop and told us that sometimes, it’s the letting go that helps you reach your toes, not so much the holding on to that painful stretch. That if we breathed, and let go, our toes would get closer. And by some kind of a miracle I breathed, and let go – and they did. My toes got closer.
Yoga, she said, much like child-rearing (and life in general!), is about striking that delicate balance between the hanging on and the letting go. Too much letting go, and you’ll never get anywhere close to reaching your figurative toes. A child needs to learn that work, discipline and sometimes a little bit of pain are the surest ways to reaching your objectives, getting the rewards you crave, fulfilling your dreams. Too much holding on, on the other hand, and something will eventually break. In yoga, it might be your armstrings. In a relationship, your heart. At work, your sanity. Letting go is key to learning, too – that’s why it’s crucial that children get enough playtime and daydreaming done every day if their brains are to hold on to any of the new things that they’re taught.
And as for us, adults, well… Some people need a little bit more holding on to their letting go.
Some people need a little letting go in their holding on.
Do you know when to hold on and when to let go?