Letting Go to Stay Connected


Photo Credit: via Flickr Creative Commons, Beshef

Life has its own seasons & rhythms, ups & downs, successes & challenges.

In the midst of the ebb & flow it can be easy to slip away from our connection to the sacred.

Whether for you the sacred is something spiritual or a deep awareness of the present moment or a sense of being an inextricable part of nature, that relationship with the sacred can be the most important relationship we have. And part of the nature of being human includes slipping away from that connection from time to time. 

So how do we maintain our connection to what we consider sacred? Or return to it when we slip away?

I listened to a presentation by Mark Nepo recently and heard something that has resonated for me ever since. He described sacrifice as giving up what no longer works in order to stay close to what’s sacred. When I think about it in this context, sacrifice seems like a blessing – a beautiful release from suffering. 

What are you holding on to today that no longer works?

So often, we hold onto something past it’s usefulness because it did work at one time.  Maybe a relationship, once treasured, has run it’s course. A belief that was useful when it was formed – maybe when we were much younger – just no longer applies. The schedule that used to offer structure but now feels like a cage. 

Sometimes it’s something that never worked. The attempt to endear yourself to that aunt that never liked you in the first place. Trying to get approval from your boss when the person you need approval from the most is yourself. Investing your mental & emotional energy fighting against things you have no control over – the weather, the traffic, the fact that your 40-year-old brother got fired from yet another job.

It helps to remember that allies in the practice of letting go are close at hand. 

Awareness: Looking closely at what isn’t working is sometimes all that’s needed to be able to gently release. Return to stillness and curiosity often enough to notice what isn’t working. Set aside harsh judgments & look at your life with the eyes of a best friend. Give yourself the kindness of attention. 

Breath: Allow the breath to be a pathway for release. Imagine that old, worn out belief washing out of your body as you breathe out. Allow a more current, more accurate perspective to fill you with your in-breath. Set a reminder for yourself to practice this a few times every day.

Movement: Our bodies are designed to move. Not to spend long hours sitting at a desk, in a car or on the sofa. Just like our bodies, our breath, thoughts, emotions are improved with movement. Notice what happens to your energy, emotions & perspective when you’re making some form of movement a frequent part of your day. You might find old, out-dated mindsets just slide away. Or, if you like it better, make the practice more active. Imagine leaving an old pattern behind with every forward step you take. 

Nature: Make a regular practice of connecting with your favorite corner of the natural world. Be with the cycles of change, the birth and release that are ever-present in nature. Remember, you are nature too. Allow the seasons of your life to ebb and flow within you. Release makes room for the wonder that is yet to be born.

The beauty of this dynamic is no matter what we’re holding on to, we can let go.

And when letting go means coming home to that precious, soulful, sacred connection, what a sweet relief it can be. 

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  1. Gavin de Kock September 28, 2015 at 1:10 am #

    I enjoy your writing because it assists and supports me in my personal journey to become a Professional Ceritified Coach throught UCT GSB. It also enables me to support me in coaching my clients. I hope i can use (wuth acknowledgement) in speaking, writing.


    Gavin de Kock
    Coach in Training

    • Kelly September 30, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

      Thanks Gavin. I’m glad what I’ve written has been helpful. Feel free to use what I’ve shared & best wishes on your training!

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