I was sitting on a wooden bench the other day overlooking the rocky cliffs of Big Sur dropping off into the Pacific Ocean mysticism. As the strong wind blew against my face, I grabbed hold of the rustic bench below me. Waves crashed the shoreline and my fists gripped tighter. The scent of eucalyptus added to the trance and I started clenching my whole body. What came next astounded me.
Within seconds, I felt the rapid movement of the earth as it rotated and lurched forward through space. I felt the pull of gravity and the strong tides of the ocean. As the wind blew harder against my body, I felt as if I was flying. I gripped tighter as the anticipation grew inside me. What was I experiencing? My body grew more tense and the strange fear of letting go crept in. I felt like if I let go of the bench, I would fly away, lose control and meet my peril. Again the wind blew harder, my grip grew tighter and my heart raced. It was the same feeling I’ve experienced right before jumping into a cold pool.
“Deep breath in… just do it!” I told myself, “just let go!” But I couldn’t let go, I was frozen in a moment in time when I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be. How is it going to feel? Will it be too painful? Too challenging? Finally, I inhaled one last deep breath as courage kicked in and I took the leap of faith.
I released my grip and relaxed my body. Immediately a rush of stability swept through my being. Now that I wasn’t holding on so tightly, I was swaying with the wind, subtly moving with the ebb & flow of the earth. I was grounded in the natural movement of life around me.
I couldn’t help but notice this is much like what happens throughout our lives. If we hold on too tight, it makes it feel like everything is moving at high speeds. It makes us nervous, anticipating the “letting go”, fearing what would happen if we lose control.
When we finally do let go—of people that no longer serve us, of situations harmful to our wellbeing, of mistakes, of material things—we feel lighter, more stable within ourselves. The uncertainty ceases and the sense of dramatic movement radically lessens, because now we are moving too. We become in sync with the universal turbulence, more in-line with the natural patterns of existence. Simply put—when we hold on, we are resisting the wave; when we let go, we are moving effortlessly with the tides of our lives.
“Let go of attachments- literally, figuratively- and behold! More stability enters the soul.”