Have you ever found yourself “trying to let go” of something like anger and you just can’t? In our “go get ’em” world we often believe “trying harder” will bring whatever we are looking to experience to fruition. However, “letting go” is one of those strange conundrums where “trying harder” often does the opposite and creates more tension in the body/mind. Ever had the experience where you were actually feeling stressed about the stress in your body/mind? Ohh the human condition….it sure is a funny one when we take a step back,lol.
Have you ever tried to let go of anger toward someone you love without success? Sometimes “sleeping on it” can help. You wake up the next morning and it feels lighter somehow, more released. Sometimes meditating, exercising or yoga helps. But then you might see the person or become triggered in some manner and you are right back at the level of charge you felt the day it happened?
Letting go is an interesting concept. We can intellectually understand the benefit of letting something go, particularly an emotion or tension. Sometimes we are desiring to let go of a friend, a lover, or even a job. However, that intellectual understanding still does not provide the experience of release. Why not?
In our Franklin classes we practice a mind/body connection exercise on one side of the body and often use the shoulder. The students experience having a released shoulder on one side of the body, while the shoulder on the other side is still in a tension pattern. It is a strange eye opening experience. Students look in the mirror at the reflection of the released shoulder versus the tense shoulder and laughing out loud as they have no mental control over the tense shoulder. The student is often not aware of the tension pattern nor of the capacity to release it. The body/mind has become so accustomed to the state of tension the experience is below the student’s conscious awareness.
Letting go is one of those experiences that is not related to our effort, thinking or trying whether it is perceived to be in the physical body and/or the mind ( i.e. anger, etc) . It is truly a passive experience that is the complete opposite of trying.
So if all we have to do is “be passive”, why is this so elusive sometimes? The source of our trouble is in what we in BodyTalk call the unconscious mind. All that is just below the surface of our awareness. The storehouse of accumulated beliefs, expectations and ideas of how life should unfold. Perhaps we have a belief under the surface that letting our guard down is dangerous, or maybe we are interpreting the experiences of life as a burden and feeling the weight of our responsibilities. Interesting to note this is a thinking pattern that according to Chinese Medicine theory is held in the shoulders. Beliefs and interpretations are as unique and individual as our fingerprints. Some are “our” beliefs, and some are not even ours, but acquired from our parents, family, religion, culture, community, peers, etc. They influence not only our physical body but the experiences we have in it.
BodyTalk is a modality that addresses all that is just below the surface of our awareness that influences how we experience, interpret and live our lives. I have had clients come in with a huge dispute with a loved one and after the session get a huge “aha” new perspective of the conflict. This new perspective leads them to resolve the experience without even talking to the other person. They can no longer connect to the charge, as the mental constructs that led to the reaction and it’s associated breakdowns in the body/mind patterns are released. The “aha” is felt not only in the mind but often in the body too.
Most of us think the experiences in our lives are being done to us. For example, it’s “my work”, or “my commute” or “my finances” that create the stress response in the body/mind. However it is really not the work, commute or finances that is stressful, but the interpretation of the experience that creates the stress. As we all know one person’s interpretation of stress is completely different than another ( again a result of our experiences and accumulated beliefs, emotions,etc). So we have a work experience and the work experience goes through our filters and beliefs about how work “should be”. Then we judge it against theses beliefs (conscious and/or unconscious) and either have a reaction to it as stress or not.
We can release physical and even mental stress through a physical approach such as the Franklin Method, yoga, meditation, exercise etc. But if the patterning in the mind that creates the interpretation of stress is not released one might experience chronic stressful states, pain in the body, illness, dis-ease etc.