When It’s Okay to NOT Let Go

Lately, all kinds of old-me, former-life stuff has been breaching my thoughts.

Those who know me know how radically different my “now” life is from my “then” life a little less than three years ago.  I chose to make major changes that certainly impacted me and a whole bunch of other people in the process.

I’ve been thinking a lot about all that stuff lately and my internal critic is telling me I shouldn’t be having the thoughts.  It’s all over and done, after all.  I keep telling myself that I need to let it all go and then judging myself because I’m not.

Maybe letting go isn’t the issue.

Maybe I need to let things be instead.

My friend Tom Catton says, “If I can’t let it go, maybe I should let it be.”

Such wise words and ones that I’ve taken to heart in the last couple of days.

I don’t know about you but I am a processor.  I love to process, in fact.  I thrive on extricating the details–the whys and wherefores–from situations.  I like to question.  It’s almost as if I have an urgent need to understand a situation or conversation or even a person before I can accept them.

Can you relate?

All this digging and scraping for underlying messages and meaning is part of what makes me good at my job.  However, I am discovering there are also heavy burdens that accompany the seemingly good character qualities.

First, my mind is always “on.”  I find myself constantly nibbling at the edges of whatever I’m hyper-focused on, not satisfied until I’ve thoroughly chewed through all the possibilities and ramifications.

I’m also an angler, continually re-positioning to eye-ball the scene in my mind from a different vantage point.

Plus, I am an ace practitioner of the “yeah buts,” as in “yeah, but what if . . . (fill in the blank).”

When I am in the throes of one of my obsessive mental processes, it is extremely difficult to just stop and let it go.

For reasons I do not understand, however, it does seem easier to let “it” be.

I’ve been practicing.  When I find myself starting the familiar patterns, I stop, take a deep breath and as I exhale, breathe the two-syllable word, “o-kay.”

That one word does a couple of things.  One, I become focused on right here, right now, and two, I realize that everything, absolutely everything, IS okay in the instant I utter the word.

That is the gentle, simple process of mindfulness that is working for me today.  Today is as far as I choose to see with any degree of intensity.  I can make plans for tomorrow but today is the only capsule of time that requires a laser-focus.

I have noticed a third benefit to my new mindful practice.

Breathing the word o-kay feels very loving and generally brings at least a slight smile–always good for this overly intense mind of mine.

What are some simple mindful practices that you use to keep you grounded in the here and now?

Please share!





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