Sounds so simple. If you try to hold on too long to the air in your lungs, it hurts. When you let it out, it feels good. And you don’t do it once or twice then say, ‘great… I’ve done my breathing in and out for the day. What’s next on my to do list?’ Even if you’re reading this in the morning, you’ve already taken at least six thousand breaths today.
The ongoing practice of taking in, letting go. Taking in, letting go.
Over the years I’ve belted out the song with the various little people I know (and maybe once or twice on my own round the house). But I never really understood ‘letting go’ until Jon Kabat-Zinn explained the process in this breath-related way… “it’s something you practise over and over again, moment by moment by moment, every time you catch yourself clinging to something… [if you don’t let this breath go] there’s no room for the next breath.”
(note to self: consult experts, not Disney songs, for spiritual guidance in future… except Hakuna matata. Pumba is the expert of hakuna matata)
Life is not always simple. The practice of letting go isn’t easy. But maybe you can…
Receive the love and memories and kindness that a person who matters to you has given you. And release. Receive the pain as you start to lose them. And release… even though it seems impossible. Even though it feels like no one else can imagine how impossible.
Receive the thoughts and prayers of anyone who has ever lost someone. They surround you though you might not know it. If you can make room for it… let the love rush in.
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