Let go

It’s more about what you let go than what you accomplish.

photo courtesy of herwings on flickr

I read an article a while back in a yoga magazine. It referenced some twisting pose with the words: “It’s more about what you let go than what you accomplish.” I wrote it down, and forgot about it until the other morning when I was stuck writing my book proposal. I didn’t know what to do first, second or last.

My body tensed. My shoulders rose into my neck. I locked my jaw, clenched my teeth, held my breath, and turned myself into one dark, unyogi-like knot.

Maybe a twist would help.

Crunchy yogic wisdom claims that twists will help detoxify your organs by wringing out the bad stuff – like the four slices of cheese pizza I ate last night.

Twisting is hard. It’s hard to spin your trunk and head in one direction, while everything else is turned in the other. (Kinda like Regan from the “Excorist,” but not really.) My left leg reaches behind me while my right knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. I’m in a lunge, facing forward. I press my palms together in prayer and twist from my lower back. My left elbow presses against the side of my right knee. My belly rests on my thigh.

Soften your belly, whispers my instructor.  Make space there. Don’t forget to breathe. And hold…

…it’s not about the pose, you know…

The other day, I stopped by my parents and, of course, spent an hour chatting with my Dad.  He showed me pictures of some pet portraits he recently completed. He was really pleased by the way they turned out. He wasn’t referring to only the craft and style, but the experience. When he presents the pieces to the pet lovers he created them for, he makes them cry, smile, stammer, or some crazy combination of all three emotions. To him, that’s what it’s about: creating an experience. As he explores different themes, he told me that he’s not looking to be a celebrity. He’s happy creating art that he enjoys and that makes others happy.

recent pet portrait by Frank Argento

Once you let go, you have everything you need.

It’s not about the finish line or fame, or money, or publication.  It’s the act or process of getting there that matters. Once you let go, the things you have left are what you need.

Now, if I can just unlock myself from this twist, I can get back to work.

What do you think?

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