Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

A time to hold on, a time to let go:

While toilet training her toddler, Christina wonders what we're holding on to that we should let go.
By Christina Brown
Date: August 18 2013
Tags: self-help,
Editor Rating:

We are having first pass at toilet training our toddler. So far it’s involved a few long sessions of sitting on the potty during which she is read to, is fed her next meal, or can watch tv. All for a good cause – the ultimate trophy – a sticker on the fridge door.

But I am impressed. As keen for as she is, I can’t help noticing how remarkable she is at holding on …. for ages!

When letting go feels so good and natural, how is it that we have to encourage a little person to be able to let go? Tiny babies don’t bother to hold on. What’s happened now, two years later that she knows how to grip on and has to be taught to relax?

And what about we adults? Surely we are wise enough that we should know better? Why do we hold on?

I have frequently in my life wondered at why I grip onto things, when clinging actually involves more effort that letting go.

Try it out. Grip your fist tight. Now let go. Which involves the most effort? Going soft and floppy is so much easier to sustain the letting go, you would think. And feels much nicer too. Yet we still often choose to hold on.

Talking to Penny, a yoga teacher for kids yoga classes, she told me how her young students LOVE to let go. It’s something their parents haven’t figured out yet, “No one realises how much kids like to relax.” They adore the relaxation.

So kids have it worked out. Why don’t we wise grown-ups let ourselves relax when things are getting grippy?

It actually takes a lot of courage to let go of what we cling to and to release our limited definitions of ourselves. It might feel threatening to let go of what we think we know, even when it is no longer serving us.

What are you holding onto that you would best be without? And what would you like to inhale into your life, your being, your psyche?  

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