Letting go. There’s a universe of wisdom in those two words.
Think of all the things you hold on to: fear, control, painful memories, non-productive habits/routine/behaviours/thinking patterns, the list is endless. Being able to let go, to surrender and allow yourself to step into your greatness is a cornerstone of Soul Conscious Living. I will write much more about this in the entry ‘Surrender’ but for now, a question: How do you begin letting go when everything inside you is telling you to hold on?
Believe it or not, you already know how to let go and allow things to flow.
You are wired to survive. You have a nervous system and instincts that have been designed to make sure you survive threats to your wellbeing.
When you are under stress, your Sympathetic Nervous System is activated: blood pressure rises, there is an increase in heart rate, breathing quickens, the large muscle groups contract, the micro muscles (for example in your digestive track) contract and your thinking gets very narrow and focused.
When you are in a peaceful state of Balance, you are living (emotionally) from the Parasympathetic Nervous System: blood pressure goes down, heart rate and breathing slow down, the large and small muscles group relax, the mind ‘opens’ and can think clearly. There is a profound sense of being centered, grounded, balanced, safe and clear in thought.
From an emotional and psychological standpoint, the ideal is to live from the peaceful Parasympathetic Nervous System only activating the Sympathetic Nervous System when responding to a stressful moment. Then, after the stress passes, you return to a state of balance /PSN. However, in the highly demanding, emotionally stressed out lives we live, most people are living from the stressed out SNS all the time. They are jammed in high gear, going full tilt day after day, year after year to such an extent that hanging on for dear life becomes a way of life.
Here’s the good news! Right now, at this very moment, you have within you the ability to shift at will from the stressed out SNS to the peaceful, centered and grounded PNS and that is via Conscious Breathing.
Conscious Breathing is slow, deep (into the belly), peaceful, GENTLE and relaxed breathing. There is nothing is forced about it. It should sound and feel like a wave in slow motion. Each time you exhale allow the stress to fall away from you just as if a sweater is slipping off your shoulders. With each exhalation, let go of trying to control your breathing, simply let the breath go and allow. And each time you sit down to do this breathing be aware that you are pressing the reset button, telling your mind, heart and body to return to it original state of being, one of Balance.
To receive the maximum benefits from this, the key is consistency so aim for doing Conscious Breathing three times a day. Start off slowly with 5 breaths each time and work your way up to what is comfortable to maintain.
Where the heart and mind may have difficulty letting go of a person, situation or memory, you can engage the wisdom of your body to do something it’s already doing (breathing!) to help other aspects of yourself to do so. Once your mind and heart get the message that your body can let go without life falling a part, it feels safer to take this step emotionally in letting go and allowing things to be where they need to be now.
Disclaimer: The information presented on the Soul Conscious Living blog is for educational purposes only and should not, in any way, be a substitute from professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Be sure to consult with your healthcare professional before making any changes to your lifestyle.