Get out of your groove

by Jill Sockman

Yoga classes, magazine articles, songs on Spotify…everyone’s talking about letting go. What the heck does that mean? And how are you supposed to do it?

Whatever it is that you are holding on to — and the list of possibilities is long: childhood baggage, unforgiven hurts, unhealthy habits, toxic relationships, I could go on and on — chances are good that you didn’t pick it up last week. Part of the holding on is, itself, a habit. And a habit takes time to really cement into your way of being.

So you recognize that you’ve got something tight in your fist (or your mind or your heart) that is holding you back. Whether it’s animate or inanimate, it regularly has your attention, your time, your energy, and you’ve determined that there are better places to put those precious resources. How do you actually let go?

I love the quote “the only difference free online pokie machines between a groove, a rut and a grave is depth.” In yoga, these habits, or ruts can be called samskaras. For a quick definition, a samskara is the way you’ve always done it before- always leading to the same result.

While eventually we’d like to be free of samskaras, living ever-present in the eternal Now, that’s a pretty lofty aspiration for most of us on the mortal plane. Unless you’re clothed in gossamer, wings a-trailing behind you with a harp soundtrack, that might just not be for you this go round. What to do?

Start by doing something different. Make a new, healthier, more productive, accepting, compassionate groove. See the pattern about to repeat itself, white-knuckled and closed-hearted, and make a change. It can feel terrifying or exhilarating, but over time it feels lighter, more free. And eventually you look down and see that closed fist has softened to an open hand. Ready to receive something new.