Letting Go to Increase Flow
Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Sometimes we hold onto an idea so tightly, it can't breathe.
I've been spending a lot of time digging in and trying to formulate my next archetype workshop. And I feel like I've just been spinning in circles. There are so many different avenues I can take, different twists, perspectives, and paths. I started to formulate an idea, and the potential of possible paths spun me off into the ether. I kept grasping for something, anything I could settle on. I found myself holding so tightly, that any idea that started to spark would quickly lose its light and fade.
My frustration with my creativity not being demand started to turn into doubt. And that doubt started to seep into other areas of my life, growing to a general sense of uncertainty in my knowledge, my skills and myself. And just as I started to put voice to those doubts, I learned that my current workshop sold out and I gained another client. That nosey universe must have been eavesdropping again.
If you've been attending my recent studio classes, you know that I have been reviewing the eight limbs of yoga, as outlined in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. We recently reviewed the fifth Yama, aparigraha, or non-hoarding, non-grasping. The Yamas refer to how we interact with others, often translated to restraints. And aparigraha relates to not taking more than we need. Not taking more materials things than we need, such as food or possessions, not taking more time than we need by occupying someone's time unnecessarily, or showing up late. Aparigraha can show up on our mat by not reaching for a pose that is not in our body today, not holding onto a vision of our practice that is not true to our current nature.
And in this case, I was not practicing aparigraha with one of my closest companions, my creativity.
I have a fellow teacher that always says, "you cannot pour from an empty cup." My creativity cup was dry and I was still grasping, reaching for something that was not quite developed. Sometimes we have to back off to pose to get the true benefit of the alignment. Sometimes we have to back off of our mind to allow it to collect itself, sort through the knowledge and when that idea is ready, it will present itself.
So I stepped away. I directly my focus elsewhere and let go of the expectation to have a workshop or series planned out by a certain date. And guess what? That idea presented itself to me last night and started to flow. And before I knew it, I had the description written, and was selecting the date. (You'll have to stay tuned to see what it is!)
It didn't matter how much I wanted the idea to come. It wasn't coming until it was ready, and trying to force it only pushed me into a state of self-doubt. It needed to build, pulling together the research and knowledge I had acquired until it blended in a way that could make the puzzle clear.
Practicing aparigraha gives us the space to flow. Whether that shows up in the possessions we acquire, the way we value others' time and space, or how honor our own body and mind. If we let go, we can be free, we can flow.
“Rushing into action, you fail. Trying to grasp things, you lose them. Forcing a project to completion, you ruin what was almost ripe. Therefore the Master takes action by letting things take their course. He remains as calm at the end as at the beginning. He has nothing, thus has nothing to lose. What he desires is non-desire; what he learns is to unlearn. He simply reminds people of who they have always been. He cares about nothing but the Tao. Thus he can care for all things.”
~ Lao Tzu ~