To swim in the energy of letting go, for practice, imagine your breath is a wave filling you up and then going back out to shore. Inhale deeply and then exhale fully, completely...
“Sometimes holding on does more damage than letting go.”
As humans, I’d say we’re more used to seeking and acquiring in order to solve or create, than we are to letting go. Letting go is often under-rated because it’s passive. It can feel like “a waste of time” or it may even never occur to us to let go. We are always reaching out to grasp, to attain and acquire. Why let go? Because letting go is part of the ebb and flow of life and sometimes holding on does more damage. Letting go has an energy that is feminine, in the sense that it releases even as it’s opening for another cycle of receiving. It flows hand in hand with the “seeking and acquiring” energy, but isn’t always second nature.
Letting go isn’t always easy but the full moon in Libra is just the right teacher to help us relax our attachments and go with the flow. Attachments exist at the level of the mind and in the web of the chakras causing a slowness and uneven-ness of the vital life force that moves through our bodies. Too much of this and it becomes damaging to hold on, with over-attachment. Libra full moon’s energy is a great time to attain balance through the process of letting go.
The beautiful thing about letting go is that we can often be surprised at what shows up when we let go in acceptance. We can be surprised at the peace that replaces the tension required to hold on to our attachments. We can be surprised by the new things that show up in its place. We can also be surprised by the sense of lightness and balance that letting go leads to. When we fight letting go, we exhaust ourselves, we exhaust everyone else, we drain our own creative energy by stubbornly holding on. That’s why the Libra full moon energy comes to help us release, let go, clear out. Its job is to achieve balance by helping us to let go of all that’s unnecessary, not through hard work, but through the passive act of letting go. Libra’s goal is balance, so letting go sets us up to receive more in a balanced way.
To swim in the energy of letting go, for practice, imagine your breath is a wave filling you up and then going back out to shore. Inhale deeply and then exhale fully, completely. Linger in that space after full exhalation just to observe what happens. More often than not you’ll discover that your body will let go just a little bit more, like when the wave goes out and keeps receding just when we think it’s going to rush back towards us on the sandy shore. Notice that no matter how much you let go, the breath will always return to you unfailingly, just like the ocean tides.
The exhale represents letting go. Many of us have shallow breathing and never fully exhale. This is a form of holding on. Shallow breathing denies our bodies the ability to take in a full, fresh breath of air, adding to the tension we hold onto, physically and emotionally. If you only partially exhale, there’s less space for your lungs to take in fresh life giving air and the prana that rides in on that air. By relaxing at the bottom of the exhale for a few seconds longer than you would normally before you inhale, you’ll notice you can take in a bigger inhalation. You’ve cleared away psychic clutter keeping your lungs from expanding and allowed your body to receive more than it was previously receiving. Shallow breathing is when holding on does more damage than letting go, when it keeps us from receiving the fullness of what life has to offer us.
You can also practice letting-go on the inhalation as well. Because the pressure that exists inside your lungs is less than the pressure of the environment that surrounds you, there’s no need to struggle to inhale. We often tense the body, thinking we have to exert ourselves to take in air, but the reality is that if we didn’t do anything at all, but remained in a passive state of letting go, the body would naturally inhale easily, instead of tensing. In many ways this is the ultimate at the foundational level, of letting go; to be relaxed enough to watch the breath breathing your body, instead of having to strain the body to take in the breath.
I often say to clients in guided meditations, “Don’t chase after the inhalation. Gently observe the air finding its way into your nostrils, your sinus passages and your lungs.” Working with this concept of letting-go is a foundational way to work with the full moon energy of libra. Your body and mind will become accustomed to letting go as you practice to exhale fully and inhale with observant grace.
As you work with your breath you’ll become adept at looking beyond the breath and into the other cluttered places in your mind and surroundings. You’ll find answers to such questions as: What do you have in your life that you are having a hard time letting go of? Why are you attached? What do you think will happen if you let it go? What issue is it reinforcing by holding on? The answers will lead to more self-discovery, and to more letting go. May the full moon in Libra help you celebrate the process of letting go as it brings you to balance and prepares you to welcome in all that you are destined to enjoy.