Between the palm trees, radiant sun, and oceans of Thai milk tea, I found myself in a beautiful, little corner of the world. Lying face down and relaxed. Ready to be cared for and manipulated. Ready to let go.
The all-smiles masseuse from Phuket, Thailand pressed her hands, feet, elbows, and goodness-knows-what-else into every sore spot, wound-up muscle, and place of tension in my body. She stretched me in new directions. And lightly slapped, kneaded, and twisted me in ways that almost made me laugh out loud.
As I was lying on the table, eager to let the tension go, I realized something.
We store so many things inside of us.
Failures, guilt, old memories, negative thoughts, hurtful things people have said, stress, anxiety, self-doubt, past relationships, fear, worry, childhood struggles. I’ve only swiped the surface, even for myself.
I have many things I’d like to let go of. I have a lot to learn and am only just beginning. Some of you are already in the process. Others may have mastered this. Wherever you are in the process, I hope you share your experiences and thoughts.
If you have something to let go of, what is it?
Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re holding onto things. They sneak their way into our minds, consciously and subconsciously. They eat away at the goodness within us. They slowly chip at our self-confidence and power to make big things happen in our lives. They tell us what we can’t do and why.
You might be a confident, productive, positive person. Or you might struggle with those things. You could be a careful balance of the two.
Regardless, there are things we all hold onto.
Without a conscious letting go, a realization that things are taking a grappling hold on some part of us, we may ignore these mischievous termites of our psyche. We let them fester and destroy. They make their homes within us. Our minds. Our emotions. Our faith. Our hopes. And our dreams. They’re like messy squatters we can’t get rid of.
It wasn’t even until I was belly down, breathing into a pillow, that I recognized how much I was holding onto. I tried hard to be relaxed and have the talented hands massage away the tension. I had to continually tell myself to let go and just be. Just let her take care of me and heal me.
Sometimes we just need to give ourselves permission to be cared for and healed.
Why do we deny ourselves of something so vital to our health?
Here I was relaxing in paradise-like Thailand, and I still had plenty to release. It isn’t easy to let it go and flush out all of the bad stuff. It’s challenging to have a crystal clear mind in the ever fast-paced world that circles us. It’s a feat to have quiet time in any accurate sense of the word quiet. This isn’t all bad. There are mountains of beautiful moments in our colorful, packed days.
But it offers us very little time to sort through our thoughts and feelings and to let go of some of the things we’re holding onto.
We end up carrying it all along with us, and this makes for a very heavy load.
When we have an opportunity, or make an opportunity, to decisively say, ‘I’m going to release some of what binds me,’ that’s when the real magic can happen. We can to tune into that part of ourselves and try to cleanse the system.
When we give ourselves a chance and the time to let it go, we’ll have a much better shot than if we continue to ramble along at whatever our normal pace is.
But we have to make that effort. We have to consciously set aside time. We have to be in the mindset that we actually want to do this. On a scale from one to frightening or one to super-challenging, we’re all on it somewhere.
We’re all at different stages with different things we need to release. There are some of us who have a lot, a whole house full. Others a shed-sized amount. Others just a box. Depending on the person, there might be so many layers, we’re not sure how much or how deep or why, until we look closer.
There are plenty of methods and tools available to us.
I’ve benefited tremendously from massages, counselors, friendship, prayer, alone time, walks, skiing, even weight-lifting sessions. And my personal favorite: hot tubs. To view more ideas and methods, read Lori Deschane’s, 40 Ways to Let Go.
No matter what technique we use, the mind has to be in a place to unhinge the barnacles.
We have to greet them with a giant, “Hello, You Pesky Thing, I know you’re there. And you won’t be there much longer. I’m going to let you go. I am not willing to let you hang on and hold me back any longer. I have big, powerful, amazing things to do with my life, and you’re not helping. I am giving myself permission to move on and leap forward. I am ready to be free.”
When we have this mindset, the awareness and commitment to release whatever’s binding us, we are able to take steps toward clearing ourselves of their weight and influence. We are dedicated to liberating ourselves, and most importantly, taking care of ourselves.
Even when we are taking the time and are ready, it is still hard and scary.
There are often many coats of a certain paint. It’s been brushed over and over, thickening itself upon us. Scraping back the layers may be painful or confusing. It may take more time than we hope. But we’ll start to feel freer, sooner, than if we had never started.
What we hold onto in our minds gets transferred to our bodies.
We keep tension in our hips, our back, our neck. That’s one reason yoga and stretching are phenomenal. They give our bodies opportunity to cleanse themselves.
When I sat up, my neck felt looser and my feet were on clouds. I felt lighter, fresher, and more confident. The massage had certainly been what the doctor should have ordered. It left me, though, with the thought that I needed to do this a heck of a lot more.
Thai massages, yes. But more importantly, letting go.
Of practicing and dedicating time to releasing the toxins of my mind and emotions, whatever they may be. To say, “Hey, You Pesky Thing. I know you’re there. But you won’t be there much longer.” To seek out ways to cleanse myself regularly and give myself the best darn opportunity to be at my peak. I’ve got a lot of cool, important, exciting things to do. And I’m not willing to miss out on them.
We have to give ourselves the opportunity to refresh and rinse deeper. I know this is something I need to do.
We have to practice letting go.
It might be difficult to make the time or to do it altogether, but we have to give ourselves an opening to be at our very best. Because that’s what we need, and what the world and our loved ones need: for us to be at our very best, ready to follow our passions and live out all of the big, beautiful things we are going to do.
Did you enjoy this post? How could it be improved?
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And head over to our gallery to check out our first pictures from Thailand.