As I danced around at my Nia class on Saturday morning I had a flash of an “Aha!” moment. Suddenly I could see that I was holding back. My arms weren’t going as high as the dance demanded, my body wasn’t as expressive. I was feeling a little shy even though no one was watching me at all.
Sometimes I have trouble letting go.
The magic of that moment was that I noticed the holding back, right there in the middle of the dance. And the question, “What am I waiting for?” came to mind.
And at that I grinned, swung my hips out a little farther, felt the music a little deeper in my belly, took a big round breath, and felt more alive than I had in a really long time.
Where are you holding back in your life?
And what are you waiting for?
“Letting go is a big risk. People are scared out of their minds to let go. To really let go of everything. To let go of everything! That’s the big one, isn’t it?”
– Maurine Stuart
I am my own wall. All this time I had been thinking that SOMETHING was holding me where I was – with regards to running, yoga, writing, singing, etc etc. I haven’t run in almost 2 years and I used to love it! I am TERRIFIED of doing a headstand in yoga. I think about writing all the time but I never write what I’m thinking. And singing…well, I used to sing my little heart out when I was younger and now, maybe my voice eeks out in small eeps and urps. I am my own wall when I should be a rubberband – stretching and bouncing. I have a lot to let go of. I don’t know how I let it all pile up.
Andrea — your post comes at a wonderful time… I’m about to leap into the unknown with a project I’ve been working on, and I find myself hanging onto the edge afraid to let go. Thanks for the nudge!
Letting go is huge for me. I need to do it more often; have more faith.
As usual, beautifully put, Andrea! Sometimes we just need to let go and really live.
And that photo is *stunning*!
Both of my sons (11 and 7) have recently discovered softball, so my very first thought on seeing your photo was “a catcher’s mitt!”, then “a beautiful red Claes Oldenburg chair!”, then “how’d she get the tulip to do that?!”
Love this photo and this post.
Mmm. Andrea, your message on letting go is powerful.
Recently I heard someone say, “The greatest enemy of extraordinary is multi-tasking.”
Focusing on what we love… letting go of things we don’t.
Your tulip looks like a really funky chair.
You know those ones that look like a hand?
V v v cool!
Oh mah goodness, this comes to me after seeing the movie “Mad Hot Ballroom” last night. It’s so dang good! Reminded me how simple it really is to feel alive. It that feeling we’d all like to have more often, that feeling of pure freedom. These inner city kids that learn to ballroom dance are so innocent and down-right hilarious. They have not yet fully learned to put all those “limits and rules” on themselves, as we do. I made a mental note to take my inner-goofy-free-form-dancin’-kid to a salsa class this week a and see what happens.
Singing “Safety Dance” in my head today. 😉
Safe to Dance,
love the picture, it’s like the tulip is opening it’s door and inviting us in.
What a wonderful photo! The tuplip looks just like a little cup, waiting to be filled up. Loved you comments on letting go….You’re so right on the money! What is it, we all are waiting for!!?? Have fun! Enjoy! Time waits for no one. I love that you are taking a class incorporating the Nia technique! Isn’t it a hoot?? The Pilates studio in my neighborhood just introduced Nia classes on Tues. nites about 3 months ago….I went out of curiosity, (and bordom with my old excercise routine) & I am so hooked!! It’s fun and freeing. I’m glad you are letting go and really getting into the swing of it!! Enjoy!! And dance like nobody’s watching and you haven’t a care in the universe!! Rock on!! 🙂
this is completely random. but sometime last year (i think) you featured a company that writes personal histories or memoirs. does this ring a bell? if so, i would love the name of the company… my mom will be 55 this year, and that would be a great gift. thank you for your time, and your beautiful words that inspire truth in all.
Once upon a time, I lived on a houseboat in Sausalito. There was a big, hard rainstorm and the tide got very high. So high that we had to grab onto the ropes tying the houseboat to the pier. The water had risen so much that the metal ‘collars’ that looped over the pilings were floating freely above the pilings. So we stood on the pier the morning after the rainstorm and held onto the ropes–to literally keep our home from floating away–until the tide went out enough that we could slip the collars back over the pilings. But I often wondered: what’s the worst that could have happened if we’d let go of the ropes? The water wasn’t rushing–the ropes probably wouldn’t have snapped. But we held onto those ropes with such urgency. And it seems a perfect metaphor for what I (and so many others) do in life. Although life often feels more like a river than a bay. I believe the fear isn’t in the letting go because that’s such a huge, freeing rush–that letting go moment. For me, the fear is about being beat up by the current…maybe being smashed against some rocks. But I’ve had a kayak tip over unexpectedly…I know what it’s like to get banged up on some rocks. It didn’t kill me…didn’t even hurt me…but it scared me. And that’s what I’m afraid of letting go of–that fear of being scared. In my deepest places, that’s always what it boils down to…not the fear of making an ass of myself (lord knows, I’ve done that enough)…but that fear of being scared…
Your timing on this post couldn’t be better! Last week, I realized that there were two things I have been afraid to let go of:
1. A job that I dread but it pays the bills
2. The idea that I am not meant to fall in love
This week, I decided that:
1. I am going to leave my job by July 15
2. I am falling in love, and it is good
Things feel so amazing and open again, and I can’t help but smile and have hope.
Thank you for all of your reminders of these things.
Isn’t it lovely, those moments when you do let it all out and open yourself? Last month at Chochmat HaLev, the Jewish meditation center in Berkeley I’ve mentioned to you before, the sermon was about how if you let your “sap” build up, it will find ways to seep out, so let go of self-imposed obstacles and self-consciousness that keeps you from being your full self. We were all encouraged to get up and dance and sing during the service. It’s a nice little reminder to get from you, too!
thanks for putting that question in my head.
(also, I loved the ape photo 🙂
The quote stated that “People are scared out of their minds to let go” ~ I think it’s about being scared IN our minds that’s the problem. For me, anyway, it’s my mind chatter and fearful thoughts that get me all scared and worked up. I’m working on releasing my thoughts and clearing my mind to allow me to let go. It ain’t easy! ~Thanks for your honest blogging.
I’ve been meaning to suggest this to you – have you ever thought about selling your photographs on t-shirts, lunchboxes, etc.? I recently ran into a website called cafepress.com, and immediately thought of you. They do print-on-demand for the people who would be ordering your stuff, and there are no upfront costs – you just upload your pictures, choose what items you want them to be available on, and they send you profits from whatever you sell. Just an idea.
this post has really had me thinking…. for me, it goes hand in hand with your a cautionary tale post… after I read that post I started asking myself, what am I holding onto? What’s stopping me from things… so many reasons came to mind and to be honest, they were excuses, not concrete reasons.
I told myself I couldn’t join a gym because I was too shy, didn’t want people looking at me, I was too uncomfortable. Truth is, I am uncomfortable being the weight I am. It’s funny how sometimes we can’t be truthful to even ourselves, the one person we should be the most truthful with.
So, I started to do a little soul searching wihtin myself. I told myself if I am going to be happy living in Erie, I’ve got to make a life for myself here. Even if I am afraid. No matter what.
Since June 1st I’ve joined a gym, went to scrap booking classes (even made a book and sent it to my dad for father’s day), joined a knitting group and will start taking violin lessons next week.
I think I’ve decided fear can either drive me away from something, or I can use it to drive me right into what scares me the most. I’ve really enjoyed these last three weeks because of it too.
Thank you for always sharing with us, you just never know how it’s going to touch someone and even give them the little push they’ve really needed.
ps. I’ve been so interested in the Nia classes you’ve been mentioning but Erie doesn’t have classes here. I ordered the cd and dvd so I can dance here at home. 🙂
What a beautiful photo. This has been my favorite of your journal entries so far, it’s the one I can relate to the most. If all of us could just let go more often. Ah,,, I am new to your site and really enjoy looking at it daily.
You are an amazing person with so many talents.
I linked to your site from somewhere a while back and bookmarked you. I love the atmosphere you create in your journal 🙂
You’re so right about letting go. The only thing stopping me from good things right now is not quite letting myself go. I’m holding back on starting my own business or finding a job of my dreams. I’m holding back on letting people see that I’m a good person. And I guess I’m not sure what I’m waiting for…maybe for myself to ask that same question. Thanks for pointing out the need to let go.
your blog is one of those that makes my feet start kicking around under the desk waiting for the pics to open. i just love reading your stuff. thank you.