Letting go of control, letting go of stress.

There is something that seems to be sort of a catch phrase in our house, "You can't control the people around you, you can only control your reaction to them." I am sure that it isn't a huge surprise that with 4 kids so close in age, there are at times, arguments like;

  1. She is sitting too close to me.
  2. He is looking out my window.
  3. She keeps singing the same song over and over.
  4. He is looking at me.
  5. She is breathing too loud.
  6. He is...insert complaint of the moment.

  I get it, kids will be kids. I try to encourage them to approach the situation more easily by telling them the phrase mentioned above.  While it may seem like it is directed towards them, in reality I am saying it to myself.

  The deeper I delve into my yoga practice, the more I work on my svadhyaya (my self study - meaning both to study by myself, and to study myself), the more able I am to come to some pretty profound truths about myself. Realizing my need for control has been a hard pill to swallow; I am not sure why.

  Growing up, it is no secret, I struggled with my mental health (let's be completely honest, I still struggle with it, although my yoga practice seems to lessen the intensity). I was diagnosed with severe chronic depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive tendencies, which makes it seem funny to me that I didn't know that I liked to control things. My husband used to point out to me when I would be dealing with different situations that I was just trying to be in control. This would always infuriate me. Until one day it didn't, because I realized that he was being truthful. I did indeed have a habit of trying to control everything around me. I don't think that I was trying to control the people as a means to be in a position of power, I believe that it was my attempt to lessen my anxiety by controlling the situations that arose. 


  Insert that little family catch phrase or mantra here. "You can't control the people around you, you can only control your reaction to them." If we expand on this just a little bit ( which I do internally every time that I say it), then it could become, "We can't control what happens around us, we can only control our actions and reactions." I imagine this in a large scale scenes. Like, picturing myself trying to control the weather. The more I let this sink in, the less weight I feel like I am carrying. Surrendering to the truth in this thought is powerful.  Instead of focusing on things that are out of my control, I focus on the fact that my actions and reactions have an impact, sometimes small, sometimes large. 

  Even when it comes to my children this is true.  I focus on what my role is, what I am responsible for. I have come to know, that in reality, I can not and should not control my kids. I have no power in the choices that they make. I have no power over what they chose to believe. I do however have influence. I have (hopefully) control over the way I conduct myself, I can set clear boundaries in our house, and have consequences set in place for their choices. But in the end, the choices are theirs to make. The lessons are theirs to learn. There are parts of this journey that I will just have to sit back and watch unfold.


Sh!t I learned from Yoga - Letting Go...

     Every Wednesday morning I teach a class called "Happy Hips". I try to always switch up my classes. Some days I make adjustments and offer students essential oils to smell. Some days I do guided savasana. Some days I do a reading before savasana, while everyone settles into their rest pose. Some days I do a completely silent savasana. One thing I rarely do, is a reading at the beginning of class. I don't usually set group intentions either. I know that every day, the students come to their mat for different reasons, and I usually prefer to allow them time to set their own intention for their practice.  

     While preparing for class this past Wednesday, I came across a reading that changed my plan for this week. I found this reading and immediately thought it would be best shared at the beginning of class, and offered for all of the student to join me in a group intention, for at least the time we spent in class, to let go.

shannonturnerphotography.com   Algonquin Park 2015

shannonturnerphotography.com   Algonquin Park 2015


She let go
By Rev. Safire Rose

Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of fear.

She let go of judgments.

She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice.

She didn’t read a book on how to let go.
She just let go.
She let go of all the memories that held her back.

She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go.

She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.

She made no public announcement.

She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.

She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.

She didn’t utter one word.
She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort. There was no struggle.

It wasn’t good. It wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her.

And the sun and the moon shone forevermore


     When was the last time that you allowed yourself to just let go.  Maybe today is the day to try...