Making it Happen or Letting it Happen

This is a dance:  the dance of making it happen or letting it happen.  Sometimes you exert your will to manifest change and that is good.  History is chaulk full of examples of making change!  Sometimes you release into the flow of life and let change happen.  That is also good.  It is not an either/or.  Its a “both”.  Its also about finding the balance between the two and accepting when we get it wrong.

This applies to our health, to our yoga practice, to our relationships and all the changes that all of our life inevitably and constantly has.

Years ago now, I felt I was always walking into the wind.  It was so tiring.  I was a pretty “willful” person.  Liked making things happen, going after what I wanted, making decisions and not looking back.  But, one day the image of always walking into the wind made me stop and pause and think about that.  Why was I always walking INTO the wind?  What would walking WITH the wind behind my back feel like for a change?  It was one of those aha moments.

I decided to give it a try.  It was an interesting experiment that led to both feeling a relief to not be fighting against an invisible force and yet also a nervous fear of not being in control.  But, I played with that dance for a while.  Again, sometime later when I found a much more gentle, restorative style of yoga practice I came to realize that I was NOT as calm and laid back as I imagined.  Again, I had to learn to let go and stop striving in my yoga practice.  Stop trying to “make it happen” and let my body unfold INTO the poses.  Effort and Ease became catchphrases in my teaching.  Sometimes its effort, sometimes its ease.  I watch some of my students who would benefit from easing into a pose versus struggling to force their bodies to do what they are not ready for.  Other times I watch students who are not going to their full potential and I want to encourage them to implement effort.  Sometimes I see that same pull in either direction in my own practice and in my life.

I don’t come by flowing with life easily and must continually re-learn that little lesson.  Recently when my dogs ran into the side of my leg, I learned it again.  See, if a dog runs into you from behind, the chances are that you will go with the flow of energy and fall to the ground.  You won’t like it but it is much better than if they, say, run into the side of your leg where you knee doesn’t naturally bend and instead its breaks.

I’m not being hard on myself.  Naturally, I could not dictate where my dogs would run into my leg!  But, it was another reminder that resistance and walking into the wind is not always to one’s advantage!  For the times we do get to choose one way over the other, pause to think what is really required in that situation.  Always “making it happen” can be exhausting.  It can deplete the body and the spirit.  Always “letting it happen” can rob you of feeling like you have a say in your own life.  Sometimes “making it happen” can be empowering and invigorating.  And, sometimes “letting it happen” can allow life to unfold in a much more easeful way.

“We can only come to it {liberation} through a process of surrender of the ego and its endless seeking of goals.”  David Frawley