Hold Lightly

As I mature, the more I realize the value of “holding lightly.” Different from “letting go,” which indicates an effort or an action that often requires more energy than I can muster; holding lightly allows me to simply open my hand (or my heart, or my mind). This tender action creates room for possibility rather than the vacuum often created by pushing something aside.

Have you ever “let go” of something only to have something else immediately take its place? You decide to give up biting your nails only to take on chewing gum until your jaw hurts. This is an example of the vacuum generated by letting go. Releasing a habit, a relationship, a discomfort only to blindly take on another. It becomes an unhelpful cycle.

Breaking the cycle can happen when we choose to be present and hold the challenge lightly. Ask yourself,” What would happen if, rather than pushing something away, I take a minute to sit with it?” If I turn my palms up instead of out?” You may find that this state of curiosity allows you to kindly keep eye contact when holding a hard conversation, or maybe you realize that biting your nails brings neither joy nor relief. From this space real change can happen, because you are aware and engaged.

We live in a divisive world where it feels like absolutes rule. Holding lightly creates room for various perspectives to intermingle. Holding lightly creates space to learn, to grow, to heal, to move, to breathe, to transform. If you’d like to feel this play out in the body, try this: Sit with a tall spine, or lie on your back. With your inhale, tense your muscles and make fists with your hands, observe how this feels physically, energetically, and emotionally. On the exhale, release muscular tension and turn the palms up. Repeat this cycle 2-3x. At the end of the final exhale, rest easy for several moments. In which state do you feel more open and receptive? Intension? In the repetitive cycle? Or when you lingered in the out breath? Hold lightly, friends, and stay curious.


– Daneen Farrall, Sacred Hour Yoga Teacher and Staff Writer