The illusion of control

“When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.”
Alan Watts

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When Charles was leading a group in breathwork yesterday, people became aware of how they hold tension in their bodies.  And they realized that the tension represented experiences or memories of events that were challenging for them.  At first, they were fighting the tension.  Tetany.  Struggle. Fear.

But then when they finally relaxed, and cried, it was like a ton of bricks had been lifted.

Physical discomfort is a signal that you’re holding an emotional pain.  The insight and memory of events creates the space for you to heal or be liberated from the pattern of energy that hurts you.  Increasing your awareness about the flow of energy in your body, and the blocks or resistance to that flow, gives you the opportunity to change.

But that doesn’t mean that you know the cause of your physical discomfort or pain.  That’s a common misunderstanding in the mind-body healing community.  Having a memory associated with a pain doesn’t mean you know the cause.  You don’t have to know where the pain came from.  You don’t have to judge the memories.  When you judge and blame, you’re continuing to inflict harm.

Causes are complex.  There are multiple factors that influence an outcome, including outcomes such as illness or pain.  Thinking that you know the cause of something gives you the illusion of control.  And it is an illusion.

We’re not saying that you can control outcomes.   You’re not to blame for your pain.  We’re saying that it’s beneficial to let go of control.  When you breathe and you relax or you do movements like Kai Chi Do, you are in a state of allowing — not control.  From a state of allowing, that’s when your awareness increases.  That’s the benefit of breathwork.  That’s the benefit of Kai Chi Do.  It helps you get into a state of allowing.  From that state, the miracle happens.  Miracles such as healing, insight, realization.  When you are in a state of allowing, whatever idea or thought or insight you need can come to the surface — through the path of least resistance.

Trying to control outcomes is living in fear.  It’s expecting pain.  Anticipating it.  And the more you try to make something happen, the more effort and tension you apply, the less energy you have flowing.

You can’t be inspired if you are holding your breath.

It’s when you relax, when you are receptive, that the realizations you need come to you.  The more you relax, and let go of controlling the outcome, the more Life juice you deliver to that goal and intention.   And what you need can reach you.

photo by David Paul Ohmer at Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

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