The Anatomy of Letting Go

The Anatomy of Letting Go

E-motion is really energy in motion. Even more precisely, energy is motion/movement. Energy moving is part and parcel of life. You see it in a butterfly unfurling its wings. You feel it as a seed sprouts breaking its shell. You notice the effects of hundreds of thousands of years of water slicing through a mountain to create a river.

So what happens when an individual is overwhelmed with an emotion and clamps down the  pathways to its expressions? What are the habitual tendencies that automatically come to play? How do you work with your rhythmic pulse? Your psycho-somatic history plays a big part in how you navigate excitement in life. Were you raised to fear intensity or to feel alive and big in intensity? Or another option is: Can you truly feel this without fixing it?


Sometimes, the state of excitement reaches a point that the inability to contain it triggers an immediate response from the nervous system. One way is by holding our breath, sucking our bellies in, caving in the chest and begin the freezing response in ourselves. By making ourselves small or invisible, there is a sense that it will be safe somehow. This may have worked at certain times in our lives, yet if this is how we continually face every excitement, there is an imbalance. What may have been a healthy response may now be part of a neurotic wiring.

Another direction may be to immediately discharge the overwhelm by going in a rage, attacking and blaming others. The energy of nervousness gets a percentage of discharge out, but the action also creates further social relational problems. The response of fighting (in its original intention of protecting the body-mind system) gets caught in a re-enactment over and over again, not necessarily to keep one safe now, but more because one lacks the skills to tolerate a certain degree of discomfort in the body-mind system. It becomes a way to self-regulate when in excitement. In this case, self regulation is returning to an individual perceived sense of balance and comfort.

Others self regulate by regulating one’s system with another through touch or other forms of connection. Sex is used this way by many. Some use the act as a form of discharging excess energy. You can follow the build up of tension and the need to release. So the reenactment can be a holographic inducement for the whole system to release and let go on different levels. But does this really open the deeper layers of self to truly let go? What happens when the “normal” experience of self is so far away from a truly physical relaxation?

Another way is to use this energy to circulate and allow it to undulate or flower within the energetic body-mind system. In order to do this, one must be curious to be able to tolerate expansion into occupying a bigger space in yourself. The ability to allow saturation is learned. The capacity to journey into experiencing more nuanced ways of energy expressing itself as your life force is a practice. It is a process of recognizing that the bundled habit of contraction or density that we identify with as self is not really a solid self.

Letting go is not a mental belief. It is an energetic-somatic experience of self. The viscera releases its upward hold into gravity. The tail goes down, the perineum opens and relaxes, the muscles between the toes rest. Is there a felt sensation streaming down your legs? Is there a pulsing that has a new quality in your sense behind your back? Can you sense the space between your fingers? Your sense perceptions become more vivid. There is a genuine relaxation in the whole system as it trusts that the earth can hold it. It doesn’t have to hold itself up anchoring itself by the shoulders or jaws for fear that it will fall down. The earth and space is devoted to you. You can trust that it will contain and move with you.

On this note, I invite you to come to this Thursday’s ( May 19 from 7-9) experiential evening at Open Secret Bookstore in San Rafael. The entrance to this portal is the subject of devotion.

In the meantime, allow space to hold you. It already is.

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