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All of those Caterpillar Legs Holding On

All of those Caterpillar Legs Holding On

The effort isn’t in the climbing up, it’s in the letting go (and flying).

We’re slogging up that branch carrying our heavy body even though we have all those legs. We’re not going to fall because each little foot has a vise grip on each spot.

We’re not letting go.

We’re happy where we are.

We can even imagine what might come next but we know if we fall down, if we let go, we’ll probably die a squishy, gooey death below.

Or a bird will swoop down and eat me.

But yeah.

You know when someone tells you to relax and you think and maybe you even say, “But I am relaxed.” Here’s a little test you can do.

When you think you’re relaxed, clench every muscle you have control over. When you have done that, make it even stronger. Grip your teeth like you’re holding onto a rope that’s keeping you above water. Tighten your toes, flex your back, make muscles in your arms, fists, and even fingers.

At this point, you’re probably holding your breath.

Let that breath out quickly through your mouth. If you’d like to add a little theater and you aren’t in a, well, theater, give it some oomph, make some noise, let your dog know you’re letting go of that breath.

As you let that breath out, unclench all of your muscles. Really let them loose. Ideally, you’re sitting or lying down and not standing because if you’re standing, you’ll probably fall over if you’re really letting it all out.

Feel how loose everything is? Your hands might dislocate from your wrists it seems like. You can even close your eyes but then let your eyelids go heavy, closing over your eyelids like a blanket over a baby at night.

Feel that?

That’s the caterpillar letting go.

OK, OK, biology majors, I know the caterpillar will fall to its demise below if it doesn’t go through the whole cocoon thing, but stay with me here for a minute.

For most of the day, we’re holding on. It’s hopefully not as tightly as the caterpillar is to not fall off the branch but it’s probably pretty close.

Letting go, surrendering, is more about loosening our grip on our daily existence, our familiar thoughts, and even our unfamiliar dreams than it is any sort of strenuous action.

Remember tightening up all of our muscles? That is stress, that is strenuous, that is what we often do all day, all week, all year.

The letting go, the loosening up, the falling from the branch and then, OK, stay with me for the sake of the visual, transforming into a butterfly as we float down is surrendering.

  • Possible: clench
  • Impossible: stay on the branch forever
  • Repossible: let go

Photo by Erik Karits on Unsplash

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