We live in a vigilant culture. We are inclined to believe that if we do not prop things up, everything will fall apart. We come by this honestly. Our vigilance may be necessary on the make-ends-meet level.
However, it turns out we are not wired that way at the emotional and spiritual levels. On the contrary, in these realms it is more beneficial to stop propping things up and
let things return to their natural state. Emotionally this may translate to simply allow ourselves to feel what is going on. At the spiritual level it may mean to “let go” or “just be.”
This is one of the values of going on a retreat or vacation. The premise of retreat is to set things up so all of the day-to-day demands of life are taken care of for a period of time. Then you can let go of being vigilant and propping things up.
I bumped up against this while on meditation retreat a few weeks ago. Everything had been attended too, and I had seven days to sit with myself. Yet even after a few days of unwinding, I noticed I was still conditioned to prop everything up. When the retreat facilitator invited me to “just let go and let everything be as it is,” my mind did not trust that this would work out very well.
But I worked with doing this anyway for the next 5 days- with varying degrees of success. My mind would object saying “I can’t just let go like that.” I assured my mind, “You have such an important job of keeping things propped up in my day-to-day life, but right now, you can take some time off.” And sure enough, underneath all the propping up, there really was peace- everything got to be as it is.
So what can you do to give your mind some time off and return to your natural state for a while? I go to retreat, my friend goes on fishing trips, while others go to the beach. What is it for you? Once you get there, I will extend the invitation to you that was given to me, “Just let go and let everything be as it is.” You may need to reassure your mind a bit.
About the Author
I, Michael Hoffman, am a licensed psychotherapist, teacher, and author with 25 years experience in counseling and teaching experiential workshops. I have maintained this blog since 2009, and my second book Natural Way of Being will published in 2019.
I offer in-person and video-conferencing counseling, intensive workshops, and online courses to allow participants to directly experience their natural way of being and the life they would have for themselves.