Ashton Dowdy

Let it Go and Let it Flow

Let it Go and Let it Flow

How many moments of our day, or better yet, our entire lives, do we feel completely and totally at peace? This isn’t to say that we don’t have inconveniences or even very real problems…but rather to ask — how well can we handle these inconveniences and problems without allowing them to derail our day when they present themselves? Can we actually “let it go and let it flow”?

Here’s the truth

Challenges within our lives are inescapable but peace is still possible despite this fact. You may be thinking, “How?! Literally… how? You must not know what I do for my job or who my spouse is!” Or even, “Try raising my kids and see if you still feel at peace!”

Trust me, I get it. I’ve had jobs that were more overwhelming than I could have ever anticipated. I’ve been in relationships with individuals who negatively affected my well-being. Though I don’t currently have my own children, I do have two younger brothers… so I understand how excruciatingly painful it can be to deal with them sometimes.

The vital aspect of these circumstances is that for most of us, we don’t know how to remain calm and objective when stressful situations arise. Rather, we tend to become irrational, agitated, and begin to communicate in a way that is far from effective. This then physically manifests as a negative experience with another individual, maybe an argument or even physical fight, or at least a negative experience with ourselves, maybe going back and forth in our minds about what we don’t want, don’t like, or how we think things should be for us.

Why is peace so important? 

The more time we allow ourselves to remain in a state of stress or negativity, we are quite actually weakening our body’s ability to function optimally. For us to cultivate a healthy environment within, we must learn how to easily flow through the “without,” meaning our external environment or the world (and people) around us.

Breaking it down

So, how do we do that? Well, it takes a while. There is no magic switch that we can just activate when we want our frustration or rage to lessen so do not be discouraged if it feels like you aren’t “getting it.” On the up side, you have all the power! Let me explain…

I know it may be hard to hear (or read…) but the raw truth of our emotions is that we always choose which ones to entertain as they come up for us. We cannot control whether we feel frustration but we do choose whether we immediately react from that place of feeling OR take a moment to consciously consider how we really want to respond despite whatever we may be feeling.

Get this

The interesting part of choosing whether to react or respond is that most of the time, we don’t even know we are choosing because we do it unconsciously. The moment we become triggered or charged, we typically fly into a rage, defending ourselves or what we believe without even a second thought as to what we are doing and what we could be doing differently. We get so caught up in the narrative that we tell ourselves about a particular experience and once it is validated by external circumstances, we feel powerless and try to do everything we can to get that power back.

But what if we didn’t? What if we detached from the need for others to validate our perspective? What if we were okay with letting things be the way that they are? And what if we chose to respond rather than react? How might that look for you? Would you take a deep breath before making a decision on what to say or do? Would you remove yourself from the situation only to return to it when you feel you are in a healthy headspace to do so?

Switching gears

Although it does take time, the more we dedicate conscious effort into responding each time we notice ourselves feeling stressed, frustrated, or just negative in general, the more we are able to strengthen our ability to consciously respond until it becomes just as much of a habit as brushing our teeth! That’s what I mean when I say, “You have all the power!” You literally do!

The effects of this challenge are also unmatched. Prepare yourself to feel peace like you never have before! No longer will you feel the need to replay every undesirable experience in your mind until you have thought your way around it entirely. No longer will arguments go on and on when you know they could be replaced with healthy conversations. Why? Because you will have done the best that you could simply by choosing how to handle yourself in the circumstance.

Take this with you when you go

As you may already know, you are the only person you can control. All else is merely a side effect of how you are handling yourself. So when you feel overwhelmed with emotion, just take a deep breath and remind yourself that all is temporary and this too, can be figured out. There’s even a book called ‘Everything is Figureoutable’ because it all genuinely is! I know it can be easy to become deeply emotionally invested into our experiences but our peace of mind is most important, no matter what we are feeling and it is within our power to create and cultivate it.

I hope that you find yours and always keep it close to you.

Namaste, Ash

Centered Recovery Class Facilitator

Yoga + Meditation Teacher