That’s what Robin, our kundalini instructor, said this morning.
We had just finished a meditation which we later learned was 15 minutes long. Fifteen minutes, you guys! It was weird. Like, really weird. We chanted, with no music today… just a 4-line Sanskrit chant. Three of the lines ended with a really strong huh sound that we made by squeezing our diaphragms, bellows-style. It went on and on, and time stretched and compressed like a telescope. It felt like we’d always been chanting and had just started chanting and would maybe never finish chanting, then suddenly/finally, she said, Breathe deeply and pause your breath…. and…. release. It wasn’t until the end of class that she told us we’d been doing the meditation for 15 minutes. CRAZY!
Anyway… we were making the transition from our seated meditation pose to the lovely lie-on-your-back-and-breathe portion of the class.
Lie down, Robin said, and let yourself be __________________
Those two letters hung in the air and the silence stretched out behind them. Even after writing a few weeks ago about getting comfortable with saying, simply, “I am,” I waited for Robin to finish that sentence. Let yourself be… what?! Then the realization slapped me in the forehead. That was the finish to the sentence.
Let yourself be.
Not anything in particular.
It’s a powerful concept, no?
And today is not the first time someone has suggested that I might feel a whole lot better about everything if I let things be. As they are. Not a particular way. Maybe not even my way (ahem). Just as they are.
I have a scrap of paper from my last session with my therapist, from the day I was “graduated” and she told me I was welcome to come back if I needed to talk, but that she thought I was in really good shape. Her parting words, written in her friendly handwriting: Let it be.
My dad gives excellent advice. The words I’ve heard from him most often: It’s good to be alive. Just enjoy yourself, honey.
At yoga: satnam.
There is a recurring theme, if I slow down and pay attention.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve listened to songs by the Beatles so many times, it’s hard to really hear them anymore. But as a pre-holiday gift to yourself, I encourage you to listen to this song. Really listen. Hear what it has to say. And get it stuck in your head so you can sing along whenever you need to during this wondrous, but potentially stressful, holiday season.
Allow yourself to be. Be everything. Be nothing. Be you. Be happy. Be frustrated. Be surprised. Be hungry. Be sated. Be joyful. Be apprehensive. Be excited. But mostly…
Update 12/18/11: My remarkable husband Dave posted some additional versions of “Let It Be” in the comments; they’re definitely worth checking out. He writes, “Sometimes, its easier to appreciate an old song if you hear it in a new way.
Here’s Paul McCartney, doing the song in Red Square in 2003. When he wrote the song, his music was illegal in Russia, and available only through the black market. Some of the people in the audience seem old enough to remember: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8jrd5UYNFs
Here’s Ray Charles, doing his thing with the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eof2c5fTcI8
And here’s a really lovely acoustic cover by an earnest young man who calls himself ‘thefriendlyfreak’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5e_6m3KpjQ
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