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The Art of Emotional Alchemy

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What My Walk Revealed To Me About Letting Go

letting-go-alan-watts-quote

I was on a walk today, while getting over a slight cold which I picked up the other day. I find it refreshing and healthy to go on walks when I am sick because it gets me out of the stagnation of sickness that can be built up in my apartment. I was all set to go, and put in the Walter Mitty soundtrack to listen to as it’s been a place of inspiration of my life lately.

I was thinking about what some of the most potent lessons in giving up control in a relationship were when a logical string of events crossed my mind. Some people may struggle with this, as I have, and continue to work toward this old habit that comes up. It was one of my more potent lessons on letting go while on my walk. 

As I watched the birds overhead the thoughts came to me like watching a wave curl overhead.

“If your fear is of losing something. 
Don’t graph onto it.
Don’t try to control it.
Don’t try and possess it.”

The paradox of letting go

This paradox took me back for a moment. It’s such a simple guideline. The more I let this sit, the more potent it can had become. I saw that when we are afraid of losing something we tend grip tight to it, and we typically try and find any way we can to keep it in our grasp.

But what does this typically lead to?

Before I answer that I want to tell a story about some of the many cats that I have had the pleasure of meeting in my day. Some just love attention and will shamelessly seek it but that is not the kind of cat I am talking about. What I am talking about are the ones that when you try and get close they back away. They play hard to get.

If you sit in stillness and let go of your desire to WANT the cat, it will come on its own accord. Out of it’s own curiosity to be pet by you.

So do you see, it’s by letting go and allowing what the situation to be free to what it wants to do, do we have complete control. Even satisfied moreso then trying to get something we really have no control over to begin with.

The suffering that comes with gripping tight

When we try and control the outcome, or we grip tight. We end up repelling the thing we don’t want to have leave us. Look at it from a relationship stand point. Isn’t that how a lot of relationships start to fall apart? We want to control how something should be, whether it’s a circumstance or the love of our life.

When this happens, typically there will be a distancing and communications begin to shut down. Over time the grasping gets stronger because we don’t “get what we want,” and so the distance becomes greater to the point of un-bearability.

So if you see yourself in this, just know that it is not something you alone struggle with. It may take a bit of practice but letting go is important to a healthy relationship. The idea that you need this person in your life to be complete is not true. You are complete regardless, and always have been. 

Letting her/him be free to be who they are, may save your relationship with the right intention.

As Osho said of the flower,

“If you love a flower, don’t pick it up.
Because if you pick it up it dies and it ceases to be what you love.
So if you love a flower, let it be.
Love is not about possession.
Love is about appreciation.”

Emotional Alchemist: Benjamin Smythe

ben smythe emotional alchemy

I am very glad and honored to say that I’ve had the ability to share some kind words with Benjamin Smythe over a short span of time. A very kind hearted buddy of mine that I’ve never actually met. There is just something about this charming young fellow that attracts people to him.

When I first started watching his videos I noticed something very very important that emotional alchemy typically incorporates. That is the idea that in order to live a good life, one needs to see that they are loved. Self-Love is one of the big keys to expressing unconditional love and sharing it with others.

Ben Smythes talks exudes gobs of this self-contentment/self-love, in various ways. He is one of the most vulnerable/courageous people to date that I’ve witnessed via facebook. He is not afraid to get down and dirty and to tell it like it is. Yet he holds the compassion of 10 thousand lions (that would make a good band name) caring for each other in their den.

This is one rad dude. no joke. So I decided to ask him three questions all of which he answered perfectly. How can he not though, the answers are the embodiment of what it means to be Ben Smythe. And in he comes to share,

Q:What were your three most potent realizations that got you to who you are right now.

BS: language is the only thing that is alive.

this is the brain breaking realization of life existing only in sound. without language, nothing happened.

Q2:What do you consider to be your emotional alchemy?

BS: “what do i want?” is the living answer of the skeleton.

“what do i want?” cannot be escaped by any language, i.e. the story of my life is not my life.

Q3: What are your 4 most practical ideas or strategies you use that help you live a good life and to help others on their journey of being a human?

BS: 

  • 1. there is no time machine.
  • 2. no one is coming.
  • 3. minimalism = maximization.
  • 4. the test: (a tool i made)
  • 1. what is the wish?
  • 2. what is reality?
  • 3. what is felt when wish doesn’t match reality?
  • 4. what is felt when reality is wished for?

And with lots of respect from me to him and him to I, I leave you with this little nugget for you all to enjoy. We are all in this together learning from the process of life. Sharing notes, and finding out what works best! I will leave you with an awesome video which falls under how to have a healthy relationship that Ben has been kind enough to share his notes on with the world. Blessings to you guys.

If you enjoyed the article, and/or like the video, you can find Ben Smythe on his own YouTube channel here.