The Seven Stones Blog

From getting to letting

By Shea Adelson

From getting to letting. For someone more familiar and comfortable with orchestrating, a wonderful euphemism for controlling, letting has become a practice into ease and peace.

What, you may wonder, is letting in the first place?

Letting is an access to allowing. A friend shared it perfectly inside of her relationship. “I just let him,” she said. “When my shoulders start to lift up and I cringe at the way the dishes are being done or the way he’s talking silly with the kids, I breathe, and I let.”

Amanda Palmer, the breakthrough musical artist, and formally the 10 foot bride in Harvard Square, devotes a whole Ted Talk to her story of crowdsourcing her music career. She ends by asking the audience to reframe the question: “Rather than ask how to get people to pay for music. Let’s ask, how do we let them pay for music?”

Getting is what we are used to here in the U.S. We get it done. We get people to do stuff. We get them to pay us. We go to the store and get what we need. We do a lot of getting. Getting is okay. We need getting in our lives. But I’m ready for some letting.

Letting out a breath.

Letting tears flow.

Letting someone help me.

Letting snow take its time melting.

Letting a pause so something new can arise.

Letting in.

Letting go.

Experiment with letting today. What do you notice? What becomes available when we let, rather than get?


5 thoughts on “From getting to letting

  1. a few impromptu reflections on your post about “from getting to letting”

    1. orchestration. I never thought about this as controlling. As a trained musician, my first thoughts go to synergizing, shaping, playing, creating, bringing out voice, energy of ensemble. I’ll tune in to how people use the word and the energy in context ..

    2. about letting vs getting
    it’s about making room – creating attunement with space, rhythms, nature, Self, other(s) – has an essence of flow, gracious

    makes available acceptance, contentment,satisfaction, respect, being OK (with dignity), it is enough – away from resentment, annoyance, dislike, anger
    I think about open, connected and receiving;
    “let it be …
    let there be … peace … light … love

  2. Shea,

    I love this. Letting people do instead of getting people to do … anything. So much more relaxing for all involved.

    Thank you!! I love reading things that make my heart open and this did that.

    Danila, Yes, so interesting about the word “orchestrate.” In Shea’s context I picture a well put together woman with grown children and a very intense Thanksgiving dinner–with in laws and such a detailed vision that nobody can breathe. But I can easily see the same scene with every detail thought through and orchestrated, without the control, with space around it.

  3. Letting seems to acknowledge the power of vision, intention and competence. There is always an element of trust involved, a shift in consciousness when the focus is on a result or outcome and the steps are free to happen spontaneously. Its not a naive wishing for something to happen but a secure confidence that it will. This deep faith cannot be faked nor manufactured, its like the trust a baby has that whoever is carrying it won’t drop it. Thanks for sharing this beautiful sentiment.

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