Holding Things Lightly

Could you be missing out on a joy-filled life because you are holding on too tightly to a dream? a plan? a thing? a person?

A few years back I remember hearing a speaker share about the plight of monkeys in south america who were losing their freedom, and oftentimes, their life because they held on too tightly to something they craved — food. Hunters would set up a trap using a tree that had fallen. They would hollow out a section of the tree and bore a whole of a certain size that a monkey could manage to get their hand inside. They would strategically place a desirable treat inside which would attract the monkey who would then shimmy their hand inside and grasp the treat tightly in their fist. Here is where the trap comes in… when the monkey went to pull the treat back out of the whole, their fist along with the size of the treat had become too large to be pulled back out! While the monkey tried multiple attempts to bring their hand out WITH the treat, the hunters dropped a net and snagged them. Had the monkey just let go of the tasty treat after realizing it wasn’t theirs to be had, they would have been able to pull their hand out and run free to look for another source of food that didn’t have the same trappings. Instead, he held on too tightly to this particular piece of food and was met with his demise.

What can you learn from this story?

What in your life are you desiring, been reaching for and grabbed ahold of that you now find yourself holding too tightly?

Going after what you want. Claiming your dreams. Seeking your desires. Setting goals and working to attain them. Dreaming dreams and putting a plan in place to attain them. ALL. GOOD. THINGS. Do them.


Holding too tightly to the outcome can be deadly. Holding too tightly to the specifics is stressful and overwhelming. Holding too tightly to something you want but is not yours to be had is a trap and creates dis-ease in your body and mind.

Adopting an attitude of allowing is life giving. Space giving.

A spacious life comes from keeping your palms open and holding things lightly. Allowing what you want to land gently in your palm and, when it is time, watching it gently float off to its next place to land. That is what it looks like to live a spacious life.

Imagine the thing you are wanting as a feather. If you grip a feather tightly in your hand — making a fist, what will become of that feather when you open your fist back up? It will be crushed and no longer look like the feather you desired so much when you captured it.

Instead, imagine holding that feather lightly in your open palm — enjoying the beauty of it, its softness, its lightness — studying its every detail and ENJOYING ITS PRESENCE IN YOUR LIFE. Imagine being filled with gratitude for the experience of having brought this desire into your life and of holding it for a time and rather than POSSESSING IT just ENJOYING IT — feeling blessed by its presence. Then when its time is up, gracefully allowing that feather to be swept upward and off beautifully and delightfully on to its next landing space. Then after allowing yourself to grieve the loss of that feather, setting an intention for and waiting for the next feather to land in your open palm of patient anticipation.

Doesn’t that feel spacious? Life giving? Full of ease?

What can you begin to hold a little more lightly in your life today?

Take gentle care,

Originally published at www.christinekathryn.com on July 26, 2017.