Palms Open. Holding Lightly. Spacious Life.

“A spacious life comes from holding your palms open and holding things lightly.”

This phrase came spilling out onto the page as I wrote a previous post where I posed the question “Could you be missing out on a joy-filled life because you are holding on too tightly to something that wasn’t meant to be yours?”

I want to expand on this a bit here by talking about what is at the root of this ‘death grip’ we often have on circumstances in our lives.


This notion came up in my recent podcast interview of Jenni Zielke as she shared how her Etsy business ‘Illuminate Space’ came to be. She says it ‘kind of fell into her lap’ and while I know what Jenni is saying here, I know that it did not just appear, but rather she had prepared for it to arrive by lots of healing, inner work, self-inquiry, and softening of her expectations. She had prepared by having her palms open so that when this opportunity came across her awareness, she was able to receive it.

When we don’t have a posture of openness, we define exactly how something will look and hold on so tightly to that image and control every little detail that we miss opportunities that come subtly into our awareness — we don’t recognize them for what they are and we may even get frustrated with them and label them a distraction. Then we get frustrated that our life is not coming together the way we want it and if we are not careful, we can continue to spiral down into discouragement, blame, self-pity, or paralyzing inaction and give up completely on the dream.

My gut tells me that many a dream could have been realized had the person just relinquished a little control over the details and held a little more lightly to the vision.

I have to share that whenever I talk or write about this topic, the words to the early 1980’s hit by 38 Special start playing in my head. The song’s title is “Hold on Loosely” and while it is specifically about relationships, the chorus does apply to our need to be in control when we hold too tightly to a dream, a role, an identity, an idea or a person. Here’s the chorus…

“Just hold on loosely But don’t let go If you cling to tightly

You’re gonna lose control…”

Originally published at on July 29, 2017.