Ann Brode – Letting Go and Moving On…

As more and more people get vaccinated, restrictions are easing up. The CDC tells us we can walk around and socialize safely outdoors without a mask. The promise of unrestricted mobility is on the horizon. As the threat recedes so can your emotional tension. But, this isn’t so easy. Faced with the inherent threat of a worldwide pandemic, your emotional body followed its basic instinct to brace, tuck and hold on- waiting for the danger to pass. Yet, the danger didn’t go away for months and months. Even though your mind might know that it’s safe to let go, your emotional body is still on hold. If you check in, chances are, you’ll feel this as a layer of tension under a layer of fatigue.

What’s Going On

The social restrictions of the past year have given you a lot of time to be with yourself – in the company of your emotional body. Like many people, the uncertainties, disruptions, and loss may have triggered fear, frustration, and grief. These emotions grab hold and occupy the body in distinct ways. Fear can grab the stomach; frustration set the jaw; and sorrow compress the heart. We experience these as muscular tension. Unfortunately, when emotions commandeer the physical body, they also affect the energetic body. Mobile by design, when emotional energy is stuck or on hold, it takes a lot of energy to sustain. Hence the layer of fatigue.

What This Means For You

Your unique pattern of emotional tension is different from mine. Maybe your stomach clamps down or your butt squeezes; your forehead scrunches or shoulders hike up. The way your body tenses up and holds on is part of a defense strategy and a familiar holding pattern. When you feel threatened in any way, it kicks in. But, if the threat has moved on, you need to let go and move on as well. Unfortunately, you can get stalled in stress/distress mode and need a nudge in order to shift gears. Anytime you’re stuck in the drama/trauma, engaging a bit of body mindfulness will help you be pro-active and get things moving.

Let It Go And Let It Flow

Schedule some private time to be mindful and connect with your body. As you tune in, notice how you feel. Shake out your hands and take a few deep breaths to dissipate the fatigue. Then, focus your awareness on the tension underneath. Without judgement, simple observe your habitual holding pattern. Can you feel how this tension keeps you locked in and small? Instead of trying to understand the emotionally-charged whys and wherefores, simply deal with it as blocked emotional energy. Energy that should be moving but isn’t.

Now, close your eyes and imagine strands of emotional energy entangled in the tension in your shoulders, jaw and your gut. As you direct a soft humming tone into the center of this tension or agitation, let the vibration slowly open things up. Feel the tension and agitation start to disappear. Keep humming in a comforting way as the intensity of the past year softens and releases. Then, take your hands and brush the residue away. Although this may seem silly or awkward or strange, it works. Releasing the emotional energy as a simple, physical phenomenon is a great way to let it go and let it flow.

Once you get it moving, staying body mindful will help you keep it moving and move on.  When your emotional body is no longer side-tracking your attention, you’re in the flow. Then, you’ll have the energy and creative inspiration to pursue all of your positive intentions.

What if you emerged from the Covid 19 cocoon and didn’t return to business as usual? What if you let this time out be a truly transformative moment?


About The Author

Ann Todhunter Brode has been an Aston Patterning practitioner and body-oriented therapist in Santa Barbara for over forty years. A recognized master in her field, Brode writes down-to-earth, compassionate articles on the challenges & rewards of living consciously in the body. These appear in a variety of online sites as well as in the Montecito Journal.

In addition, she has produced the beautiful body-centered CD Body Breath~ Three Guided Meditations. Her book, A Guide to Body Wisdom- What Your Mind Needs to Know About Your Body (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2019) can be found online or at local bookstores. for more information and contact

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