What is lâcher prise and how can you find yours in time for summer?

I’m not someone who gets easily riled up. I have a pretty even temperament.

So when I feel my insides start to boil up and spill all over the stovetop, I try to slide my pot off the heat source, cool down, and get a sense of what’s going on. 

That's often easier said than done. For example, during my coaching certification my emotions were on a steady, rolling, boil. 

I was being pulled so far out of my comfort zone on such a regular basis that my natural defense system was desperate to get some order in the court. 

What specifically got me so hot and bothered?

Feeling completely and totally out of control. 

I wanted so bad to know everything about coaching, be an instant master, understand the complete history of the field, and basically be the best coach in the world. All in one week. What?? What’s so crazy about that? 

My mentor-coach, Caroline, had the uncanny ability to see through skin. One day when I was particularly vocal about my frustrations, she said, “I hear you, but what would happen if you decided to trust the process and let go?” 

My eyes started to swirl around in their sockets like in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. 

Trust the process? Let go? how the hell do you do that?

How do you let go when you want something so bad? How do you let go when your instincts tell you that the more you control what you want, the faster you’ll get it?

I went through the same thought-process when I was trying to have my first baby. It was taking us a very long time to conceive. Years. It was all I could think about. The subject of every conversation. The motivation behind every decision.

And everyone kept telling me to stop thinking about it. But I was like, how do you NOT think about the thing you want most? Any why should I try?

The answer has to do with how our brain budgets the distribution and flow of energy. If we focus on what we lack, what we're desperately trying to control, on all that's missing in our search for perfection, we'll fuel those thoughts until they shape our reality both emotionally and physically. 

This brings me to one of the best French inventions ever. Not wine, not cheese. But the concept of lâcher prise. 

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Ah, "lâcher prise," just saying the word and my heart stops racing, the knots around my nerves start to relax, their grip softening until a calm wave of "whatever" starts to rise up in its place.  

In French the term literally means “release the grip.” In English we'd say "let it go."

"Prise" in French also means "electrical socket," so the image that comes to my mind when I say "lâcher prise" is of someone ripping a cord out of the wall. 

Removing an external energy source. Unplugging. 

Let the energy come from the inside, instead of the outside. 

I just did a visualization workshop and “lâcher prise” came up over and over again as a desired attitude, or mindset in order to move deep goals forward calmly, without stress or anxiety. 

"Lâcher prise" has become a metaphysical Holy Grail. There’s even a new floral elixir from Bach dedicated to lâcher prise in order to free “prisoners of fixed ideas and obsessions.”

While I’m sure the elixir is wonderful, there’s is, however, no one-size-fits-all spritz solution to cultivating "lâcher prise."

It's about identifying and letting go of fears, letting go of negative thoughts, cultivating confidence and trust (in yourself, and in others), developing your curiosity, your patience, your intuition, and your genuine belief that you will find the answers at your own pace and on your own agenda. 

So here are some questions that might help you find your personalized potion for lâcher prise:

  • What are you desperately holding on to? 
  • How is that important to you?

  • What would happened if you loosened your grip on that  just a wee bit?
  • Where would you feel that in your body?
  • How would that softening impact you emotionally?
  • What changes might that provoke in your life professionally and personally?
  • What can you easily start doing today to loosen things up a bit? 
  • What support do you need to start? 

As always, I am here for you in your "lâcher prise" journey. Hit reply or leave a comment and let me know where you could benefit from some "lâcher prise" in your life.

And it goes without saying that no matter where you are in the world, you should definitely start using that term on a regular basis.