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Inspired By India: Everything Will Fall Apart If I Don’t Effort (Or Will It?)

This is not the first time I’ve decided to do some work on my hips. I’ve made a valiant effort before. I was doing some yoga therapy about a year ago and I was standing with my eyes closed in a half meditative state and she asked me a question.


What would happen if you just let it go?


I burst into tears and immediately replied that everything will fall apart.

I went to her once more after that and then traveled for work and when I came back our schedules kept not meeting up. Read: I didn’t want to take it any further because I was afraid.


Today, during Feldenkrais with Mandy, the first thing she did was tell me not to effort.


Not effort. Allow movement. Give permission.


I know about all that in theory. I’m great at knowing theories. The more difficult part is the application. She went through some passive motions with me and explained some connections and things were moving. Then she started to work on my ribs.


Apparently, I’m holding my breath.. And my stomach muscles.. All the damn time. I had a memory come up from East Bay Gymnastics. I must have been maybe 9. The coach was telling us to stand straight and pull in our stomachs. She said, that if we did that often enough, eventually they will stay that way.


That meant a flat stomach for life. Even at that age, I knew it was a desirable thing. So I did. I held it. I am still holding it. Still thinking that everything will fall apart if I let it go.


After all those years of holding my stomach, I still have a round belly. I pouch easily, even though I am in fairly good shape and maintain a good weight. I told Mandy this and she said “Well, ya know darlin, over contracted muscles are under functioning muscles”. Oh, yeah. That.


All of this conditioning, all of the exercise I’ve done.. I’ve well overtrained myself. This doesn’t mean I exercise too much. It means I have literally muscled my way into standing, sitting and walking. Instead, it’s time to learn to use my skeleton.


At the end of the treatment, I cried.

My gramma always said that I had a bladder close to my eyes.


It’s a family trait.. Lots of us Donovan’s have it. I cried again when I saw Mandy in the hall. Yet again in the steam room after my shirodhara treatment. I just facebooked for an hour instead of crying in my room. Eventually though, it will all have to come out.


It’s time for a big, ugly sob. Just gotta let myself do it. Effortlessly. I’m already trying too hard just thinking about it. 





  1. Kel

    You waited along time for me to cry… but it was worth it!!!
    Allow yourself the luxury you give others, and if you can convince me it’s ok… am sure you can convince yourself!!!
    Awesome posts lovely lady!!

  2. Chris Donovan

    I try too hard to cry too. Several healers that I’ve met over the years have told me that I need to cry; some have facilitated crying. Sometimes I feel better, sometimes, not. This crying business is confusing.

    1. caitdonovan

      It’s one of those things that doesn’t lead to immediate gratification. Allowing old tears to flow unblocks space for new things to spring up – which may be uncomfortable. I feel like personally I don’t usually do it because I know it’s not the end of the road, but simply the beginning. One good cry isn’t gonna do it.

  3. When I finally let myself fall apart, I learned that I did fall apart and things in my life fell apart but not in the horribly destroyed beyond repair way I thought I would. I felt such relief to know the magic of surrendering and to not knowing and not controlling every little step of the way. I’m sure there’s more on that lesson to come for me…

    1. caitdonovan

      I had that thought today too. Some things will fall apart (or fall away) but they will be precisely the things that I don’t need anyway… so… I should let them. It’s not an easy lesson.

  4. NT

    I used to never cry either, and I came to the realization the other day that now I’m a huge crybaby. Every acupuncture, meditation, chivasana, I cry. sometimes just gentle tears slipping out, other times heaving sobs. I’m astounded by what a crybaby i’ve become, and that the tears keep coming.

    1. caitdonovan

      Let those things out! No more emotional build up allowed young lady! 😉 😉

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