September 2016 | The Autumn of Life, Letting Go

This time of year for me always signifies the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. Just like the trees prepare to let go of their old leaves, sometimes we too must learn how to let go so we can make room for what's next.

I taught my last Pangu yoga class in Raleigh and moved out of my acupuncture office last week, and it couldn't have happened at a more perfect time of year. I love what I've done in this city, and its hard to let go, but sometimes we have to walk away so that we can create something new. I told my students in class "I don't think of this as the end of something, but rather the expansion of something else."

Sometimes we walk away with the intention never to return again, and sometimes we walk away so we can regroup and come back to our goal or ambition with fresh perspective, creativity and inspiration.

I love my work. It's one of my passions and I don't ever want that to change. Though it's hard to deal with instability and unknowns, I also believe that a break every now and then is a VERY GOOD THING. Our obligations and commitments can threaten to turn into things we disdain. I once heard someone say "Everything you are carrying, you picked up." Sometimes we have to make room in our lives, for less. Yes, its a paradox. However, being untethered allows us freedom, spontaneity and room for inspiration. When I let go of expectation and let go of others' expectations to shape or frame what I'm trying to create then I don't have to commit to fulfilling those expectations. These are expectations I have created myself or people have manufactured [for me] on their own.

Do you have an obligation that you disdain? Ask yourself, why do I feel obligated to do this?  Is there another opportunity to explore so I don't have to keep living up to someone else's expectation? How can I free up some of this time and reclaim my life? 

For instance, maybe it's a job and you are obligated to your boss, and you feel there is really no other way. In that type of situation, the question is perhaps, "how much are you willing to let go in order to have what you want in other areas of your life"? Maybe you start looking for a lower paying job but you end up having more time for your relationships, creativity, health and contribution. Sometimes we have to give up one resource for another in order to live a life that's meaningful. And it’s not always safe, secure or comfortable. Sometimes it takes a unique idea, sometimes it takes bravery, and sometimes it just takes time. 

What if you tried NOT to put a time limit on it? There is no guarantee when things will change or when you'll be ready to do something, or the timing will be right. The world is not a stable place, as much as we want it to be, so we can't always make decisions on a time table that we've manufactured. That alone takes so much pressure off, making room for enjoyment, unexpected opportunities, unforeseen chances to do something we love, or meeting someone who might change the trajectory of our whole lives. 

We cannot deny the unpredictability of life. When we hold on too tightly to a plan we risk missing out on other things. Sometimes the best way is to let go of the idea that life has clear guidelines. As the leaves drift effortlessly to the earth, the promise of Spring is there, but we never know exactly when that will be. Instead, what if we choose to see the world as a place of infinite possibilities, being ever responsive to new circumstances and resolve to being the best human being we can be?

My sister sent me a quote recently and I loved it.     

It may be that
When we no longer
Know what to do
We have come to our real work.

And when we no
Longer know
Which way to go
We have begun our real journey.

With Peace,