“We may lose our best piece of pottery in the firing, the charter school we work so hard to create may fold, our start up business may go under, our children may develop problems beyond our control. If we only focus on the results, we will be devastated. But if we know the cup is broken, we can give our best to the process, create what we can and trust the larger process of life itself. We can plan, we can care for, tend and respond. But we cannot control. Instead we take a breath, and open to what is unfolding, where we are. This is a profound shift, from holding on, to letting go. As Suzuki Roshi says, “When we understand the truth of impermanence and find our composure in it, there we find ourselves in Nirvana.” Jack Kornfield
When did it happen? Somewhere, seemingly in the night, while I lay sleeping, life shifted.
It changed from this epic journey I was on where everything was possible, to a journey I had been on. Like a roller coaster ride, I boarded it, so excited and full of excitement and then suddenly we were climbing the biggest hill, pausing at the top, taking in the view and then whizzing around the track, laughing, gasping, holding on for dear life, barely able to scan ahead to see what was coming next. And then, suddenly you could feel it begin to lose its momentum and the ups and downs began to lessen and level out. The curves were not as tight and the speed was lost and you knew you were heading for the platform where the ride ends.
How we would wish for one more big thrill. But no matter how hard we wished, the ride was coming to an end.
I woke up one morning and the way I looked at things was different. Nothing had happened, there had not been some big epiphany, nor had I made a monumental choice, it was just different. Once where I would look at something and it felt like a someday possibility, things now remind me that part is over. There is a sadness all mixed up in my go to it attitude and joy of life. Continue reading
One of the blessings of getting older is that life slows down a lot, and the need for you to tend to every small detail for all the people you are responsible for and too, pretty much ends. Your kids are grown up and don’t need/want your advice, you no longer have a company hounding you for that deadline, and the general public thinks you just need a pat on the hand and an “aww isn’t she cute” once in awhile.
You get a lot of time to sit and look. You think.
Were we this obsessed with having everything? Probably. But our wants were not so much about fame and things way beyond our life probabilities, they were more about things that allowed us to be part of the average and edging to better. We surprised ourselves by surpassing that at times, but most of us breathed evenly when we were holding our own. In the end, we can say we did OK. We know that other did much better and others did not even come close. We did OK.
Now it seems to be about being the winner, the best, the one that gets to rub everyone else’s face in it. If a friend has a $30,000.00, wedding, yours has to be $45,000.00 and instead of establishing status quo with your peers, it is a process of leap frogging. Meaning, you have made your life an endless treadmill. There will never be a point where you just sit back and enjoy it. Continue reading
“Take a look at your life and see what is holding you back. What are you attached to? What do you think is important in this world? You cannot have both. You cannot mentally be attached to person, place and thing, and awaken at the same time. If you want liberation, you have to pay the price. And the price is letting go, giving it all up, surrendering. Having perfect faith that All is Well. Not trying to interpret what ‘All is Well’ means. Just realize that everything is in its right place, just the way it is. Don’t interpret it. There are no mistakes.” Robert Adams
For many years there was a sadness to the wandering . . . a sense of isolation, a loneliness that was hard to explain to anyone. How could we be standing on a hill overlooking the most awe inspiring world we live in and feel sad? How could we be with people we loved and admired and feel lonely? And yet I did.
The world was supposed to end this week. Once again people predicted horrible events and a big change. People got rich off of other people’s fears. Some people stopped breathing, waiting for it to happen.
It didn’t end.
But this week I found myself standing among the people in my life, overlooking the beauty of the world and I felt chains of bondage slipping off. I found myself letting go of emotional tangles and wishes for things that were not in my control. My sadness and sense of loss lessened. . . and a quiet, directed resolve taking it’s place.
It was like the world sighed.
I opened my eyes.
I see lights of connection. I feel their strength. I sense the hope. I taste freedom.
Love is all that is left.
I am at peace.
I spent several hours thinking about this.
In all of our lives are the experiences and situations that have scarred us, teaching us that while some of the dangers of this world might not be life threatening, they have the power to destroy our innocence, to shatter our illusions and to eat away great chunks of who we once were.
Some people spend a lifetime trying to gather up the pieces of themselves, arms full of bits and pieces, running here and there in the field of their life where the bomb went off, dropping as many as they pick up, and never quite getting it all.
Healing can sometimes seem like a commodity too rich for even the grossest amount of money. It can’t be bought.
There are hundreds of books devoted to “how to” heal, there are an equal number of healing guru’s out there, who, for part of that gross amount of money, will deliver a seminar or a lecture on how healing is achieved. People run, like hamsters in their wheels, attending, reading, doing . . . what others suggest and say.
And still the demons come at night and we never seem to gain back what we lost. Continue reading
‘Letting go of the fixed self isn’t something we can just wish to happen. It’s something we predispose ourselves to with every gesture, every word, every deed, every thought. We’re either going in the direction of letting go and strengthening that ability or going in the direction of holding on and reinforcing that fear based habit. We can choose reality – stay with it, be here, show up, be open, turn toward the sights and the sounds and the thoughts that pass through our minds – or we can choose to turn away. But if we turn away, we can pretty much count on staying stuck in the same old pattern of suffering, never getting closer to experiencing wakefulness, never getting closer to experiencing the sacredness of existence.’ Pema Chodron
“We will meet many difficult moments in our lives – people will abuse us or take us for granted, people we love will leave us; our expectations of others and ourselves will be disappointed, and there will be times when we are misunderstood or judged unfairly. The difficult encounters and moments in our lives spiral into complexity when aversion and fear are layered upon them. With aversion come innumerable ideas about how we think the world, other people, and ourselves should be, together with our strategies for turning those ideas into reality. With fear is born in our imagination what might befall us, the endless possibilities of misfortune, and our desire to flee from difficulties. Oscar Wilde once said, “The most terrible things in my life never actually happened.” In case they do, we want to be well rehearsed.
There is a simpler way of being with the difficult and painful in this life; to listen closely; to stay present, to investigate, and question – “Here is suffering. There are causes that can be understood without blame. What is the path to the end of suffering in this moment?” The path may involve intervention, the courage to say “no,” wise action; it may involve forgiveness, tolerance, or patience. Whether our response to suffering is an inner or an outer one, compassion roots itself in the dedication to ending sorrow. Our capacity to make peace with the difficult is hindered and made complex through the added ingredients of aversion, fear, and avoidance. These are the layers of complexity that we can learn to understand and release.” Christina Feldman
Letting go can seem like the end of the world. What will happen to us if we let go of something or someone that has been such a big part of our lives, especially if the letting go is not what we want to do? Our penchant, especially as women, is to love. We all paint pictures in our heads, tell ourselves stories about who we are, what we are supposed to do with our lives. We can race ahead of our decisions and imagine the negative outcome of our actions. We hear our families disapproving voices, we relive all the Sunday School Lessons, we feel the disgust of strangers who don’t even know us … judging. Are we bad people when we finally choose ourselves instead of bleeding ourselves dry for people and situations that are not healthy and may never be? Continue reading
This has been a really difficult past few weeks. I find sometimes life just grabs hold of you and throws you off the cliff and things you thought you knew, you didn’t, and nothing makes sense anymore.
Of course, the go-to reaction is to run home crying to your mommy and complain that the world is unfair and ask to have your boo boo kissed better.
But I am not a child. Continue reading