It’s Time to Let Go!Posted: December 31, 2016
We’ve hit that time of year again, New Year’s Eve, where you may look back in time and assess your life. You may ask yourself, “What did I do this year to support myself on a healthy journey? How, where and with whom did I spend my time? Did I meet my goals or readjust my expectations? How did I progress or regress during the year?”
Sometimes in this process of reflection, we get stuck ruminating on how something SHOULD have ended up, or how things SHOULD be right now. This cycle of ruminating may influence how you feel overall, and keep you in that downward spiral. So instead of dwelling in the land of SHOULD HAVE/SHOULD BE, I’d like to invite you to cultivate one of the attitudes we encourage in mindfulness meditation- that of letting go.
When we sit in formal meditation, we are encouraged to let go- of expectations of how OUR PRACTICE is supposed to be (effortless, producing a certain outcome, etc…), how OUR BREATHING is supposed to be (holding for how many seconds, where we are supposed to feel it, etc…), and how OUR MINDS are supposed to be (clear, quiet, not busy, etc…). To support this letting go, we also cultivate acceptance -allowing for our experience to be just as it is. Even if we find our minds wandering numerous times, as they naturally do. By accepting our level of attention- in this case, a busy mind in this moment- we are able to let go of how it should be different. This acceptance allows us to see we cannot control every moment, and that some, if not all, processes need to unfold on their own schedule.
Moreover, we also see by the power of acceptance that when we get to a crossroad, or decision point, we notice where the mind goes and choose to bring it back to our object of focus (breath, sound, image). We allow for our minds to behave this way as they naturally do, noticing, and then redirecting without judgment.
When we sit in meditation, we are training our minds– with these attitudes. By having a consistent practice, we may find some of these attitudes flowing out into our daily life. We are able to let go more, or find it more natural to let go– of expectations we hold for ourselves and others. We are able to let go of how situations SHOULD be, and allow them to unfold as they naturally would. We are able to see the past as just that– something that has ALREADY happened– which we can no longer change. We may let go of beliefs and rules that no longer serve us. Or let go of relationships- be it friendships or more- that also no longer support us.
Letting go means releasing your embrace, and allowing and trusting in a process to naturally unfold. With this trusting in the natural flow of things, we are strengthening our own trust in ourselves: our intuition, decision making and more.
As you can imagine- meditation does more for us than just sitting still on a cushion or whereever we sit. The attitudes practiced in meditation can overflow into daily life, and bring us back to what we have: this current moment.
So, as you go thru this eve of the new year, bring into your awareness this attitude of letting go. And then notice what comes next? What arises out of the possibility of not knowing but allowing for the moment to unfold. Let go of the way things SHOULD be and accept them as they are. And then notice how letting go may affect your mind, body and heart. Be with whatever arises– knowing there is a natural flow to this moment, to this life.
Happy New Year!
Be well, be merry, be you!