Letting Go. Part 2

I’m still working on the art of letting go.

I’m letting go of my identity attachment to the job I have held for the last nine years. I say identity attachment because my work here has been so much more than a job to me. I know in my heart and mind that I have made a difference, both to the school as a whole and to many individual children and teachers.

Making a difference is important to me. I have a need to feel like the work I do is meaningful. It’s difficult to walk away and realize that there is no void created by my absence. There is little recognition of my contributions, no one will “miss” me. That does not make the work I did less meaningful. The work is the path. We are only to do the work, not to become attached to what results from it.

It’s hard to let go and trust that there is something meaningful waiting for me in the future. It’s murky. Unclear. Letting go feels risky.

I recently read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” the popular bestseller by Marie Kondo. My husband and I are excited to follow her detailed plan for tidying, the first part of which is thoroughly discarding that which does not “spark joy.”  Letting go creates space. When space is created, new things can grow.

How do I detach enough to regenerate? How do I not stand in my own way, allowing my fears to take over? I do not control the path, only myself as the walker of the path.

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Letting Go

Letting go is a huge, unavoidable part of life. Why is it sosososososo hard?

I had to learn letting go earlier than many people when I lost my mother at age 12. Other than losing friends and loved ones, I felt, acutely, the pain of letting go when I moved from California to Florida. It felt like a death, and in a way, it was.

I don’t hang on to things, don’t give them sentimental value. I am not the best at keeping in touch with old friends the way some people do. Yet I still fear letting go. If you think about it, every moment is a letting go. If we are to be present, we must let go of the old and let go of any worry about the future.

Right now in my life I am very conscious of my need to let go. I am growing older, and it is hard to let go of youth, both physically and mentally. I am aware of the shortness of life and the many things still to do. I know that some things might be for the last time, and that is painful.

How does one get good at letting go? How do I detach from what I love enough to change when change is necessary?

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Random

DSC_0043

Look at that sky.


I spend a lot of time in my mind. 

I teach thinking.
Words.
Writing.
Reading.

I get tangled up in my worries. I spread them outward. To my students. When what I mean to do is only to spread love.

Energy is so contagious.

I need yoga.

When I close my eyes and focus on my breath….when I lay on my mat and relax…I let go. When I work hard, dripping sweat, completely exhausted….I let go. I set my intention. To let go. To lighten up.

Time is moving so quickly. It’s almost 2015.
I love the end of the year, the days off work, the time to relax, to be spacious, happy, light.

I love the clean slate of a new year. The chance to start fresh, to set goals.
At my age, though, so many years have come and gone. I’ve made resolutions, written on the clean slates of years starting in both nineteen and twenty. Bought new calendars, fresh with possibility.

Tick. Tock. Tick tock. Ticktockticktockticktockticktock….

Time keeps on slipping into the future.

I hope that this might be the year I finally grow up.

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Creating Space

I love yoga so much.

Yoga creates space. You do it on a little mat, not much longer or wider than your body but you stretch, reach, and pretzel your limbs into all kinds of shapes. In yoga you lengthen the breath and calm the mind. Spacious.

mat

Right now my house feels small to me. I do not live in a tiny house, and I am aware that in most of the world my house is gigantic.

So why does my 71 inch yoga mat feel like all the space I need, while my 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2450 square foot house feels too small?

This is my home office

This is my home office.

My “office” is in my bedroom, and all of my work materials have to fit into this desk. I try to keep the clutter to a minimum and be super-organized, but that doesn’t always work. I crave a big office with a big desk and plenty of space for bookshelves and filing cabinets.

So we looked at some houses with more rooms (and a bigger mortgage). Where we live a lot of the bigger, newer houses have no yards or outside space. The houses are right next to each other and fill almost the entire plot of land.

our backyard

Our Backyard

Also it’s summer. Summer=space. Moving would take up so much time and be such a pain. I sound lazy, and I suppose I am.

So I just need to create space where I am. Unclutter my life. Focus on what is most important.

My 13 year-old daughter was cleaning her room (alert the media!) and said, “I used to be afraid to get rid of things.” I found her use of the word afraid interesting. Isn’t it fear that causes us to hold onto things?

What can I let go of in order to create more space?

 

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Write

I write to peel away the layers and find the words within

I write and hope

someone else

out there

will connect.

I’m thinking of starting a new (another one!) blog without any “theme” except whatever.

It would be called Whatever.

Sometimes I just want to pour words onto the page. I don’t want them to have to make sense.

I love the aspect of blogging that allows someone to find and read my words. Randomly.

Like a message in a bottle.

 

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Low Day

Today I feel low. 

I try so hard. 

I judge myself. 

Never enough. 

What a waste of precious energy. 

My life is divine. Beautiful. A gift. 

I have so much. I am alive. 

I love the rain, the quacking duck that I hear but can not see. 

I love my family. My son, the 10-year old who loves to cuddle. My daughter, the 13-year old who made sure I had roses, tea, chocolate and pretty soaps for Mother’s Day. My husband, who reminds me to appreciate the moments. My father, my role-model, who has taught me, by his example, to let things go, to be generous, to be grounded. 

What challenges me is basically my own perspective. My own judging mind. My sometime inability to flow, breathe, smile, rest, appreciate, pray, and be. Happy. 

 

 

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Positive Speech Day

The power of positive energy is pretty much a proven thing. I remember reading, in one of Robert Anton Wilson‘s books (Cosmic Trigger maybe?), “Positive energy is as real as gravity” and thinking yes, of course.

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However much we know this, though, the forces of negativity often crop up pretty strongly and why that is, I do not know. There must be a reason. I know that I tend to be a negative thinker at times, whether out of worry, fear or a sense of realism …and sometimes I can even work myself into a funk. I know people who make it a point to always be positive, to always smile, and I must admit I sometimes judge this self-discipline as phoniness.

In my Torah learning sessions, I am learning about Shmiras Ha’Lashon or the laws of speech. Speech is incredibly powerful. In fact, in the Book of Genesis, in the very first story of the Torah, B’resheit, God used words to create the world.

Yet, we talk, talk, talk. We throw our words around, often disconnected from the creative potential of our speech. In order to harness the power of positive speech, to give myself some structured practice with my own energy, I have invented “Positive Speech Day.”

Here are the RULES for Positive Speech Day: (I made them up. Feel free to adapt them for yourself.)

  • Choose a day. It can be once a week to start or whatever works.
  • On that day, speak positively about everything and to everyone. Of course, in order to do this you have to work to see the positive side of every and any situation. It helps to keep a big smile on your face, too, even if it feels fake. It’s like practicing yoga. You hold the “pose,” breathe deeply and just be there.
  • The rules include the “talking” you do to and about yourself as well!
  • If you mess up, just start over quickly and remind yourself that it’s all good on PSD (positive speech day).

That is it.

So, I did this earlier this week, and it was a great day. Either my positive energy was reflected back to me by others or else I actually convinced myself that all was well in my world.

As I said, though, this doesn’t always come naturally to me, so I have to remind myself to do positive speech days. I’m going to try to increase the number of PSD days I have and look upon it as a fun experiment to see what happens.

 

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