Not Letting Go Can Hurt

Not Letting Go Can Hurt

I may be a little more hard-wired than most to cling or grip. After all, one of my most visceral lessons in letting go involved crashing into a cliff wall while rappelling. Letting go can be scary and often less than graceful, but is absolutely necessary to a life well lived. Being stuck – on a cliff or otherwise – is not the way we are meant to live. We can’t grow and change and become the people we yearn to be if we’re clinging to where, and what, and who we already are. While I hope your experience with letting go goes better than mine did on that cliff, I hope you can trust that even the clumsiest attempt to do so is a step away from stuck-ness and a step closer to freedom and fulfillment.

Trusting Happily Ever After

Trusting Happily Ever After

I've written a little fairy tale based on story told to me by a friend. Its moral is that to trust in life is not naive. Spiritual traditions around the world teach that we are part of a continuous, endless, cosmic celebration of life and love. Even in times of pain and struggle, we can join in the celebration. We may not be dancing wildly. We may not be laughing uproariously. But we can allow life and love to brush over us softly with its compassionate, healing touch. All we have to do is say - sometimes quite quietly - "YES."

Why Don’t You Take a Break?

Why Don’t You Take a Break?

Can you imagine spending a little time every day in the same position as this cute kitten? Well, take it from a recovering workaholic, we should do just this. It takes real strength in this world of ours to hit the pause button and take a rest. And we don’t need to hit that pause button only when we’re weary to the bone. Wisdom is learning to hit it even when we don’t feel like we need a rest. While it's easy to fall prey to workaholism, we thrive with regular infusions of rest.

Don’t Be a Jerk to Yourself

Don’t Be a Jerk to Yourself

Some life lessons must be learned over and over again. One of them is being kind to ourselves. The first time I learned to be kind to my body was the first year of marriage. The second time was a decade later when I found yoga. Suddenly, thanks to getting caught thinking, feeling, and saying really mean things about my body, it's time to learn it again. This is OK! After all, I’ve never been in my mid-fifties before. I’ve never loved a body as it starts to shift and change in ways that I am not able to control or change. This moment is an invitation to advance to “AP level” self-acceptance, nonviolence, and letting go. I'm ready! Are you?

Beautiful Endings Lead to Beautiful Beginnings

Beautiful Endings Lead to Beautiful Beginnings

I have been struggling with a quiet sadness for a while now. It’s not constant. It’s more nostalgia than sorrow. It pops up at surprising times – while walking into town, or sitting in the pew at church, or driving past mothers and children on bus stops. It is the vague ache of missing daily life with my now grown kids. Like leaves on a tree in autumn, we would be wise to hold each of life’s stages lightly. Even the sweetest times draw to an end. We are invited to gratefully let go of what was in order to step forward into the riches of what is next. This is not easy.

A Sick Day’s Lessons in Letting Go

A Sick Day’s Lessons in Letting Go

Being sick is a lesson in letting go of control. KABLAM! Your body has taken over. It - rather than your plans - is going to be in charge for a little while. I don’t know about you, but this can be really hard me to accept. I resist, I push, I chafe in mostly futile efforts to keep going, to stick to the plan, to stay on schedule. Which only makes me feel worse – physically and mentally. What makes me feel better – perhaps the only thing that makes me feel better – is letting go and surrendering to reality: I’m sick and I need to act like it. I need to let my body lead the way, even if where it is leading me is straight back to bed on a blue-sky day.

Oops … I Did It Again

Oops … I Did It Again

As a recovering perfectionist, yoga and meditation have been powerfully healing. Richard Rohr writes, “If there is such a thing as human perfection, it seems to emerge precisely from how we handle the imperfection that is everywhere, especially in ourselves.” I'll confess to being a little tweaked by the idea of one day being able to handle my imperfections perfectly. Lucky for me, my practices continue to give me a zillion chances to surrender to just how out of reach even that teeny-tiny chance of perfection is.

Life is Very Lifey

Life is Very Lifey

When an old friend smiled and said, "Life is being very lifey, isn't it?" he packed loads of wisdom and mindfulness into a five letter, made-up adjective. Lifey is a skill we can practice. When we accept that life is being lifey, we are able to maintain the same even keel when when our kid is injured, or our parent is sick, or we’ve lost our job, or our partner is leaving us as when we’ve gotten the promotion at last, or when we’re head over heels in new love, or when the kids are all getting along. A perspective of life being lifey, in good times and hard times, holds life lightly; trusts that life will change; and understands that life is a series of moments – all of which can be relished.

Alone or Lonely?

Alone or Lonely?

My husband went fishing over the weekend. He loves this annual trip, and his excitement makes me happy. I will confess that just the thought of having the house to myself for two whole days also makes me happy. Or at least it used to. This time was different. Or maybe it was me that was different. Rather than relishing my time alone I was a little astonished to find I was lonely. It turns out that as my life has changed, so have I. Going forward I will change the way I approach these weekends home alone so that they are a happy break that "who I am now" rather than "who I once was" will enjoy.