I keep getting a STRONG “let go” message from all kinds of places, but I persist in arguing with reality and my tendency to be controlling. Also, I think the “let gos” can be interpreted in many different ways. My husband says it can be seen as a “let go and soar” type of reminder. I see it sometimes as being told to surrender and also to “give up” (and that makes me wail and gnash my teeth). Sometimes it is a gentle reminder to sink into the moment and breathe, feeling the weight of the baby on my shoulder, sniffing his head, looking out the window at sunlight and shadow. Sometimes it is permission to literally let go of something—possessions, tasks, adding something else to the calendar. Sometimes it is a mental “unclenching” and letting go—ideas, should dos, possibilities for later. I also find a connection between the let go message and our word of the year, which is “Grow.” So, let go in order to grow.
This reminder is also helpful:
“Would a weight lift off my shoulders if I realized that it’s normal to feel pulled between choices, that it’s normal to want to do more than I have time or energy for, and that it’s normal to have to choose between two equally wonderful things, that it’s actually a sign I’m a fascinating, amazing person?”
–Jennifer Louden, The Life Organizer
I always say that I want to live well and wisely my one wild and precious life and to me that means making conscious decisions every day to pull my actions into alignment with my values. It is an ongoing process. I live in a rich and fascinating world full of endless possibility and promise. Letting go can be about wise discernment as well. (I joke that my other word of the year is “ruthless.” Ruthless discernment about how, where, and why to spend my time and energy.)
I went to the woods a few days ago feeling taut and tight and pulled between choices and right in front of me was yet another lesson from the forest, the big tree I so enjoy had let go of one of its large branches. I walked down to look at it more closely and noticed the bark on the trunk is starting to decay and I anticipate that in the next two years or so, I will need to let go of this tree’s companionship in the woodspace, because it is letting go of its life here on the hillside.
I come to the woods to let go and to be cleansed. To sit with myself. To uncover truths. To salve wounds. For clarity, focus, for the feeling of the sweet wind blowing it away, the solid earth absorbing it. The grand sweep of the sky from horizon to horizon like a bowl. To look at the leaves on the ground. To notice the fallen branch of the tree. To feel the coldness of rock under my bones. To make contact with the wild sweeping majesty of it all and the size so vast that my own little feelings and concerns become dust and the well-worn, unhelpful thought processes that wind their way through my brain and twist me up can become unkinked, unknotted, and released to drift away on the breeze, dissolving, unclenching, letting go.
Postscript: I originally started this post ten days ago and have had to repeatedly let go of publishing it! 😉