Yesterday, I got a glimpse of Fall as the leaves on some trees are already beginning to change color. Nature has a funny way of reminding us of the impermanence of everything. When we accept this inevitability of change, we experience liberation and lightness. Just as the trees prepare to shed their leaves so as to allow for regrowth, we too can take this time of year to consider those things in our lives that are best left by the wayside.
We spend much of our time throughout our lives collecting things ~ a hoarding of sorts. We collect tangible, material things; but beyond that, we also collect negative thoughts, as well as an array of mental and emotional baggage that only serve to stagnate our ability to live fully. We hold onto things, people and relationships, resentments, opinions, beliefs, labels, behaviors and habits, even when these things serve us in a negative manner.
But, what nature really teaches us is that, beyond shedding the negative things in our lives, all things are of a momentary service, as change is inevitable. Perhaps our tight grip is a result of our desperate attempt to define who we are. We come to believe that “we are” in fact our life’s collections and that belief soon becomes how we define ourselves. But, what would happen if we let go? Who would we be then? Who are we without the stories we create?
It is through this idea of “letting go”, detaching from these stories, that we are able to lighten our load and shine. It is not to say that we cannot enjoy things in this life. But, rather it is acknowledging and accepting that there is a difference between enjoyment and reliance. The problem arises when we begin to identify with these things such that we depend on them for our self-worth and self-identity.
We have to learn to trust that who “WE ARE” does not consist of these puzzle pieces that we frantically try to piece together throughout our lives. Instead, we are so much greater than that! But for our light, love and beauty to shine through, we need to overcome the fear of letting go. Just as a bird is not born to cling its whole life to a branch, when we learn to embrace letting go, our true self and being is able to soar and we find the lightness that comes with this flight.
Maybe take some time to investigate your own life and learn where you may be clinging ~ it might be to things you no longer need, or resentments and bitterness, or relationships, or even in your asana practice, observe where you might be clinging in your body. Even observe your breath ~ as fear causes us to hold our breath.
And when you feel your grip start to tighten, try taking a deep exhale, so that you can move more fully into your life!
Namaste ~ Shari