Thursday, March 17, 2011

Letting Go.

It is only the reminder that life is cyclical that gets me through certain times. These are the times, dear ones, when I am so grateful that nothing lasts forever. This is a particularly auspicious week of endings for me with a full moon, the arrival of spring and the beginning of the 52 days before my birthday. Last summer, my Siri Shakti Kaur friend introduced me to a sort of astrology system that breaks your year up into 7, 52 day cycles, beginning on your birthday. Each period features different benefits and challenges, when certain actions are better to take than others. During the 7th, pre-birthday cycle "the elements in your life that are no longer needed for your development gradually fall away in order to make way for those which are new and better." (http://www.wowzone.com/lcycles.htm) It's a time of endings and deep letting go, cleansing and renewal. 

How perfect that this time coincides with spring- the season for a good basement to chimney top clean. Since my recent move involved the very cathartic purging of half my stuff, the big clean this year is in the areas of habits and relationships. There are certainly elements in my life that need to fall away- it's a matter of doing the dropping. It feels like such a terrible loss to let go of certain things, especially people...and maybe that's healthy. But sometimes attachments to people, ideas or habits are in no way serving you and progress is impeded by hanging on. Being naturally obstinate, I love to drag things out far past the point of usefulness. "Oh I'll give up...over my dead body!" I know I've explored this before, but I still don't understand why it's so hard to let go. I'm going to blame my ego, which seems to be preoccupied with feeling right and being validated...all that mess.

Maybe what really needs to be put out on the San Francisco streets is my stubbornness...at least the aspect of it that causes me to put a vice lock on things that are long expired, and to do the same thing over and over expecting different results. I do all this inner work in yoga and feel like I've made so much progress only to fall back into the same old patterns. But it's understandable. These habits carve deep neural pathways in the brain overtime that are difficult, sometimes downright painful, to rechannel. We have to make new choices enough times consistently to change this and that's some hard work. It takes a whole lot of mindfulness, discipline and patience...*yaaawwwwn* boring! It's so much easier to unconsciously flail about and not change.

BUT! Someone wise once said that the absence of growth is the absence of life.  Growth is not possible without change, and since change is the only constant, why drag my feet against it? Relationships evolve and fall away, old habits become ineffective, and at some point (preferably sooner than later) these things need to be released. Because I also function with an "all in or all out" mentality, I always worry that once I let something go, I will not be able to go back. I don't think I've ever needed to regret anything I've let go of, though. What I do regret is allowing myself to invest so much time and energy in non-functional situations. I look forward to spending this pre-birthday spring season cleaning out my mental closets and liberating myself from restrictive, tired, old nonsenses.

It's time to adapt and evolve in meaningful ways. With the world getting smaller and more intimately connected every day, the importance of each action we choose is becoming all the more clear. We matter and what we do has an effect that ripples wider than we can see.

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