"Holding on is believing there is only a past; letting go is knowing that there is a future." ~ Daphne Rose Kingma
These past few months, images of hot air balloons have shown up several times for me and when something continues to reoccur, I believe it is cause for further thought and conversation. And, as a result of clarification through self-reflection and my conversations with others, the images appear to be reminding me to free myself from those old unhealthy habits which are no longer working or are holding me back.
Coincidentally, this month’s topic is “letting go.”
It sounds so simple. Well meaning friends and family often advise us to, “just let go of it and move on," whether it be a thought, feeling, or loss of some kind, but “letting go” is not always that effortless. Many of us already know at the core of our being what Steve Maraboli reminds us of, that, “The truth is, unless you let go, forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” However, for most of us, the "letting go" process takes place over time, moment-by-moment.
Fortunately, the cycles of life give us plenty of space to learn, and the more we are able to practice the act of "letting go" the better we get at it.
In general "letting go" requires that we work through our thoughts and feelings before we can release them and each month we have an opportunity to exercise the art of “letting go” as we look to the moon. Symbolically the moon represents our moods and emotions which are usually the things that hold us back or keep us stuck in the past. In particular, this "releasing" and "letting go" is supported each month by the balsamic moon, otherwise known as the dark moon. One of the eight monthly moon phases visible as the inverted crescent, occurring just before the new moon.
So how do we practice to "let go?"
Here are a few things that may be helpful for the process:
Before we can make changes towards something new, it’s helpful to get clear on what we presently need or want to be different, how we think about our current situation, and the feelings that often drive our behavior. This is such a simple process that we tend to find it hard to do. We have gotten so used to filling our lives full as a consequence of the pressures we feel from outside ourselves, that it can feel foreign to honor our own needs and desires. Sitting with pen and paper we can sort through our internal dialogue and have an honest conversation with ourselves.
Meditation, or mindfulness is not about stopping our thoughts, it is about recognizing and accepting them as they are with non-resistance and non-attachment. It's about being fully present. It doesn't require that we sit cross-legged chanting OM (although that is one of my favorite ways), but entails that we find the appropriate means to support the relationship with our higher-self. This can be done by taking a quiet walk, engaging in a creative project, or immersing ourselves in nature. A meditation practice takes commitment, but no worries, we have a lifetime in training and as a result of our efforts, can reach advanced levels of mental strength, develop clarity to our thinking, and increase our ability to deal with life challenges.
Relax and Accept
That’s right we don’t always have to be doing something, and it’s okay that we have not yet “let go” of all of it! There will always be more work to do along the way. What is important, is that we continue to become more aware of ourselves and our actions in the world. The late Leo Buscaglia said, “Most of us remain strangers to ourselves, hiding who we are, and ask others strangers, hiding who they are, to love us.” When we can relax and accept ourselves right where we are, we are learning a great lesson that we can share and pass on to others.
So this month, whether you look to the moon for further illumination - or not, I hope that you will at the very least consider that...
Every moment the universe is showing us something if only we’re aware. Do you see the signs?
© Cathi Curen 2017