Friday, April 15, 2011

Letting Go

I just read a powerful  blog entry by my dear friend Susan. In it, she talks about her son's deployment and dealing with change that was not self-initiated.  She talks about letting go and transitioning into a new situation.  The article was very profound for me as I also saw her article as grounding.  It is hard to let go when uncertain that there is solid footing upon which to land.  Her experience is no different from my vegan one or from any adjustment you may be occurring.  The commonality is that when faced with any form of change whether warranted or unwarranted, it is up to each of us to recognize, as she puts it, the "curve balls which force us into the best possible opportunities" or as I like to say, "a chance to grow strong feet".

There are several things we can not change.  There are several surprises thrust upon us that we do not like.  There are several decisions we are forced to make.  What is your coping mechanism? How you do handle change -  Do you dig down deep accept change, or do you fight it?  Whether you do anything or not, change will still occur.  How you handle it, is up to you.

 "If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice".  
from the song "Freewill" ©1980, Rush

So make the choice!  It is better to look at yourself and how you handle changes.  Become grounded in who and what you are.  This will equip you to handle anticipated change and those unexpectedly thrust upon you.

Letting go as in above, means acceptance of the departure of a loved one.  Sometimes it means letting go of a way of doing things, and other times, it means letting go of those you need to say goodbye to. We are a selfish society.  When we love something, we think of our personal gratification and tend to hold on to it dearly.  In any relationship, albeit parent:child, friend:friend; partner:partner, caregiver:recipient, or spouse:spouse, many of us have probably heard that  "if you truly love someone, you have to find the strength to let them go".   In these situations, we muster the strength to express our love and do just that - let go.  But let's look at this more intimately - how you have ever applied this to your very being?   Do you love yourself enough to let go, to accept an opportunity for personal growth?  Every chance to change is a chance to exhibit the strength of your grounding and chance to experience progression.


Getting back to Susan.  My friend had to release her loved one, something no one wants to do.  Her love for him, however gave her the strength to liberate him, to accept the change in her life. A funny thing happens when you let go of your own personal desire and place the love of others first - you grow stronger.  This deep-core strength is courage exemplified.  Don't waste it.  Use it to challenge an internal growth and try something new.When you think about it, as you let go of one thing, innate habit naturally forces you to grasp another.  No one floats idly or aimlessly.  We all hold on to some "thing" at different intervals in our lives. As Susan musters the courage to let her son "grow", she also has let go, opening up and providing space for a growth of her own.  She has begun to use her new found courage to do something she always wanted to do:  complete a triathlon.  Growth doesn't have to be large on a global scale for growth is personal.  It can also be a small thing.

Handstands and Cheese

While I've experienced deep growth as a diligent worker towards personal alignment (Beaconing Light), I appreciate the small growth spurt increments along the way.  Prior to Yoga, I suffered from vertigo - an equilibrium imbalance.  Attacks would come and go unannounced.  It's an incapacitating and terrible condition of nausea, dizziness, and headache.  Since I started practicing, I have not experienced a single episode, however, the fear of falling or seriously injuring myself linger and haunt.  For that reason, I mentally shied away from poses that challenge this very thing.  In my comfort zone, I stayed in poses close to the ground.  My coach then challenges me to do a handstand.  I meditated, deciding to love my self enough to release my fear, to accept that I am changing and to become grounded in my growth.  I found the courage to try it. With a little help of the wall behind me, I accomplished this feat.  Sure, I'll need more practice to strengthen my hold, but the realization of being grounded by my hands instead of my feet is the true reward.  It is demonstrative of change.

Now for the cheese...prior to becoming vegan, cheese was the one thing I thought I enjoyed.  I knew it was not good for me but I ate it not caring for the lethargy that accompanied it.  I thought cheese and fermentation was a complex thing.  After transition, I did not like the  "vegan cheese alternatives".  Many contained animal by-products like casein and most of them are commercially processed.  In my new, raw, live-food world - cheese does not exist, or so I thought.  Live foodists eat cheeses made from nuts or seeds.  I decided to try to manufacture my own.  I felt grounded and secure enough in my new "non-cooking" to let go of previous notions.  I purchased some raw sunflowers seeds and "went for it":

Sunflower Seed Cheese
Raw sunflower seeds * nutritional yeast * garlic * sea salt
Soak sunflower seeds overnight, drain.  In a blender or food processor, grind drained seeds until smooth, add yeast, garlic and sea salt to taste.  Place mixture in a cheese cloth, 
squeeze out excess liquid, form into a ball.

It's a small and simple thing this cheese but it represents forward movement, education, and growth.

What's Love Got To Do With It?

Everything.  True love of others allows you to let them go to discover and experience growth of their own.   True non-narcissistic "love of self" allows you to:
  • find the strength and courage to try new things
  • see yourself clearly and where you wish to go
  • accept opportunity to improve and change
  • establish challenge goals and use ability to achieve them
Define your loves, release, and discover your growth opportunities.  Use the strength of your new found courage to move forward, to change, to complete a triathlon, grow strong feet & hands, or just simply find a new way to make cheese.

Yoga:  Virabhadrasana II - Warrior 2

Named for the ancient warrior, Virabhadra, who, when called into battle, is overcome with fear.  The teachings of yoga "liberate" him, allowing him to let go, act with fierce courage and unwavering focus.

Warrior 2 is an anchored, grounded posture.  It is acknowledgement of past, letting go of trepidation, placing weight on feet with forward focus and movement, strong...ready for choice, ready for challenge, ready for change. 

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