Letting Go - What Are your Options?

The season is changing and spring brings many wonderful topics to mind, but honestly I need to write about what is happening for me in real time and that is healing.  Healing from the insertion of a new ceramic hip - wowza the things they can do these days!

And wrapped into all of this is the word pain and opening to the vulnerability of feeling pain - emotional, physical, material.  I have realized for years that my body tightens as a natural response to pain and intellectually I know this is not all that helpful. It cuts down on circulation, prohibits full range of movement, blocks instead of opens, for starters.

Last week I had a chance to zero in and experience this so clearly for myself. My body was swollen everywhere so I bravely scheduled a lymphatic massage with Dusa, a gentle healer from my past.  With very gentle pressure in all the right places and in all of the right directions I mentally went with her as she released built up pressure and blockages.  I had to focus in on what was most painful and then.... I had to let it go!  I had to turn toward the pain on a cellular level and imagine it draining away.  I was not passive or avoidant, I was an active partner in healing my own body.

The letting go felt like the floodgates crashing open as far as releasing so much fear and allowing so much creative movement.  And it was not just physical. I was aware of letting go of expectations - why didn't they reach out to me, how come they don't seem to understand?  Could I open up my understanding of their capacity, of their individual styles and not expect others to do it my way.  Were these emotional blockages mine? Theirs? Belonging to both of us more likely as receiving or letting in, is deeply connected to letting go.  And irritability, another reaction I watched replay over and over again, as I desperately wanted something different to be my experience. Aware of this response is my first step in being able to choose to instead, let it go.

The great irony is that by holding on so tightly we actually bring what we fear or avoid that much closer. There is no chance that the thing- physical, emotional, material - could possibly move on while being gripped so tightly. The only choice is that it becomes a weighty burden to carry around, possibly for years?  If not a cognizant burden then a visceral confusion, an inner conflict that tangles the senses and there is not a lot of free flow in that!

So... If you were wondering what is that image at the top of the page, or if all of these words around pain, vulnerability, irritability, are just not doing it for you, there is the very physical option of literally letting go of some of your material burdens.  A very tangible, real experience that gives a hint of what more is possible.  Decluttering the stuff you've been clinging to so tightly, not really sure why, is about to get easier with the new app letgo, kind of a cross between Craigslist and Instagram, helps open those floodgates and you too can experience the freedom of letting go - why not give it a try? 

Healing comes in many possibilities.

What ARE you thinking??

When you begin noticing the signs are everywhere...

When you begin noticing the signs are everywhere...

I know you must have noticed - HeartWisdom has been silent for several months - and I have missed you too!   Life has been just very distracting, or maybe it is my mind, very distracted.  There are reasons, layers of reasons, and this is what I have noticed; that there are those things that are tangibly real and then there's the things that happen in our mind.   And either world can provide you with an atmosphere that is healthy, helpful, a sense that all is well.  Or either world can provide a sense of doom, gloom, or worse.  Sometimes we have little control over what life sends our way yet we can be aware about our mind, and hopefully make choices that have a positive effect and that can ultimately bring some balance.  Choices like physical exercise, fresh healthy meals, meditation, anything that nourishes us while under stress, can bring a balancing shot of clarity.
I have been lost in the medical world recently as I have recently been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my hips and spine.  This is a recent bump in the road for me and instead of a little speed bump it sent me on a detour and I am just now finding my way back.  There was the reality of doctor appointments, tests, physical therapy and then there was my mind. "WTF!  How can this be happening too?  I will never be the same again.  What am I doing wrong? ". A detour into mental negativity, understandably, but still negative and stagnating. 
I craved distraction and found it in many ways, as you can probably easily imagine.  And the distractions kept me from facing the stories in my mind which I knew were not true, Ok maybe there was some truth there.  And still there is always an alternative story you can craft for yourself to get you back on the road that will actually take you where it is you want to go.  It's a matter of being aware and consciously choosing to be in the drivers seat - again and again.  It's a matter of developing strategies for your most typical detours.
So where do you want to go??  Are you excited by the idea of change but can't bring yourself to turn and take the unknown bumpy, winding road?  Are you desperate to " fix" your pain but can't accept that some of your favorite things may have to take a backseat ?  Are you tired and overwhelmed by the same patterns week after week?  Chances are the story in your mind has ambushed you and you are not going to get to where it is you really want to be without facing these stories and asking " Is this true?"  "What else is true?"  "How often does this story keep me from being the person I want to be?"
What is it going to be - another binge on Netflix or some quality time with yourself to reflect, question, dream?  And once you decide to approach this land of awareness would it be helpful to ask for help?  It could be a heart to heart with a trusted friend, it could be a weekend workshop, or maybe some coaching would do the trick?   Whatever will keep you on track, encourage honesty with yourself, and safe from the debilitating stories.  Distraction can be very seductive...I have been on that detour, and the road to being well in both body and mind brings much more contentment and possibility. 

If you have found a good resource for clarity in mind and body, please share below.  ( It's the little grey bubble after Shunya ! )

Reflections on Change

Hollys' winter roses freshly opened

Freshness... it's a brand new year, a new day, a new breath.  There is something promising in that for me, something fragranced with possibility, a hint of the freedom I feel in being truly open to whatever unfolds.  It feels uplifting, promising, light ...

And then the strong lure of doing things the way I have always done them, going back into my usual schedule with the regular patterns, kicks in.  Patterns that serve me, though not quite grow me, and lack that sense of possibility.  The strong lure of what is known, what is expected.

I imagine many of you find yourself in a similar situation this time of year and I challenge you, us, to stay in this place of possibly choosing something new.  Drop down into it, uncomfortable as it might feel, and fight the urge to jump into the next thing on the list, the next distraction.  Trust that these shorter days and colder weather are the perfect conditions for regenerating our root systems, (thank you ES!), and connecting with the core values in our lives.  What would allow you to luxuriate in this deep reflective place?  A hot bath, alone time with your journal, a long walk...  A chance to reflect on what brings a sense of health, well being, satisfaction.  What do I want to carry with me into 2015?  What do I want to let go of?   What qualities do I want to nurture in myself or in others?   Oh no, I can almost feel these questions stirring up a heaviness, a dullness, an instinctive urge to turn away.  And that is where the perspective of freshness helps.  Once you honestly reflect and clearly see what is there, then you are free to choose afresh and not continue to carry around the weight of procrastination.§

Freshness can be a state of mind, it can be a place of embodiment, and a very creative place from which to move from, make choices from. What is it you would really like to say yes to in this new year?  What is whispering in your ear, or for some of us screaming from our bodies?  And as you tentatively feel the urge to Say Yes to change, notice what this change is saying No to -  no to feeling stuck, no to status quo, no to a history that you do not need to relive.

This helpful exercise works just as well the opposite way.  Perhaps you know what you don't want, know clearly what did not work for you last year, can easily write a list of No, not again...now with fresh curiosity imagine what those No's are really a declaration of Yes towards.

Each No is a Yes to something positive that moves you forward, each Yes is a No to an obstacle holding you back, and as you become more aware of this phenomenon more and more choices present themselves.  In fact our lives are a series of choices, and our choices shape our lives. 

In the freshness of this New Year what will you choose for yourself?  What can you say Yes to?