Change and Letting Go with the Season
Each season brings with it its own pattern of energy. Especially in those parts of the world where there are long, cold and dark winters we have an opportunity to clearly see an outer manifestation of the contrasts that we live with, not just in the weather but in every part of our lives. We can use those contrasts to get in touch with parts of ourselves that need airing out, stretching, letting go or expansion.
Spiritual teachings remind us that it is in the opposites of life that we learn to experience and know all of life fully: light-dark, sadness-joy, grief-happiness, longing-satisfaction. We may prefer only the positive sides of these experiences, but would we really be able to feel them all as deeply if we had not been touched by each?
It may seem an academic question or maybe even a rationalization for being stuck with our most negative human of experiences! But nevertheless, it is worth pondering if there is something to be learned. Can contrasts help us to pay attention, feel alive, and be more deeply grateful for the times when we are on the up side of the ride of life?
Change and Letting Go: The Full Catastrophe
Author Jon Kabat Zin has stated in his classic work on stress that being a human being means to embrace the full catastrophe—all the experiences of life! But how do we do this without feeling beat up by those experiences that we label as negative or unpleasant? It is in our perception and response that both the problems and solutions lay.
Nature provides us with a model of how to be more present, graceful, forgiving and accepting of the change and movement of our lives. We can take a hint from Mother Nature by incorporating skills that allow us to feel that we are not fighting life. As we learn, grow and develop in these skills and our consciousness expands we can meet life with less fear and connect with it more consciously, openly, and flexibly.
Pain, whether of a physical or psychological nature becomes intensified through resistance. So, to learn how to go with the flow’ can help release the pain of stress and change. It has been my experience that “going with the flow” requires new inner skills and development of abilities that help us to let go of automatic or destructive reactions to change and stress. Nature consistently shows her phenomenal capacities for first acceptance, then with restoration of balance and equilibrium. We can learn what is needed to own those same qualities and abilities.
Change and Letting Go: Springing Forward
Spring is a time of transformation and new beginnings. Our environments change rapidly now. Everywhere we look we can see new buds and shoots waking up from their winter sleep. Brooks and streams begin to gurgle and bubble as ice melts, the birds have a new song, and the air is filled with a different energy. There may still be signs of winter around but clearly there are also signs of renewed energy and new life emerging.
And so it is with us we can begin to think about our own renewal. What have you been thinking about dreaming of through the long cold winter? This may be a time to strengthen your own roots so you can emerge and blossom into the brighter light of springtime days.
Perhaps you are not sure where to begin. If you are feeling still dry, dusty and stuck in winter’s energy maybe you could create some space for exploration and discovery of your inner world. Reading, insight work, meditation, silence, a retreat, or sitting with a wise and trusted friend/counselor/coach/therapist may help you clarify your vision, and explore the covert and overt obstacles to that vision.
Maybe what is needed is a renewal of your commitment to yourself and your goals; to develop a plan of action to dissolve and release the obstacles. At that point you would be in a clearer position to take definite steps to further your goals.
More Ideas for Change and Letting Go
Other ways to renew you energy are: sign up for a class, recharge your relationships, eat healthier one day at a time, get more sleep, and mediate daily. Think more symbolically about the changes you would like to create and feeeeel your way into them by becoming the change you desire. This is part of the magic of our higher mind. We can reprogram ourselves by learning how to create cooperation between all levels of mind.
You may begin by doing some spring cleaning and think about the ways that your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. As you clear the debris, let go of what is no longer desired or useful new ideas, thoughts, feelings and awareness may dawn on the shores of your mind.
From my own personal work as well as that with clients, I have found that one of the most effective ways to let go of old patterns and stress so there can be free and easy movement forward is to go to where these patterns live….the energy system–or nervous system if you like–and erase it there. For that reason we created Letting Go the Heart of Healing a guided meditation that brings you through a process to release and cleanse old toxic stuck patterns. This program is available for download here: http://karenkallie.com/shop-2/letting-go-heart-healing/
We can very fortunate to be living in a time when we have research and awareness re: mind-body science that spawns both information and tools to give us choices that help to open us to new perceptions, insight, understanding and healing. Then times of change and transition can shift from fearful to exciting as we begin to see through new eyes.