Goddess of letting go

Dhumavati is the hindu goddess of letting go.  We are told we can invoke this goddess to help us navigate disappointment, and to discover the freedom in letting go.

Letting go is not something we are taught.  It is a skill we observe in our parents  assuming they are able to let go.

My mother hung onto everything and guarded her belongings.  “Grasping” was a word that comes to mind.

My father was interesting, he was a collector who had 3 of everything just in case.  He grew up in the depression.  He would swing between hording, and letting go of everything.

One day I came home and my mother was furious.  My father had given away the silverware, so we had nothing to eat dinner with.

As a child growing up in the British Air Force, we were forced to let go of the idea of home.  We moved countries every 2 years.  As a kid I intuitively knew not to get too attached to friends, objects, or placse as it would be gone when we moved.

Deep inside me I know I yearned to attach to something.  I had no idea that I could build a “home” inside myself.

Now I find myself in a state of relinquishment, choosing to let go-for love.

How much would you give up for love?

Would you leave your country?

Would you leave your work?

Would you leave your friends?

Would you leave the familiar?

I have a good friend who is now 58, and is seriously seeking love.  His criterion is that a women lives within 30 mintues drive of him.  He is not willing to drive beyond that for love.  Does that not limit his options?  What if his perfect match lived 2 hours away?

How often do we get attached to a fixed outcome, and cling to it.   Then we get angry when something else shows up that does not match our vision.

How do we surrender to the life that is right in front of us?

 

 

A different world inside….

When you get to a certain age you have fewer years in front of you than behind you.  You can stop and evaluate your life.

I believe that the first 50 years of my life I have spent trying to figure the world out, trying to figure life out.  Working very hard to manage life to get what I want.  I have spent all my energy wanting to understand motivations, people and systems.

Now I feel I am moving into the heart phase of my life.  Letting go of the need to know, letting go of the insistence of understanding the world and people.  Letting go of the hard work to constantly quantify people and experiences.

As a child I thought that if I understood and had knowledge it would protect me and keep me safe from the outside world.

As an adult I know…….

Most of the universe is unknowable.

So much of life is a mystery.

When I focus on needing to know, needing to understand; I narrow my bandwidth for the divine to flow in.  I can only know what is in front of me.

The next 30 years I want to spend experiencing the mystery of life.

I want to flow rather than understand.

I want to love rather than evaluate.

I want to discriminate rather than assess.

I want to share the love that I came here to share, for myself and others around me.

If we all did this we would have a very different world!

“Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”

~ Brené Brown

Transforming our shadow into light

 

We all have a pain story.  We all have a past where we have been hurt, dumped, and left broken-hearted.  We think our story makes us unique.  We believe that no one could fully understand our suffering.

As we enter into the new moon I have been contemplating letting go of my pain story.  To no longer let my pain story define me now, and into the future.

I went to a new moon ceremony that included stories about goddesses, live music and asana practice.

We were led us through yoga asanas while the musicians chanted.  We were told in this new moon we have an opportunity to transform our shadow into light, and to set our intention.

What is it that no longer serves you that you can now let go of?

What darkness would you like to release to the light of this new moon?

 

Going down the mountain

Sitting in our backyard in Boulder is so nice.  We can hear the trees and the creek.  Two fat squirrels are chasing each other through the overlapping trees that have not been trimmed in 30 years.  The squirrels in Bolder are brown and fat.  The mountain squirrels are lean and gray.   We walk down the circle stone path and find a blackberry bush by a stone bench and sit, picking the sweet September blackberries.

This is our new home in Boulder.  We had to leave the mountains and go to the city to find quiet.  In Breckenridge we heard fire alarms, garbage trucks and food delivery trucks arriving for the downtown restaurants all day.  For a town of 4,500 there were at least 4 alarms a day.  Not to mention the tourists who alarm their cars in the parking lot accross from our old Breckenridge house.

Sitting here in our Boulder, the house energy is wonderful. We rented it from a couple who in their 60’s.  They decided to take a contract teaching in Burma or the union of Myanma.  He is an english professor, and she is a video producer, both on an adventure now that their two boys are in college.

This couple have lived in this house for 30 years, raised their kids in a one bedroom cottage.  As the kids grew they added 2 tiny rooms,  an extra bathroom but no closets.  It feels like a small cottage in the city.

They built a shed that became the boys bong hut in their 20’s.  When we looked at the house the bong hut had truck seats, and a Bob Marley wall hanging, and lots of butts in the ashtray.

Now we have painted it and converted it into our meditation room, a quiet sacred reflective space with a mosaic red lantern, and a tree of life bronze wall hanging and lots of cushions for sitting.

Looking around the garden I notice an orange wheelbarrow, and my mind flashes back to my first marriage,  and our first house in 2005.  I was thrilled to have a garden of my own.  Owning a house was good, but a garden that I could invest in, and did not have to leave was priceless for me.

I spent most summer days in the garden.  One day my husband arrived with a beautiful top of the line metal wheelbarrow in enamel blue, with gorgeous wood and blue enamel handles.  I cried.  He said it was the best one on the market.  My heart and mind flash back to that moment sitting here in this garden in Boulder.

This house has a great mature garden that backs onto a creek.  It has brambles and overgrown areas that remind me of my grandfathers garden in Eaglescliff – Northern England. We used to play hide and seek through the raspberries and rose bushes.  When I grew up and went back to my grandfathers garden, it was so small, but it felt like a labyrinth of secret places.   I can imagine a young couple moving to Boulder, him a young english teacher, her an aspiring filmaker, watching their young boys running around the back yard, playing hide and seek.

We can’t wait to bring our 3-year-old husky down from the mountain to this new house. She can hide in the shade of a tree,  or chase the brown chubby squirrels through the underbrush.   I am sitting at a square wooden table that is weathered and grey, and has four benches around it.  I imagine great barbeques and good discussions at this table.

My heart is like the old weathered wood.  A little worn, but plenty of life still left in it.

Cheers to Boulder!

swimming upstream

Today we sat by the Breckenridge river, at the french bakery here in town. As the days of september get shorter and cooler brook trout and brown trout attempt to go upstream to spawn.

We sat and watched the brown trout in the stream, as the water rushed downhill.  There were two culverts dumping water into lower lying land.  We watched fish trying to jump up to higher ground, going against the rushing water.  They attempted to leap the 5 ft gap.

Their jumps seemed like futile attempts, but they kept trying. These fish were my teachers today…I asked myself:

How much energy do I put into futile endeavours?

How much energy do I put into swimming upstream?   For example trying to do it my way rather than surrender and trust the universe.

Everything flows downstream….I have been swimming upstream all my life, resisting the flow, resisting life.  Letting my mind and ego run the show until it no longer works.

Now is the time to let go and flow.

Waking up to a new landspace in your life 

Do you ever find you look back and think how did I get here?  I am 53 and just starting to pay attention to my body.  Just starting to honour myself.  Not putting everyone else first, and forgetting about myself.  Including myself on the list of things to care for, rather than leaving myself out.

Yesterday I was on top of a 14,000 ft mountain in Colorado.  I saw these beautiful mountain goats, way up high on the top of a pyramid of rocks looking down at us.    I followed a 10-year-old boy up the rocks, trying to keep up with his nibble hopping from rock to rock.   I asked the 10-year-old boy for his technique for climbing.  He said “hold onto the rocks with your hands, and don’t put much weight on your feet”.  What a difference that made, I climbed nimbly up the mountain and saw this mountain goat family at the top of the world.  Just me and the boy.  Everyone else was on the ground yelling cautions to us to “be safe”, or “watch out for the charging mother  with her babies”.

Later that night before we fell asleep in each others arms, my husband asked me what was the highlight of my day?  I said “being 53 and just starting to feel fit, and strong for the first time in my life”.  I was proud I was able to climb by myself.  I was nervous but I called on my ancestors, who have been climbing mountains for years.   I could almost see my grandfather shaking his fist in the air as if to say “we shall overcome”!

Having been physically ill for 8 years, I am just starting to feel strong and somewhat healthy.  I think this is partly because of a greater compassion for myself, and being more patient with myself, rather than punishing myself to change.   As Dr. Barbara D’Angelis says “loving myself forward instead”.

In spite of my imperfection I am shinning even at this late stage in my life……

It’s not over till it’s over.