The long road to letting go

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My kids running in the fields behind Kibbutz Hannaton, Lower Galilee, Israel

I have a bad temper. And I hold on to anger.

I don’t know if I was born sullen and stubborn or if I cultivated these attractive personality traits over time.

Regardless, what I’ve fortunately learned in recent years is that “letting go” is the gateway to peace and ease — the path away from sullen and stubborn.

In the few years before I moved to Israel, I studied with teachers experienced in the mind/body connection, many of whom introduced me to the concepts of mindfulness I often write about. Through their teaching, I understood this practice could alleviate everything from aggravation to anxiety to physical pain.

As a writer, I’m really good at listening to other people’s stories and sharing them with others. Which I did a lot with mindfulness, but looking back, I was not so good at practicing it in real life.

Living in Israel, though — mostly because of the language and cultural differences — has been a daily practice in the art of letting go.

Letting go of my ego.

Letting go of my sense of control.

Letting go of my assumptions .. .about myself, my neighbors, the region, the world.

Letting go of stereotypes.

Letting go of the tight hold over my children.

Letting go of certain dreams and expectations.

I’m nowhere near a master of the art of letting go.

Maybe an experienced student. Possibly, good enough to be a T.A.

Still a long way from Zen bliss.

But with this particular type of study, thankfully, the culmination of my efforts is not in a certificate or a degree, right?

The win is in the practice itself.

I win every single time I let go.

Again and again and again.

Which means I also have the space in which to mess up, without worrying about failure. Because, think about it, failure (hanging on to something ugly like jealousy, resentment, or righteous indignation — all favorites of the stubborn and sullen) just sets me up for an immediate opportunity to win once again.

By letting go.

And with that philosophical turn, I need a nap.

Thank you for listening. This T.A. is outta here.

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5 thoughts on “The long road to letting go

    • Totally. I think sometimes it takes a wake up call to open us up to embracing letting go (or forcing us to!) . Living somewhere that placed limits on my communication really humbled me, not to mention living in a part of the world where kids are given a lot of freedom — as opposed to the very closely observed and scheduled life we led in the NJ suburbs. I had to learn to let go of my kids or be constantly saying, No. that’s no fun!

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  1. Pingback: Mindfulness is knowing that today sucks …emphasis on today | and yadda yadda yadda...i made aliyah

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