Sunday, December 5, 2010

Let go and soar

Today’s Reverb10 prompt is about letting go. Where have you let go over the past year? This prompt sort of felt like a punch to the gut when I first ready it. This is my work. This is lawyer work. This is yoga. While wonder are important to yoga and the law, letting go are necessary, not only to each of them, but to life itself. I have written before about letting go, about how I learned to release energy, but I have grown since that post, and here I offer some of that growth and reflection.

As I said before, letting go is the yoga paradox - the more you learn to let go, the more you learn to open up and receive and the stronger you can eventually become. My teacher explained it best, with the body as an example; your muscles will not relax until they know that something else will support them. This is the root of so much of our tension, of our pain, physically, emotionally, spiritually.

But why is letting go so important? Why does it matter to lawyers? Why does it matter in life? When we are gripping and holding on, we are using all of our energy for that process. All of our energy goes to keeping ourselves locked in a situation because we think that is the best situation for us. With all of our our energy (physical, emotional, spiritual) locked up holding on, we have no more energy reserves to open up to new possibilities, to increase our wonder, to interact in new and exciting ways.

Letting go is scary. There is no question about that. As I mentioned before, for lawyers it can mean a malpractice suit. It can mean that others will think less of us. It could mean that we no longer understand our lives. It could mean that we lose our sense of identity.

But letting go is also that sense of excitement. It is about new opportunities. It is about new relationships. It is about new ways to see the world. Letting go does not mean giving up. It does not mean passivity in the face of extreme hardship. It does not mean that you have no control.

For me, personally, that is what I have let go of this year. I have let go of what it means to let go. We all do it differently; we all do it in different ways. It opens different doors for each of us. For me, it has meant that the universe has a plan for me. I am an integral actor in that plan, and choices I make will change that outcome, but I need not fear what tomorrow will bring. I have (begun to) let go of that fear. I know that in less than 6 weeks, I will be on the other side of the world in a situation I have never encountered - doing empirical research. I could have a comfortable job right here in Arizona, but this adventure means more to me.

Of course, I will still have the internet, facebook, skype, and a cell phone. I am going to a country where they speak English (somewhat understandably), and where electricity and indoor sanitation are normal. In short, not very much outside my comfort zone. People keep asking me what I will do when I get back. The answer is that I could end up in the very same job I would otherwise have already started. I could also end up . . . well, who knows, right? My third year in law school, I was scared to death about finding work, paying back the loans, and settling down. Today, I’m packing my apartment to learn about family law in another country. One judge recently asked my dad, “shouldn’t she be settling down soon?” Perhaps. But instead, I’m going to keep working on letting go of that requirement. The universe has never failed me yet.

Where have you let go? What adventures are you seeking? What do you have to offer the universe? If the body is any example (and we know it is), if you let yourself be supported (by the universe), you can let go and soar to your greatest heights.

Namaste and Blessings!

© 2010 Rebecca Stahl, all rights reserved

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