"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: letting go

letting go . . . ?

lovely textured landscape in Nova Scotia near our cottage. . .

lovely textured landscape in Nova Scotia near our cottage. . .

Well, it’s Monday morning and I woke up after a bad night dreaming about the world coming to an end. Yes, there’s a level of stress in our lives this week. And no, there’s nothing we haven’t already done to try to alleviate it and have things go our way. In fact, this oscillating situation has been with us for a long time. . . way too long, but there’s nothing we can do about it except to manage it as best we can.

In any case, an article from the NYTimes popped up after breakfast and an old familiar Zen tale appeared. Here it is:

Two traveling monks reached a town where there was a young woman waiting to step out of her sedan chair. The rains had made deep puddles and she couldn’t step across without spoiling her silken robes. She stood there, looking very cross and impatient. She was scolding her attendants. They had nowhere to place the packages they held for her, so they couldn’t help her across the puddle.

The younger monk noticed the woman, said nothing, and walked by. The older monk quickly picked her up and put her on his back, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other side. She didn’t thank the older monk; she just shoved him out of the way and departed.

As they continued on their way, the young monk was brooding and preoccupied. After several hours, unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. “That woman back there was very selfish and rude, but you picked her up on your back and carried her! Then, she didn’t even thank you!”

“I set the woman down hours ago,” the older monk replied. “Why are you still carrying her?”

So, that’s today’s lesson so early in the morning! Let something go, if only the way you’re not handling things so well. Mitigate one’s frustration at something you can’t change.

Wow, wouldn’t that be great?


buddha weighs in . . .

M., my daughter, sent me this message today as a follow-on to the revelation post yesterday:  “life is to be enjoyed, not understood.”


“doing her own thing” . . .


Well, here’s a secret to life I heard in passing today:

“do your own thing  (informal)”
“to do exactly what you want without following what other people do or worrying about what they think. 

you have to give your children a certain amount of freedom to do their own thing.”

I’m really good at the first part, the second, not so much. But from now on, I get it!

equinox . . .

It might be due to the effect of the equinox that we just experienced yesterday that I found myself creating a sort of balance sheet when I woke up this morning. First, I listed all of the things that I feel remorseful about in my life. This includes not taking care of the tiny turtle that a friend gave me in the third grade all the way through mishaps I created for myself during my college days and down to the present day. Little things that have gnawed at me my whole life and big things that I can’t do anything about but have saddened me. The “Remorse” heading had twelve items listed underneath it. I was kind of surprised there were not more after I had done my “Scrooge-like raking over Christmases past.”

As I looked at this list of “mea culpas”, I suddenly had the idea to make a list of “Satisfactions” I have felt in my life. This was not in the game plan when I first set out on my “Remorse” exercise. Extemporaneously and without a lot of thought, I jotted down things I felt I had learned, accomplished or overcome. To my surprise, this list was longer than the first one and had seventeen items. The items were all biggies and there were no fillers in either grouping. I was surprised that “Satisfaction” was longer than “Remorse” because it certainly hasn’t been feeling that way lately.

Then, I made a heading called “Moving Forward.” And here, I’m going to paste in the actual language I wrote:

“Moving Forward: Take ownership for my satisfactions and responsibility for things I feel remorseful about. And then let it all go. Stop striving to prove myself or to make something of myself at this point in my life. Just be and be true to myself. Act intuitively and stop reaching out. Let whatever will come, come to me instead. Change the energy and the direction of the dynamic. And be grateful to acknowledge all of the above, the good, the bad and the ugly. Catch myself when I am being judgmental or defensive. Be as kind as I can be.”

And that’s all. Except perhaps to light some sage and rosemary smudge that I have on the bookshelf in its large abalone shell. So that the smoke clears the energy of the past. And to live the life I really have today.