Whenever I am clinging to a painful feeling or wrestling with doubt and uncertainty, I envision myself like a cartoon character, dangling from a vine or a twig and hanging over the edge of a dangerous precipice about to fall. For me, the first glimpse of serenity often comes when I become aware that I am holding on to an illusion.
Most of us grab a “vine” and cling because we think it gives us more control. But one must only look back at the first three quarters of 2020 to see that the idea of control in life is delusional. We need to let go.
“Letting go is like flushing paper down a toilet,” said one AA sponsor I had years ago. “Never reach back into the swirling water to grab at the remnants — just let them go.” Those were wise words.
My plans for the year we have had proved to be about as solid as wet sand dripping through my fingers at the beach. I was not really given a real choice to hold on. Because I am flexible, the “sandcastle” I dreamed of assembling at my local “beach” came to be. And it was sturdy. But my envisioned European “sandcastle” got swept away on the tide of the pandemic. Plane tickets to visit literal faraway beaches sit unused in the travel bank. And my job ended.
Worse, Gregorio, the Mexican artisan who made whistles for my Wind Work® community, died of COVID complications. His death was both a shock to my heart and a setback to my business plans. I loved his beautiful craftsmanship and in my imagined future, his role in the wind clan was essential to implementing a worldwide expansion. In many circumstances this year, I have had only two choices: either let go and feel the loss or hold on to my illusory dreams and suffer the harsher pain of resistance.
Endings are precursors to beginnings. Although my day job at the beginning of the year had run its full course, I still found it difficult to leave voluntarily. Every day was filled with my heartache and complaints. I resembled a version of myself from the distant past — a woman who was much more bitter than I am today. In retrospect, and by looking down on the situation from an eagle-eye perspective, the job I had outgrown was a vital element in a seven-year birth cycle for my book, Winds of Spirit. It gave