The bonfire from our August summer vacation

Max has been sick much of the weekend. He has a crazy summer cold. He is sick one moment, fine the next. I think I may be getting it.

Saturday was big and juicy–a ripe summer solstice full of rain and thunderstorms and sunlight. It was the new moon and when the day, full to bursting finally gave way to the dark it was truly dark. I made wishes and burnt them in flames to send them up to heaven or the universe or perhaps some place across the veil–wishes for the health of my loved ones, for my journey, for babies to be born, for other babes to come home and for even more babes to stay right where they are most loved.

Sunday morning I found myself at the rink. There were only a few of us there–a figure skater working on her routine and a couple of die hard hockey families. While Max got his sea legs back and skated himself back into wellness, chasing his friends, I dwelled in my beginner space again, and slowly worked on my “C-Cut”–the hockey style way of skating backwards. The 80s pop that was blasting over the loudspeakers fell away and for me the rink felt silent–just the cut of my skates on the ice, the whoosh of my boy whirling past. My mind was still as I worked on something so new, as I tried to keep my balance in this new way. I could not think of anything else while I was paying such close attention to where my weight was.

It still surprises me how much I am settling into things that are unsettling, choosing the unfamiliar, the new. Some might think I am rushing away from my life, searching for distraction but I know that no–its an opening, to the practice of being a beginner, to sink into the richness of life with all its possibilities. I wobble in these new unfamiliar hockey skates but I notice how different it is, how much easier I can turn, and it is fascinating to me and it makes me curious. I to wobble in a newish way of being, I see how strange I feel to let go of some old patterns, assumptions and ways. It scares me a little and it makes me curious.

Today at yoga we had a substitute teacher. She was a good teacher but she is not my beloved one. I realized how attached I had become to Karen’s style, rhythm voice. I heard myself say…”Ah…but Karen has us hold that pose for 5 breaths-not three” and I giggled and realized how todays yoga practice for me was simply being there with someone new. To adjust to a new place, to arrive somewhere else than where I had hoped and to see the beauty in it.

But making room for all this new means clearing out the old. I am diligent and its seems that my practice is to let go, let go, let go some more.

I am quiet tonight. I am here at my desk at work and I long to stay, clear papers, clean out email, let go of all the things that don’t need me. This letting go is a new exercise for me–even though I have been practicing for years. It is an onion and the more I do I continue to wobble, beginner like, letting go of what is not needed to make space for fresh dreams, new paths, fascinating journeys. I am scared to let go of too much. There is so much of my life that I love and I am terrified, even as I say yes, that the price I will pay for my dreams will be too high.

I say yes anyway and comfort myself with the fact that there is still a lot of stuff to get rid of that doesn’t serve me before I get to the rest of it, before I am left asking myself what dear and beloved bits I need to sacrifice. Right now I am sacrificing my latte’s, paper clutter and toys and clothes we don’t need. I am letting go of habits like buying things we want just for kicks. I am slowly letting go of my all to quick reactions–the ones that assume that someone meant to hurt me when they spoke–the ones that personalize. I am practicing letting go of my self judgements and my inner gremlin’s admonishments. That is practice enough.

One day I may be asked to sacrifice my financial security, my comfort, my community. I can talk a good game about non-attachment but Oh, if I am honest it terrifies me–when I wonder what my dreams will cost. Its a silly exercise really as there is no way to know. So I focus on the paper, the negative self-talk, the reactivity. I know that really there is no magical economy–no God or Goddess with a ledger book keeping score of what I have given up before I get my prize. There is no formula of suffering that must be met before dreams can be realized. I know it but I am still practicing owning it.

I know that simply the practice is the point. And it will carry me where I need to be. That I believe because there is no other way to go.

Losses will come. Anyway. And grief and letting go will be part of the game. Anyway. And I will keep breathing anyway.

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