I was walking down the beach this past weekend, and realized that I was able to be content with the present moment. The cold wind, overcast skies and beach flies were part of the texture of the day, but how it felt was inside of me. It seems almost silly to claim this as a victory, but I have far too many memories of times that were lost to me because the weather was not fitting my idea of what should be. Granted that the Northwest coast is rarely the warm sunny beach experience, but still, living inside of what is can be a straight line to living satisfied.
Letting the weather be is a great exercise of letting go. Having accomplished that, it was a short leap to releasing the weight and complexity of business demands that often define my daily life. It was easy to get back to the basics of cooking dinner, flying a kite and watching old favorite movies with my kids. I heard myself saying, “I don’t want to carry anything” on our way out the door to the beach and realizing how deeply I meant it. What a sensation to have my hands free, to not be carrying a heavy purse, or even holding a dog leash; it felt like freedom to walk unencumbered.
Positivity is the ability to lighten up and let go of the weight of life that is not really ours. There is a real peace when you can give up the need to figure it all out and to surrender to the truth of not knowing the answers. It is like flying a kite to not be afraid for what I don’t know. I am more than my all the shoulds and musts that I am attached to. Beyond the responsibilities there are so many more good ideas waiting to hatch.
It is interesting that a lot of my writing and teaching in life about love, relationships and intimacy has been concerned with learning the skills to hold on to people you love through the rough patches, learning to look for what works to stay for. Now, as I am working to let go, to stop holding on to past ideas or current attachments, I have a new perspective about the capacity to hold onto what we love. What is essential is taking the time to really know what is yours to hold and being willing to trade away the drive for security or position in favor of the levity of letting go. It is new territory, as it brings a kind of surrender and peace that makes the letting go easier and easier.
So maybe this is where growing old is just another version of growing up. Wanting what you have, instead of having what you want makes so much sense, if what you are striving for is happiness.