Letting go of the past: for someone who thrives on memories, this one is hard. Letting go of old habits and ways of understanding and making room for forgiveness.
Letting go of stuff I no longer use or need, another hard one. I attach far too much significance to the objects around me. I have written about how filled my workroom has become with just small spaces left to work in. I keep eyeing our lovely, expansive dining room table, but resist that idea. I know if I started a project on the table that it would soon be just as full as my workroom -- well-used, but eventually stifling my creativity.
Letting go of sugar: for me, the hardest of all. The universe was built from a form of sugar. How can you resist when sugar is a part of you? When even your serotonin-manufacturing part of your brain lights up when you ingest sugar? After several years of saying no to desserts (mostly), I couldn't resist at a recent holiday dinner when a friend brought out all their Christmas desserts: pumpkin pies, pecan pies, whipped cream, ice cream, and cookies. It was the pumpkin pie that enticed me. Who could resist?
During this lull between the end of the year and the start of the next, I can consider what is important and what is not. I can make lists of things I'd like to accomplish this year. I can tell myself, "One thing at a time." I can remind myself, "I can do this." And then some shiny object, some distraction, will catch my attention and off I go in a whirlwind of unfinished things. My good intentions will slow down. But maybe this year, my hopeful list will not get lost completely in the busy-ness of another year and I will make some progress towards a more mellow, more thoughtful year. So, I am going to try to let go of the whirlwind.
In the meantime, I can watch our cats and learn from their examples.
They are cats we chose from an animal shelter eleven years ago. They are mother and daughter, who are very skittish, who didn't purr for the first nine years. I grew up with cats and I'd never had cats that didn't purr.
One day, while the baby was sitting on my lap, I felt what seemed like gears shifting inside her body. She did the same thing the next night and I worried that she might be sick. The next morning she jumped on our bed and bumped her head against us to wake us up. I was thrilled to hear her loud purr.
I got up and lay down on the floor to do my morning stretches. The cats came too, lying down beside me, stretched from front paws to back. The mother turned on her back and lay in the most relaxed pose that a cat can assume. When I went to feed them later, the mother rubbed against my legs and began to purr.
Two cats, who are protective of each other and insecure in their trust of anyone, have finally realized that they are safe and loved. They let go.
What are you letting go this year?