Last weekend I had the pleasure of pulling out dead things from my garden which has become a spiritual practice for me: slowly attuning to the land and discerning what wants to go and what wants to stay. It’s a little nerve-wrecking if I think about it too much: the lives of innocent plant-life resting in my fumbly hands.
But once I get going it’s life-giving: discerning what no longer has life force and consciously cutting it away. I (admittedly) get a high from piling up the dead things with my dirt-stained fingers and seeing all the space I’ve just created in the soil.
As a child, I liked thinking of God as an intelligent gardener, taking away what’s no longer serving me so She can make new things.
I used to just... sit around … waiting to be pruned, stuffing my truth and hoping (fingers crossed) that that maladaptive friendship would just fizzle or my unhealthy ex would just LEAVE already and I could scoot out the back door while no one was watching.
As I mature, I now realize that while God might be the gardener, I am Her apprentice holding a pair of human-sized shears in my own two hands.
Growing into an almost 40 year old woman has taught me that while death will find me on Her own accord no doubt, sometimes I am the one who must choose what will die:
having the courage to tell that uncomfortable truth
or walk away from a former commitment that doesn’t feel right
or say no to social media scrolling (even though it constantly sings its siren song).
I’m learning that I can reorient the trajectory of my life with every choice I make, according to what feels right for me.
This realization is hard when you have fumbly girl hands that are just learning how to hold pruning shears (that’s why Divine guidance is highly recommended ;)). But I’m learning that being in *Choice* is a necessary part of living a healthy, happy life that is in alignment with who I really am and what I really want.
Trust me, as a recovering addict, I LOVE to cling to things: comfort, people, adoration, old habits, thoughts and behaviors. But I’m learning that doing so is one of the most direct ways I cause myself harm.
And when I can just SURRENDER to the process of letting things go rather than resisting it, I’ve found that what looks like death initially is simply a part of a constantly unfolding process of transformation that my human mind may never fully understand.
God has surprised me multiple times by bringing an old friendship back in a new, more life-giving way, unearthing an old skill I thought I’d never need again, resurrecting my once rocky marriage into a more genuine one: new plants -- surprisingly -- growing in the compost pile.
Yoga is often called a practice that prepares us for the big-D death (which we all will face some day) assuring us that clinging to anything in this world is a one-way ticket to suffering. We are reminded that, while the ever-changing tapestry of life is meant to be experienced and enjoyed, God is the one stable source on which we can rely.
That’s why the practice is so profound: it connects us to the eternal Divine Self rather than encouraging us to look for stability in the shape-shifting world of form.
This week, I let go of three major things that were weighing me down -- taking up room in my schedule, draining me of time and money, and taking me away from my kids -- and while I was scared and shaky at first, I meditated, prayed, wound my fumbly fingers around the shears, and went for it.
And it feels incredible.
Fall is an excellent time to ask what is losing its life force for me? What feels heavy -- as if it’s too much to keep holding -- and what’s keeping me from letting it go? What if my freedom is on the other side of the boundaries that I am feeling called to set?
What I know for sure is that, as the Buddha says, you as much as anyone else in this Universe are worthy of your own love and attention. You have permission to keep pruning your life in a direction that’s in alignment with your deepest core values and brings you a deep sense of joy and purpose.
I wish you the courage to keep choosing what’s in alignment for you as we move into the season of death, deep renewal, and reset.
In love and sisterhood,
P.S. As I have alluded to in my past emails, my business (my marriage, my body, and my family life ;)) have all been in their own transformative death and resurrection process over the last year: you can read the story here.
Yoga Teacher and Student, Speaker, Writer, Mother, Wife, Friend, Daughter, Sister, Human