mixed-up monday: letting go to hold on

on 10-12-2012

“I envy the tree,

how it reaches

but never holds.”

                          Mark Nepo


I’ve been known to confuse holding on with being patient. I’ll convince myself that hanging tough is the best way to foster clarity or that waiting on a lightning bolt moment is the surest way to guarantee lucidity.

And you know the kind of holding on I mean — the kind when your entire being senses the crescendo . . .  desire to let go moving from whisper to cacophony, but somehow fear, uncertainty and a whole host of other hooks still hold you fast. That is until the {thankfully} relentless flashlight beam of your truest self lands on a shadowy corner you’ve been avoiding and BAM — there’s nowhere to hide.

I understand why Mark Nepo envies the tree and its inexhaustible reach that never clenches into a grip. In fact, I was imagining trees and reaching without holding when the next passage in Nepo’s THE BOOK OF AWAKENING became a flashlight for me.

“We can’t stop life from flowing. So we are left with feeling what was and what is, and we call the difference loss. But all the clinging and holding on only makes it worse. Now, new things come, and some of us anticipate the loss and just let things of life go by without feeling them at all.”

I read that last sentence six or seven times before I got inside it and realized that even though the list of reasons I became a “loss anticipator” may be long, I’ve been steadily building a better list– one that’s anchored in what I believe to be true:  The dance of holding on and letting go moves to the song inside each of us, and the more we fearlessly tune into the spaces between its notes, the more our feet {and minds and hearts and dreams} will follow.

I’ll see you on the dance floor.



Give this plate a click to tune into songs about holding on and letting go.

Missed these playlists? Listen up here . . . .


       elemental truth

     graduated dreams


Tree photo credit: Freefoto.com

Plate available on etsy.

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