I have done my best today…

                   “I have done my best today, and the rest – I let go”…

So much has come at me today,

so many tasks, challenges, people…

I have met everything as best I could,

And what I have missed, I let go…

I let my feelings come and honor them as best as I am able.

And those that are too much – I let go…

I watched my thoughts come by like clouds blown by strong winds –

I let in those that are life giving – and I let go of the rest.

As the evening comes, and the night welcomes me softly,

as if wrapping me in a warm blanket,

I whisper to myself: “I have done well today, and I forgive the rest”…

And then I let go and surrender to the friend,

the rhythm of my breath named “sleep”…

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Letting go…

“Joy  and Happiness arise from letting go. Please, sit down and take an inventory of your life. There are things you’ve been hanging on to that really are not useful and deprive you of your freedom. Find the courage to let them go.” Thich Nhat Hanh

“Things” that deprive us of our freedom

and that really are not useful

nor bring us joy or happiness

can be:

possessions,

relationships,

old habits,

mindless attachments,

dependencies on certain comforts,

substances or behavior patterns.

It takes courage

to sit down,

to pause,

to reflect,

to take an inventory

of all of those “things”

and admit the deprivation

and lack of freedom

we feel holding on…

It takes courage

to let go.

It takes courage

to experience

the initial emptiness

that conscious

letting go brings,

and yet

suddenly

feel joy

like fresh spring water

bubble up,

flowing and

filling those empty spaces,

of heart and mind

with freedom

never known before…

No Matter What- Love Yourself!

Sometimes what looks terrible

can actually become a new opportunity…

Or what seems the end of the world

becomes the beginning of a new way of living…

When we are in these transition times

grieving the known that has come to an end

And facing the unknown that we have not met nor begun to trust yet

We are “in limbo”, in “no man’s land”,

in nomadic territory, travelling on seemingly without direction…

And yet, in the depth of our soul

And interconnected with the Universe

we are being prepared

For a new beginning

For a new life

For new connections

For new places to call “home”

No matter what – love yourself!

Hold on and trust

The new path that will open before you,

The new life that awaits you.

No matter what – love yourself and reach out to community.

There are so many like you “in limbo” right now…

If you love someone…

“When you love someone,

the best thing you can offer is your presence.

How can you love

if you are not there?” Thich Nhat Hanh

“I am here for you”

 is probably the most loving sentence

we can say to another person,

and then stop what we are doing,

and practice being present.

We don’t have to “do” or say anything,

just practice “being”.

We look with tenderness

and compassion

into the other person’s eyes.

Maybe we touch gently

the other’s hand or arm

if invited and allowed.

We breathe deeply,

and are just still.

No fixing,

No explaining,

No rationalizing,

No distracting.

Just being present.

“I am here for you”

The ultimate expression

of loving.

Touching the positive…

“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong.
Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things
and make them bloom?” Thich Nhat Hanh

The patterns of our society are to always focus on what is wrong:
Doctors screen for pathologies, therapists diagnose mental illnesses,
news reporters only focus on traumatic and catastrophic developments and
teachers give grades based on the amounts of mistakes a student makes.

All of us get conditioned early on in life to fear making mistakes
to hide our imperfections, to judge ourselves and others harshly,
and to always look for what is missing or broken.
How often do parents say to their children: “What is wrong with you?”
when they get annoyed with them, which leaves deep scars in their children’s souls.

Healing work means to see and gently touch those positive things inside of us,
and around us. We look at what is life giving and resilient. We stop seeking deficiencies.
We begin to notice those small blooming changes and stop getting fixated on old patterns.
By letting go of assuming that life, others or myself must be wrong, we begin to touch the mystery of the renewing power of all living things.

The best way…

“The best way to take care of the future

is to take care of the present moment.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Our culture is very future oriented.

Everything has to be strategically planned:

Children’s education and career have to be outlined

while they are still in Kindergarten.

Children grow up with the stress

of having to embody their parents’ notion of success

and live up to their future plans for them.

And so, we often grow up pretending to control

the sequence of things:

we follow invisible scripts,

not sure if they truly match who we are.

The future becomes a law of worries and goals

that one has to pursue to be seen as successful

and “worthy” in the eyes of society.

How counter cultural and freeing the thought

that all you need to do to prepare for tomorrow

is to be fully present in the “here and now”.

How liberating a thought that the best way of living

is caring for the NOW and not yet for tomorrow,  

being present with all senses, and not missing any moment.

How amazing a truth!

Has not the Pandemic of the past years taught us one lesson

(if we were teachable)? :

“None of us possesses tomorrow!

All we have is today!”

Surprised by Joy

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering.

Out of fear of the unknown,

they prefer suffering that is familiar.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Sometimes we think that what we know

is all there is.

The ways that our families treated us, or our classmates,

or intimate partners, those

become the templates with which we see the world.

Even though old patterns can be extremely painful,

letting go of them often causes even greater anxiety.

And the anxiety of the suffering that I know,

seems to be safer, more predictable,

maybe even controllable…

Why is it so hard to let go?

Letting go requires trusting that the universe

always wants to heal, grow and renew

every organism it created.

Letting go is an exercise in

releasing known suffering

and allowing new and unknown

waves of experiences and feelings,

and be surprised by joy…

The Obstacle of Knowledge

If we are caught by the obstacle of knowledge, even if truth comes knocking at our door, we will refuse to let it in.” Thich Nhat Hanh

When we identify with “what we know”

and with “who we know”

and our sense of self and idea of truth

shrink down to the size of our frontal lobe:

Then we start to believe that we “are” our mind,

and a door shuts close around us

with the inscriptions: “closed systems”,

“preconceived notions”, “prejudices”,

“logical conclusions”, “fixed answers”…

As we identify with and believe our limited mind,

the larger and deeper truths that life offers

and that can only be received

with a fully present and open heart and mind

will not be able to reach us, but pass us by.

Descartes said: “I think, therefore I am”

Buddha and Jesus said: “I surrender, therefore I am”

Love means Freedom

“You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free” Thich Nhat Hanh

The difference between narcissistic love and healthy love:

Narcissistic love seeks to use others as supply.

That kind of love controls and manipulates to only get own needs met,

without consideration how the other person might be impacted or feel.

Actually, the word “love” in this case

is a cover up term for abuse and neglect.

Healthy love seeks the happiness of the other person.

This kind of love lets the beloved be free

and does not use them to get own needs met.

Love that allows for freedom and space

is also deeply considerate and compassionate.

Do you feel free in your relationship?

Then you are being truly loved.

Being Yourself…

“To be beautiful means to be yourself.

You don’t need to be accepted by others.

You need to accept yourself.” Thich Nhat Hanh

As the New Year begins,

many people make resolutions about

how they want to change and improve themselves.

And when they fall short after a few weeks,

they then blame themselves and feel bad.

What if our New Year’s resolution was

to accept ourselves completely,

compassionately,

and with all our imperfections?

When we decide to fully embrace who we are,

we live counter cultural and escape the addiction

of our time to impress others with creating images

of success that hide our human and true selves.

Beauty

means

being

our true

and human selves.

Let’s make 2023 a year

of “freedom to be”!

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