Knowing When to Hold On and Knowing When to Let Go

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The Wisdom of the Sacred Continuum

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
-- Ecclesiastes 3:1

MacDoodle, my dog, and I took our regular early morning walk today just as the sun was rising. The air was unusually cool and dense with moisture from the lingering fog -- it truly felt like autumn. A very gentle breeze stirred and the fallen leaves from the now mostly barren trees spiraled around me like my own personal wind tunnel. I stopped and took a deep breath, realizing I was being beckoned by the beauty of it all to be still and know. Know? Know what? To know that I was part of a Sacred Continuum older than time itself and that the connective tissue between "what has been" and "what shall be" is the eternal "what is." The wind on my face, the scent of dry leaves swirling around me, the sun just peeking over the hills bathing me in its warmth as it dissolved the remnants of the fog... it all came together in an elegant convergence of energy that was like a sacred symphony for the senses being conducted by Mother Nature herself.

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be
When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need."
-- Lao Tzu

In that instant I had a profound awareness that I was being invited by the Universe to do a deep let go -- a divine surrender; to release all my attachments to yesterday and tomorrow and be present with the wind and leaves and emerging sun... to simply know that in that moment life was unfolding as it needed to -- as it HAD to -- to facilitate the coming change of the seasons -- and I was one with it. With this awareness I found myself drawing deep breaths, with open arms stretched skyward, letting go of an emotional burden I have been carrying for the past few weeks. All the while Mac just sat at my side taking it all in as you might expect an animal that knows only the present moment can do. I realized I was having a multi-sensory experience, actualizing my oneness with life right there in the middle of the sidewalk with cars zooming by only feet away. I can only wonder (not that I care) what the drivers were thinking.

"Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink,
taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each."

-- Henry David Thoreau

It has long been said that if we can attune ourselves to nature her great wisdom will be evidenced in the simplicity and elegance with which the four seasons unfold, each unto the next, with its own unique beauty and purpose. Thoreau was a wise man -- he lived in and witnessed nature: If we have the eyes to witness the process we'll see that each season selflessly sets the stage for the next and then lets go; you will never hear autumn complain to winter that it is unwelcome, nor see spring resist the coming of summer. Each season uniquely blesses every living thing in nature with what it needs to continue its growth and evolution and then, with impeccable timing, surrenders itself unto the next... and it has been this way since the dawn of time. The elements and creatures in nature seem to be very adept at accepting the "what is" and using it to unfold the "what can be" by releasing the "what has been."

The lesson for us is that we too have seasons in our lives and each season has its purpose as well. While some may think of the seasons of their life as the aging process that is not just what I am referring to: Irrespective of our age, we all go through the various seasons during our lifetime. There are times of light and warmth... there are times of cold and darkness... there are times of growth and expansion... there are times of letting go, pruning back the barren branches of the past that need to be removed to allow for future growth in the upcoming season. The wisdom lies in knowing when to let go of the "what has been" and open to the "what is" which, in turn, influences the "what shall be."

The practice is to embrace whatever season you are in and accept its influence rather than denying it. Witness the Sacred Continuum of life operating in, through, and as you. Draw the value and meaning of each season by honoring it, trusting and knowing there is purpose in it. Perhaps most important, fully experience the season in which you currently are, knowing that, be it pleasant or painful, winter, spring, summer or fall, as surly as night follows day this too shall pass.