And just like that, summer is here. A season for new beginnings, for fun, and for playtime! Summer has always been my favorite season and I've spent the last decade of my life chasing that endless summer. Last weekend marked Summer Solstice, International Yoga Day, and International Surfing Day! Happy all of that - to you! The Universe couldn't be more intent on telling us to go outside and play! I celebrated with outdoor acro yoga! What's your favorite way to welcome summer?
Attachment and Letting Go
The theme that has been recurring for me the last few years of my life and especially in the last few weeks has been the idea that with every new beginning, there are inevitable endings. Each time I create my desires into form and manifest new opportunities, I must let go of other opportunities and miss out on things I created before or in other places of the world. We can't be in two places at once, after all. At least I haven't figured out how to be, yet. To create space for the new, there must be some old that gets squeezed out. And so the work is:
- To create space for the new and to grieve what won't be anymore in a healthy way.
- To allow ourself the time to release attachments to titles, situations, or belongings.
- To see ourselves as independent of our circumstances so that we can truly be free to flow with the current of life.
Once you put energy into motion, it doesn't stop flowing just because your path takes a turn. In my life, this holds true as I live in different places throughout the year. The people I meet, the jobs I take, and all my inspiring students and clients that I have in San Clemente don't cease to exist simply because I go to Costa Rica, and all that I created in Los Angeles over my 20s doesn't cease to produce opportunities for me simply because I don't live there anymore. The energy I put into creating relationships and opportunities in days past continue cycling no matter where I go. Not getting caught up in the sadness of saying goodbye over and over is the hard part!
The absence of those opportunities in my life or ways of life that once were have the potential to feel like losses, and at times, they do feel that way. The human part of my brain wants me to stop and question why I'm turning things down and if it's really in my best interest. The part of my brain that wants comfort asks me if I'm crazy for saying no to things that I've worked so hard for and I think, "Wouldn't it be easier to just settle here with all these 'things'?" I remind myself that we must create space for what's to come, even if that means releasing opportunities that you created back to the Universe, and I tell myself that we are always in the right place at the right time. Part of elevating yourself means starting to be a little pickier on what you spend your time doing and where you place your energy.
Letting Yourself Grieve
And so with letting go of circumstances to make space for new ones comes a grieving process. Of course, it's not comparable to the grief one experiences when losing a loved one, but it's a sort of grief none the less. Grief is not something we should look upon negatively, but rather as a necessary process we go through as part of the human condition. As infinite beings, we come back to the earthly realm specifically to experience the wide range of human emotions available to us, and to marvel at how real it all seems.
Grief is one of those emotions that can be all-consuming and can make us act in ways we might otherwise not (like by choosing the easy road to alleviate our discomfort), so handle gently and with caution. There are many ways we can feel about the things that come and go for a season. We can think about them with nostalgia, with yearning, with sadness... or we can think of them with gratitude for the purpose they played in our lives and with appreciation for the lessons we learned through these experiences. The more opportunities that I have to miss out on is a clear sign that I am actively manifesting more and more new things in my life. And for that, I am beyond grateful! When I notice that feeling of grief or nostalgia start to creep up, I start to feel a bit down or anxious. I take deep breaths and change my mindset about the situation. Instead of thinking of what won't be, I start to daydream (and "manifest", if you will) about all the possibilities that lie up ahead. I breathe in gratitude for the people and places that have shared such beauty with me, so I may live my life fully aware in each moment, trusting the process as it unfolds instead of questioning it.
It's easier said that done, for sure, and you'll get better with practice. My best friend, Jacqueline, and I, have had the above dialogue for the past four years or so. Since fully dedicating to a spiritual path, things go haywire sometimes! We might think we are all cool, calm, and collected, but then life throws you a curveball that leaves you guessing. A time in my life when this process of letting go to create space was really prevalent was when I was deciding whether or not to leave my Venice Beach apartment for bigger and better things. I knew then I wanted to live in Costa Rica and that I had a really big dream that was developing (and I had just learned about Rima the Jungle Girl which, from the story I tell in the About section, you can see was a major sign for me!). Everything in my life was telling me to let go of the "anchors" in my life so I could be free to fly (anchors being leases, physical belongings, jobs that were unfulfilling, weekends that seemed fun but left me empty during the week...). I started selling my possessions through eBay and Craigslist, and was intent on only owning enough possessions that would fit in my car, while simultaneously clearing out the emotional and mental junk through my new yoga practice (all this happened at the same time - January 2013).
My Venice Beach Apartment
My apartment building was right on Pacific Avenue, one block from the water and the boardwalk. it was the first apartment building built in Venice in 1905 by Abbott Kinney himself. It was a quarters for sailors back then with all studio and one-bedroom apartments that opened up to a main lobby area with a shared balcony. All the energy of generations before still inhabited it, and it was quite a magical place to live. In my early to mid 20s, it was the perfect place to be. Rent controlled, my work at the Hotel Erwin rooftop lounge (cocktail serving my way through my therapy internships) was literally across the street, and all my best friends lived in my building or around the area. I was in love with Venice culture and the relationships I had. I remodeled the apartment myself - painted all the walls, put shelving up, and assembled all that damn Ikea furniture myself. It was my space and every single day was blissful. I just had to open my front door to be amongst my best friends.
When I came back from Costa Rica the first time in September 2012, I knew that I had to let go of my lifestyle in order to "make space" for my new dreams to manifest. Easier thought than done. I had no reason to move other than the fact that the lifestyle I was living was all-consuming and very fast paced, and left no room for growth as I was working 7 days a week to make rent and student loans. I knew I had to slow things down. I moved out and let my friend sublease for a few months, unable to actually turn it over. In May 2013 I finally made the decision to release my lease. Through tears of sadness as I painted over my green and purple walls, Jacqueline and I kept repeating, "We're creating space... we're creating space." We trusted that, and looking back it was the right decision.
We manifest our dreams into form immediately, but they don't show up in our life until we have created the space for them to do so. That might mean moving, getting rid of unhealthy relationships or habits, changing your daily routine or simply changing the way you talk to yourself. Whatever it is that you need, meditate on your heart, and then follow it. Sure, the Venice days will always be a magical chapter in my life, but so are all the chapters that have come since and all the ones that came before. I visit Venice now, gazing upon the places that used to contain my life, seeing my friends that still live there doing their thing, hearing the stories of my new friends that move there and all their adventures, and I am at peace. I am happy with what I have created and look back at all that has come since I left Venice, knowing none of it would have happened if I had remained stagnant. I was more than comfortable back then, but that's not what living life is about.
The absence of people, places, or things in my life have the potential to feel like losses, but I instead view them with honor and adoration for what they were and are to me, taking pieces of the past with me wherever I go as I integrate all that I learn.
It's a new feel to the old saying,
Insert "worked with", "lived at", "known", or other in place of loved. The adventure and mystique of each day and all the possibilities each day holds keeps me on the edge of my seat, enjoying each rise and fall of the roller coaster as it's happening. The temporary nature of each thing in your life is what makes it so special, and knowing nothing lasts forever will help you to let go of the grips a little. Next week I head back to Costa Rica to explore some business opportunities... ones that might cause everything to be turned upside down, but this week is all about enjoying the NOW. Squeezing every bit of juicy life out of San Clemente and my life here because any day, things could change forever.
Call to action
- Enjoy each moment as whatever title you embody while simultaneously acknowledging it as temporary and separate from who you truly are and what you want to be.
- Allow yourself the space and time to grieve the letting go of attachments and the past. See the past with gratitude and appreciation.
- Marvel with wonder at the beauty of experiencing your story unfold, and hold on tight for what's around each corner.
- Finally, create space for the things you want to become. We manifest our dreams into form immediately, but they don't show up in our life until we have created the space for them to do so.