It was the end of yoga class and we had just finished svasana, my all-time favorite pose! For those who don’t speak Sanskrit, the translation is roughly: “stretched out on a folded blanket preferably with cushions under your head, knees and feet, chillin’ after spending the previous 90 minutes twisting, stretching and standing on your head while breathing consciously and trying to keep at bay all intrusive thoughts of life outside the yoga studio.” It’s called the corpse pose and it only looks easy.
When our teacher Laurel invited the bell, we 8 students brought our consciousness back into the room then slowly brought our bodies up to a seated position. In front of each of us was a yellow index card, a blank envelope and a pen.
Laurel said: “On your card, write today’s date. Then complete the following sentences: I am letting go of _____________________ .
I am giving birth to ________________________________.”
For me the big draw of yoga and meditation has always been the promise of a ticket out of my Monkey Mind. That’s why I was surprised that Laurel seemed to want us to think and write. But I totally trust her, so I completed the sentences. Then I sealed my card in a self-addressed envelope, handed it back to her and moved on to my next bit of mental madness.
5 months later the card showed up in my mail box. Because I wanted to play a joke on my future self, I wrote “From a Friend” in the return address. That, and the fact that the postmark was from Boston left me momentarily confused. What “friend” do I have in Boston??
Then I recognized my own handwriting and opened the envelope.
“March 24, 2008 - I am letting go of judgement of myself, of situations, of other’s actions and reactions. I am letting go of dualism. I am giving birth to the next level of my work.”
I’ve always been into setting goals, so I liked reading about giving birth to the next level of my work. Then the very next day (I swear this is true) I was notified that I had been selected to give a workshop at the annual Middle School Association Conference in Denver in November. This will be the first national venue I’ll be speaking at. The next level of my work? Could be. So maybe there’s something to be said about putting your aspirations out there while sitting on a sticky mat.
As for the letting go part, I’ve gotta be honest. (Actually, I don’t have to be, ’cause you’d never know, but why the hell not?) Being judgmental and opinionated has always been my M.O. It’s what I do. So it’s impossible to say that I’ve “let go” of even a micron of this tendency. But it can’t hurt to aspire to change, right? And the yellow index card sits right here on my desk here as a constant reminder to quit judging myself for still being so judgmental.
Well, here we are… almost September. If you took a minute to think about yourself and the way you are in the world… or the kind of relationship you want with your kids for this new school year, how might you complete these sentences?
I am letting go of __________________________.
I am giving birth to ______________________________.