I’ve been holding onto a very interesting journal for over a year now. It is called, “A Year of Zen” by Bonnie Mayotai Trease. What makes it so cool are the daily prompts. The journal breaks up the year into seasons. Obviously, we are in Winter, so I decided to kick off the journal on Sunday in the section titled accordingly.
The theme of this week is carrying extra baggage in your life and how to let go of that which weighs you down. Coincidentally, I am doing this course on happiness in the Calm app and today’s lesson was about letting go.
Not an easy task, depending on what it is you are carrying around.
According to “A Year of Zen,” winter is a time to shake off the leaves, allow the snow to fall on the ground and wipe the slate clean. It is a shedding of sorts and baring your branches (soul) and creating a new you. I like the idea of shedding the old and starting anew.
The past few mornings, I’ve kicked the morning off with stretching, meditation and a walk, or like today, a walk in the afternoon. I’m learning to be quiet with my thoughts and honestly, to allow myself not to think.
This is something I struggled with up until my experience this past summer in North Carolina. I attended this retreat for healers in Hot Springs and had a very transformative experience. I went deeper than I have ever gone spiritually, and I came out on the other side with an incredible sense of peace. Sure, as time went on, I sort of lost my way again, but with this past week of relaxation at home, it seems I have found my center… hence the journal prompts.
The picture above is of the labyrinth at the Laughing Heart Lodge in Hot Springs, NC. I took this photo just before the morning meditation. I still remember how panicked I got as I walked through the labyrinth, trying to calm my mind or repeat a mantra. My anxiety took over and I almost bolted in front of the group. But somehow, as I got closer to the center, the heart center, I began to slow my breathing and focus. As I exited the labyrinth and began the journey back through, I was in a new space. I let go of the control. I released my worry.
It wasn’t serving me.
What are you carrying around right now that is not serving you?