Finding the space to let go

There is a Japanese phrase – kyo jitsu. It means that when something is too full, something has to empty. It’s another way to put the saying we are more familiar with – that we will find it is necessary to let things go, simply for the reason that they are heavy.

The phrase kyo jitsu brought me back to the question that my yoga teacher asked in the opening of one of his first classes in January: ‘What do you need to empty, to start 2018?’ It’s a question that has been occupying my mind since.

We all inherently know what it is that we need to let go of, to make room for what we want to hold. Marcus Aurelius said that we have power over our minds, not outside events. ‘Realise this, and you will find strength.’ It’s so much easier said than done.

My mind has been so full of late. Full of the what ifs, the if onlys, and wishes for things that cannot come true. Yet adversity is a great teacher of lessons that we can never forget. It teaches us to let go of what no longer serves us and to let go of what takes up space in our minds that shouldn’t. Adversity has taught me that I only have time to hold onto things that matter.

I take different steps and I walk down different paths than I used to. And I have different thoughts and I see different things. Life is a constant balance between the push and the pull, or as Rumi says, ‘a balance of holding on and letting go.’ I try so hard to let go of chaos and to fill those emptied spaces with what makes my soul feel as whole as it can.

I have quoted Victoria Alexander before, that it takes strength, fortitude and insight to let go. If we don’t listen to ourselves and what we need, how can we show up to the world?

2018 is a year of self-compassion. And it starts with letting go of what no longer serves me.

It can be hard to fit back in when you decide to let go. But there are so many other things I would rather fill myself with instead.