“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.
If in our heart, we still cling to anything, anger, anxiety, or possessions, we
cannot be free.” Thich Nhat Hanh
How often do we hold on to our experiences?
Scientists have written that we tend to hold on to our negative habit energies more often than our positive experiences, and this is where the suffering begins, but can it ever end?
Recently I was driving along a winding and meandering road surrounded by forest. What drew my attention more than the blue sky and the falcon flying just ahead of me was that I noticed the grey-brown forest of March, had bright new leaves which seemed to have suddenly appeared overnight.
A bright and beautiful green colour popped up on the beautiful tall trees.
Every hill and valley explodes with this bright new palette of colour. The edge of the road had a carpet of flowers of all colours - again, it seemed that magically, all this beauty appeared.
But had it?
What had I not been noticing?
What am I thinking every day when I drive the same way into town to my yoga session? And I take the same route home after yoga. Probably a 16 km round trip.
My intention and attention is to keep my tiny hired car off the curb and as far away as possible from the large speeding trucks which I am positive cannot notice my little fiat on the road. I have had to keep swerving out of their way as they steer, rather cumbersomely, their huge vans over into my lane… a common occurrence in rural France I have been told.
As such, I was focusing more on extreme road safety rather than taking in the amazing scenery. (Perhaps this is a ‘reminder-to-selfʼ as to why I love to walk the GR65. A 700km hike through France on the Camino Frances, where one begins in Le Puy-en-Velay and ends in St Jean Pied de Port.)
I came home to write this post noticing that I hadnʼt observed Mother Nature slowly and beautifully changing her season, I began to notice so much more.
I walked to the edge of the village and stood under the large curve of the 13th-century archway leading down into the valley, bright and full of new life. I noticed these words as they held my attention briefly: “hope, growth, pathway, light, unfolding, reaching, strong, soft, malleable clay.
The sound of water running close by attracted my attention. I was picking up the beautiful scents of jasmine and rosemary, which line the pathway leading to the archway.
I continued to take in the incredible beauty surrounding me.
I took a seat on a nearby bench and began to investigate what had happened.
It was simple, I was distracted by my full-on absorption in staying safe on the road. But, I had also fallen into the pit of worry. Worrying about my family.
Presently we are living on 3 different continents. Fear-based emotions. The flip side of this is to shift into recognizing that my family is well and safe. Offering gratitude for this moment. Staying with the noticing for a moment or two and then allowing the mind and body to return to a more calm and balanced state. Accepting the impermanence of suffering
can be challenging. But just as the trees gradually brought about this new life, moving from dark to light, so can we, as we let go.
“Impermanence is the constant transformation of things. Without impermanence, there can be no life.” Thich Nhat Hanh