Vicarious epiphany: Insights from The Art of Living and the process of letting go

Okay. The process of letting go is far too complex to be solved in any one blog post. Yet, I feel compelled to share with you what I experienced a few days ago in an “Art of Living” based meditation

I was provided a little bit of wisdom that is already working wonders in my ability to breathe deeply, consciously smile and let go. Although I think this is something that most likely needs to be experienced first hand, I know that the written word is also a strong catalyst for change. Thus, I will humbly attempt to pass on the wisdom I’ve gained on the off chance of vicarious epiphany.

I attended a gentle yoga course followed by a guided meditation. The gentle yoga helped us all feel grounded in our bodies so that when we sat down to meditate, wrapped in wool blankets, we could do so comfortably. We closed our eyes, and listened to the gentle, soothing voice of our instructor.

Step one was to observe the sounds around us. We all listened to the little creaks and pops from the heating system, the distant sounds of traffic, another classmate adjusting her blanket. “Just observe the sound, without judgement. Acknowledge it’s presence.” Step two, we checked in with our bodies. Step three, our thoughts, step four our emotions, and step five, peace and joy. Problem was step three. Some of the thoughts that came pouring into my mind in this idyllic setting were far from idyllic.

I thought of a friend who had betrayed our entire circle of friends. A friend who obstinantly defended her lies, deceits, betrayal, cover ups and other atrocities for the sake of love, and I felt anger welling up inside me at the thought of it. Step four: Emotion. Strong emotion from the past. From thousands of miles away. Fresh and raw. I tried to push the thoughts out of my mind, and instead of going on their merry way down the river and out of site, they grew stronger as my mind aggressively collected more offenses.

The happy, profound and simple end of the meditation, we are all peace and joy, was almost lost upon me, but then I spontaneously thought of my son and his sweetness, and suddenly she was gone. Swoosh. Down the river. I observed her flailing along, hanging onto a board. Then, she climbed upon the raft and peacefully drifted away. I observed her departure with a strange lack of emotion. There it was. The key: If you try to force something away from you, you give it power. For me, this felt like a profound revelation.

I know, I know. For many, this is not a brilliant new insight. Yet, insight only becomes insight when you are ready to simply observe and release. Not push against the universe. That night, I was able to observe, which lead to peace and joy.

Today, I awoke with a peacefulness that seemingly belies my current, untethered stat of no job, no home of our own, no foundation. Yet, how completely untrue. How completely ego of me to think in such terms. We are staying in a beautiful residence with family and being given an opportunity to develop a friendship and understanding with that family that only comes through living daily with one another. Peacefulness, inner calm. That is where home is. A home that can exist in any setting.

Another beautiful, yet simple thing the Art of Living practitioner shared was that when we are angry or pissed off, we take short, quick inhalations. When we are happy and relaxed, we take deep, long breaths. You can’t really be pissed off when you take in a long, deep breath. Just as when you really give into a smile, it is hard to be angry. Thus, control of your breath can help you control your emotions. If you find yourself in a happy state of mind, your thoughts tend to follow suit. Hot damn!

This morning, all three of us in our little gezin (immediate family) started the day out feeling calm and happy. It seemed the universe had been observing our struggles and as we finally acquiesced, it acquiesced through a series of provisions: My son actually WANTED to go to school and we observed two little friends hugging him in the classroom, our son giggling with delight. I did a simple yoga practice in the morning and when I went online,  discovered over $200 worth of new orders for my company Lime Green Monkey . My husband, who had felt almost angry at the universe the day before was also calm and relaxed, and I kid you not; The telephone rang and it was someone calling him for an interview for one of his most preferred jobs. 

Throughout the day there was a flow so evident in it’s stark contrast to the preceding couple of days, that we could not deny the difference. Thus, the benefits of engaging in the art of letting go and surrendering to the universe are so profound, it seems silly to firmly grasp onto that egoic notion of being in control. And, I must point out that surrender is totally different than giving up. Surrender is all about accepting that higher powers are at work in the universe, and the ability to trust and surrender to that higher power.

Now, can anyone tell me how to hold onto this provision? Oops. Did I just really ask to get back on that merry go round? Just kidding universe! Ha ha. I surrender!

Published by kristininholland

I believe in living with integrity and in choosing a lifestyle that shows respect for our environment. Although continually attracted to the idea of imminent success with the publication of my two novels, I am also greatly drawn to living simply and living well: loving my family and friends, and being aware and present for those moments in life--a spontaneous hug from my son, a smile to a stranger, moments of insight--that define real connection and success with peace, love and happiness.

9 thoughts on “Vicarious epiphany: Insights from The Art of Living and the process of letting go

  1. Kristin, this is a beautiful blog post! What a wonderful release you experienced! For however long this new found peace lasts, it is a blessing. Enjoy. Thank you for letting me share your new journey through this great blog.

    Sending you warm thoughts and hugs across the miles,

    1. Thank you Jill! The ironwork is part of a royal fountain in the Binnenhof, the central square of the old houses of parliament. The parliament still uses this building as their offices. The old front is the same, but from what I gather, the inside is very modern–sort of James Bondish. 🙂

  2. I love your writing style, Kristin! You’ve found a fantastic creative outlet. I knew the experience of moving to Holland would have its bumps, but it seems you’re all already learning how to smooth them out. Such great stories.
    Much Love,

    1. Hi April,

      Thank you for your comment. Great to hear from you. I think having a place to post my thoughts and observations makes it feel like I have a record of my progression. Also, I experience that the first few months in a new city, my senses are more open, less clouded by familiarity and getting into a rhythm.

  3. You inspired me to do some deep breathing.
    I’m glad you’re all in a great space.
    How did AJ’s interview go?

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