I came home late at night several weeks ago after a wonderful evening of teaching, followed by al fresco dining with some of my workshop students. Mind tired, but belly and heart full, I went outside to take in the beauty of the night before turning in.
While I was outside with the dogs, I saw a strange creature on the fence. I quickly came inside to grab a flashlight, and my husband, so he could check it out too. In the dim light of the night, my imagination had already begun to go wild. I was sure it was a small alien creature attached in this awkward pose on our fence and was doing my best to keep the dogs away for fear that it might attack them. They, of course, were paying it no attention. Note to self, these dogs will do no good in event of an alien invasion.
To our delight (and horror), it was a Cicada in full process of molting. Yikes! But at the same time, what an opportunity to see this in action. I still have half a cringe on my face as I am typing and with good reason. That shell is certainly alien in nature as it still hangs empty and lifeless on our fence. But it's definitely got me thinking, is this how we view change for ourselves?
Change can definitely be ugly, foreign, and certainly feel alien in the midst of it all. If we shed that layer we are certainly moving out of a place where we are comfortable. I mean, shedding your entire shell? That's got to feel like losing your home, your safety, and security. That's definitely how it feels during change.
As we crack through those outer shells of our own being and shed the layers of ourselves that we no longer need, we are really letting go and opening up to a part of us that contains more beauty and more awareness.
Sometimes removing that ugly layer can be truly scary. But if this is what we are leaving behind each time we change, maybe we shouldn't be so afraid after all?
Several months ago, a very talented friend made me my very first set of mala beads. I immediately fell in love with them and wore them all the time. I somehow managed to work the tassel loose, but due to my attachment, I continued to wear them but only when I taught class, tucking them carefully into my shirt as to not allow any gravitational force on the tassel.
I have been teaching on the yamas and on this particular day I was on the fifth yama, aparigraha - non-attachment. Can you already see where this story is going? As usual, right before I left to teach, I pulled my malas out of their bag to put them on. Only this time, there was a beautiful, gentle flow of each independent strand of the tassel as it fell to the ground at my feet. It was quite pretty, but since I had to run out of the door, I couldn't take a picture. I scooped up each and every string and placed it in my bag and hung the beads around my neck. No time to grieve, forced to let go of the attachment to the beautiful tassel.
Can the universe be anymore magical than that? If I'm going to teach non-attachment, then I guess I needed to be living it at that instant!
The final moment of letting go was the day I wrapped up my beautiful malas and gently placed them in the mailbox to be shipped back for my new tassel to be added. Lucky for me my friend blessed me with some stand ins. It's nice that when we choose, or sometimes are forced to let go of something, it makes room for something else to move into our lives. We don't always know what it will be or when it will show up, but it does. That's the magic of the universe.
Jenn White, Yoga Educator, Meditation Teacher, and Owner of Embodied Bliss, began her journey of yoga and meditation in 2004 while recovering from a back injury. Feeling lost, restless and seeking something more from life, she found her path through meditation.
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