Hey, Mindfuls! This month, I wanted to share something I’ve been reflecting on from Thích Nhất Hạnh’s book, Peace Is Every Breath: A Practice for Our Busy Lives. Hạnh, a Zen Master, teacher, author, and mindfulness leader discusses the importance of mindful practice, peace, and ethics in today’s world. This quote stood out to me the most, “Buddhism teaches that joy and happiness arise from letting go. Please sit down and take an inventory of your life. There are things you’ve been hanging on to that really are not useful and deprive you of your freedom. Find the courage to let them go.”
One doesn’t need to be a Buddhist to let go, but Buddhist teachings have much to show us in releasing emotional and physical baggage that we no longer need. For example, what projects have you taken on that you’re no longer interested in? Are there any thoughts, ideas, or patterns you’ve been holding onto that no longer serves a purpose in your life? The art of letting go isn’t dropping everything in your life, but rather taking inventory and seeing if your life is in alignment with your personal goals. We’re not aiming for perfection or even to judge ourselves for going “off course”, but observing our lives with compassion and openness. If you find that something isn’t working in your life anymore, note how you can make a shift with honesty and kindness. In the midst of shifting, allow mistakes and welcome change. It takes time to form new habits and move away from old ideas. Flow into your new processes with gentleness.
- What are you holding onto and why?
- What changes need to occur for you to release whatever doesn’t serve?
- What does true liberation look like not only for yourself, but your community?
Learn more about Thích Nhất Hạnh’s work and life here.
Explore letting go with new awareness. Remember to rest!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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