“The spiritual journey is never about holding on. It is always about letting go.”
– rev. jesse jackson
What if you couldn’t remember the past 10 years of your life? I mean, seriously consider it for a minute: imagine waking up and not being able to remember any event or any person you’ve met from the past ten years.
How would you reconstruct your memory? How would you reconstruct who you are and how you interact with the world?
This is exactly what happens to Alice in Liane Moriarty’s page-turner, What Alice Forgot. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this story since I finished the book. (Full disclosure: I did finish the book sitting by the fireside in a cabin at Lake Tahoe, so maybe it is the warmth and relaxation I haven’t been able to stop thinking about…)
In this novel Alice passes out during her cycling class at the gym (which would never happen in a yoga class, by the way, so one point for yoga) and wakes up without her memories from the most recent ten years. She discovers she’s actually 39 years old (so, definitely not in her 20’s anymore), has three charming (and very loud) children, a giant house (also, a huge mortgage) and a pending divorce. Alice discovers that she is ‘super busy.’ Everyone she meets tells her how busy, stressed out, and overly-caffeinated she is.
Apparently Alice’s life is a giant hamster wheel of putting on a brave face (meaning, tons of make-up), trying to maintain a schedule that is suitable for only a superhero, and looking perfect, all while being undeniably exhausted and crabby. I won’t spoil the story (call me after you read it!) but the Alice who still thinks she is 29 isn’t a fan of the older, bossier, anxiety-ridden Alice whose life she is now navigating blindly. She’d like to let go of some of the habits that make her life stressful and discouraging. She’d like to repair her relationship with her sister, fix her marriage, and be more attentive to the people she loves.
What if you couldn’t remember the past ten years of your life? If you woke up tomorrow and could observe your life, your habits, and your relationships with ‘new-eyes’ what would you see? Would you be grateful for the wisdom you’ve learned over the past decade or would you be appalled by the habits you’ve picked up along the way? I think I’d be a combination of both.
The good news is: every day can be a fresh start. It doesn’t require amnesia. It requires careful reflection and attention to what actually matters. It requires time. A little bit of meditation. A little bit of Letting Go. And maybe, just maybe, a little bit of simplifying your life.
We are now approaching the Season of Lent on the Christian Liturgical Calendar. Book-ended by Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, this is an auspicious time of year where you can let go of any habits that no longer serve you. You can make a fresh start. Even if this holiday is not a part of your cultural experience, the act of ‘letting go of the old’ to ‘welcome in the NEW’ can be profoundly life changing.
I urge you to take a few minutes to reflect on your life. Not merely the ‘broad-picture’ demarcations, such as your position at work or your partner, but also to reflect on how you interact with the world. How do you treat others? How do you treat yourself? Are you happy with your daily habits? Which habits would you like to change in order to find more happiness and health in your life?
I’d love to help you through this process. Please join me on Wednesday February 10 at Westport Yoga KC for a Candlelight Flow Class at 7:30 pm.
Special Candlelight Flow Class
Wednesday Feb. 10, 2016 @7:30 pm
On Ash Wednesday, February 10, 2016 join Lisa Ash for an invigorating, re-newing, and inspiring candlelight flow class at 7:30 pm. This class is focused on preparing spiritually and emotionally to let go of old habits that no longer serve you. We will share together in a Vinyasa Flow Sequence and Restorative savasana, leaving you feeling ready to claim your personal power and move forward with integrity. Yoga asana experience required.
Wednesday February 10, 2016 @ 7:30 pm. (Regular class prices apply.)
Much love and light.