The passing of one year into the next has provided contemplation for people for a long time. Before calendars, that contemplation was sparked by the changing seasons, the solstices, full and new moons, births and deaths. As human beings cultivating ongoing awareness and presence, we have the opportunity to contemplate passing, release, change, and impermanence each moment. How auspicious that Release coincides with New Year’s Day and its potential contemplations!
Soften, Open, Release is step 5 in The Practice of Living Awareness. The key understanding and application of steps 4 and 5 is the serenity of truth and the simplicity of truth of moment. Softening and opening provides life, flow, unfolding, and empowerment. Consider the softness of the sky or the space in your room. Nothing is stronger or can overtake that softness. To be open is to be like a tree: alive, vibrant, giving freely, and simply being what one is with no pretense, posturing, or affect. Softening and opening as one’s in-the-moment attitude cultivates authenticity, reliability, inventiveness or creativity, and simplicity. These are aspects of wisdom.
Authenticity does not look over its shoulder, has no boomerang to fear, is comfortable with learning, with not knowing, and has humility about what one does know. Reliability engenders no regrets, no self-judgement, and no second guessing of one’s self. Inventiveness is creative and creativity is inventive whether cooking a meal, interacting with a person, or navigating life’s circumstances. Simplicity is recognizable in all of these.
Release contains that character of simplicity. This is in addition to the simplifying that might result from release. Release is serene because it is part of the natural flow of existence. Rivers flow, seasons change, a day comes and goes, and we do too. Consternation around release derives from preferences. Preferences are temporary truths. Proof of this is that as a child we cherished a toy or favorite story but that now is left behind.
Celebration is key to release, simplicity, wisdom, authenticity, and more. We can celebrate the fact that as human beings we have choice and choose release. Check in with the feeling of constraint and hold it along side the feeling of letting go. A similar experience will be had with the feelings of holding on and the status quo of attachment. But, the liberation of laying aside, of no longer holding, no longer feeling like something is needed bring the feeling of flow and a breath of release.
Exalt release as an action born of the options. Then take celebration and release to the meditation cushion and into daily life.