For a year a large sticky note has hung upon my wall with the words “Freedom to Fly”. I posted this note as a visual reminder for me to remember the inspiration that launched me on to my current journey.
Exactly one year ago this weekend I was in a very different place. Reflecting back now I am amazed at how far I have come. A year ago I was just 4 months into my marriage separation from my husband and partner of 18 years. I was completely lost. In a fog. Going through the motions of life in survival mode. Trying to pull it together for my two young children. The emptiness I felt inside was filled with anger and resentment. Thoughts of the future only brought about darkness. I was stuck and could not see a way forward.
As is custom over holiday weekends a colleague asked what my plans were for the 4th. The truth was I had no plans. Still adjusting to alternating weekends without my children, I had nothing to do. My kids were with their Dad and my married friends were tied up doing their own family stuff. So I sarcastically responded “Celebrating my independence!” Because isn’t that what are you are supposed to do when you divorce? Make jokes like it’s no big deal?
That Saturday I attended a workshop at my yoga studio, appropriately named “Freedom Flow”. It was at this class that I had my awakening. The words my teacher (more like spiritual guide), had been saying for years finally hit me. I remember it clearly. We were doing a pose honoring Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction. The story of Shiva is that he sits upon a mountain top in a state of meditative calm until he sees evil and then swoops in to destroy it. He teaches us “to let go of what no longer serves us, so we may move forward on the path to enlightenment and that destruction is necessary for re-birth” (source: Sivana Blog)
The pose entailed us sitting in chair pose (like Shiva about to pounce on evil), repeatedly lifting our arms in the air and then quickly dropping them to the floor. As if we were reaching up to grab the evil and then forcefully throw it to the ground destroying it. Our teacher kept repeating the phrase:
“Let go of what does not serve you. Let go of what does not serve you”
At some point during this repetitive sequence I closed my eyes and went inward. And was hit with an enormous emotional rush that brought me to tears.
What was I holding on to that I could let go of? What could I destroy so that I could move forward?
It was in that moment that I realized I was holding on to my past. I was holding on to memories. I was holding on to plans I made for our future. I was holding on to the life I thought I was going to live. I was holding on to what I thought marriage and relationships were supposed to be like. And I was definitely holding on to anger and resentment.
So I let them go. I detached my grip and destroyed all of them. Holding on to them did not serve me. They weighed me down and prevented me from moving forward.
After letting go I immediately felt a release and a lightness. Like I could fly. Like I was free. I had found my freedom to fly. The freedom to change the course I was on. The freedom to explore new destinations. The freedom to start over. The freedom to be happy again.
Today I am still enjoying my freedom to fly. And even though it’s scary at times, because I have lost the ground beneath me and don’t have a flight plan, I am allowing myself to soar and see where the wind takes me.