Holding on to Nothing

by Carolyn Lebanowski
“Life is balance of holding on and letting go.”

— Rumi

As we continue to navigate new ways of being in the world, I realize it is time to let go. Let go of all the material things that no longer fit my new life. Let go of all the old stories in my head that no longer serve me. Let go of all the ways I think it should be; or thought it would be. I have been holding on too long and now it’s time to let go. For this season I am committed to holding on to nothing.

The Hopi Elders share the truth that is ever present in the world today: “There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water. See who is in there with you and celebrate.”

It is a time to surrender to what is and trust the moments that lead us to the next. A time to recognize the resistance that lives in the undercurrent of our lives and intentionally change the trajectory of our thoughts. As we lean into ‘letting go’ we may experience fear, self-doubt or sadness. It is here where we learn to be comfortable in being uncomfortable and we take our next best steps.

Find your faith…

Find quiet moments in your day to pray, meditate or just be still. Trust there is something outside of yourself that is ever present and powerful. Choose faith over failure. If you have faith, you have hope, and when you have hope you always see a way. When you see a way, you never give up. And no matter what, never ever give up!

Keep your mind and body healthy and whole…

Go to the gym, take a yoga class, find a running track…anything! Find something that keeps your mind and body connected, healthy and working together, because in the times when everything else seems disconnected, it will keep you centered and grounded. Your physical wellness is the starting and ending point to everything In between.

Love what is…

Trusting in the universe that where you are is where you need to be in the moment. Truly knowing that every experience comes with your own personal power of choice. It is the daily affirmation that ‘it is not what happens to you, but what you choose to be in the outcome’. This is a discipline of our own thinking and a muscle that must be worked daily.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath; don’t default to drama…

In the moments that are unpredictable and heart wrenching, take a moment to find your center. An initial reaction of blame or guilt will fuel a fire and feed a story. Take a deep breath, and let your breathing be your compass. Drama is an unhealthy and unnecessary platform — nothing good lives here.

Live in a state of gratitude — even when it’s hard.

Learn to be truly and sincerely grateful for what you have…and not what you wish you had. Look closely at your personal blessings no matter how big or small. Your gratitude for what ‘is’ will be a game changer no matter where you are in life. In the wake of this practice, you will find peace in your mind and calm in your heart.

The river is flowing fast and it is time to let go of the shore. It is time to embrace what we do not yet know and celebrate holding on to nothing — you may be surprised what you find.

As a life-long learner and student of human potential, I believe in vulnerability, authenticity and connection. I have learned that we all experience seasons and chapters in our lives that are sometimes hard to navigate. We struggle with unexpected scenarios and hunger for simple solutions and in the end we all yearn to be heard and seen — without judgement. This is life, our life, our journey.

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Carolyn Lebanowski is an experienced and respected senior level executive with expertise in strategic development, organizational communication and executive coaching. She has 27 years of proven success with corporate organizations in organizational development and has spent the past 12 years as the Executive Director at Unity of Houston in Houston Texas, and is currently the COO of First Unity Spiritual Campus. As ILLLI’s Strategic Leadership Partner, Carolyn exhibits passion for life with a clear understanding of the relationship between the development of human potential and overall business success.

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