The Three Rs
“In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” – Deepak Chopra
A ceremony to release, renew and re-imagine
This ceremony is about making a commitment to yourself, honouring yourself for where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you’re going.
You’d like to acknowledge attachments to the past which no longer serve you. You’re done with them and you are ready to let them go.
Through the metaphor of ritual we sever those ties to the past; you can then focus on and celebrate where you are, here and now. “Today this is my life, this is what I’ve made of it. I celebrate my accomplishments. I see how I am whole and unbroken.”
And in the next breath begin to re-imagine your ideal future.
Two monks were on a pilgrimage. One day, they came to a deep river. At the edge of the river, a young woman sat weeping because she was afraid to cross the river without help. She begged the two monks to help her. The younger monk turned his back. The members of their order were forbidden to touch a woman.
But the older monk picked up the woman without a word and carried her across the river. He put her down on the far side and continued his journey. The younger monk came after him, scolding him and berating him for breaking his vows. He went on this way for a long time.
Finally, at the end of the day the older monk turned to the younger one. “I only carried her across the river. You have been carrying her all day.”
Let go of the past
“Regrets. I’ve had a few.” – Frank Sinatra
Baggage. We all have it.
Some more than others.
Let’s uncover and expose those attachments to the past that you’ve been holding onto, examine it, appraise it, and if truly it holds no value for a better you, look at it as the clutter that it is and get rid of it.
You are not your past. The events, patterns and people in your life created your experiences, they didn’t create you.
Through ceremony and ritual, rid yourself of these attachments, this clutter, and move on.
Embrace the Present
“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell
This is it. The present. It is what it is. This is not the past repeating. Nor is it a preview of the future. There’s no day like today.
Surrender to what is and accept your role in creating whatever exists in your life today. At this moment. This is your life.
And be grateful. For you are blessed.
Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself.
“It is overfull. No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”
You have emptied your cup of the past and have made room for the new. Here in the now you decide what’s next. You decide what to put in your cup.
What do you want in your cup of life?
Imagine the Future
“Life is divided into three terms – that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present, to live better in the future.” – William Wordsworth
How do you want your life to feel in the future? What will it take to create that space?
Perhaps now is the time to learn a new skill. Maybe that’s one way to also help resolve a past regret. When you think about it, lifelong learning is pretty much a requirement in this day and age.
Is there a new, healthy habit you’d like to integrate into your everyday?
Perhaps a new relationship is beginning, or on the horizon. How will this one be different; how will you be different?