Making my way through a giant box of unsorted bits and pieces from the center I closed this year, I found a piece of paper.

Well, I found what seemed like thousands of pieces of paper, but this one was more attention-getting than the others.

This page was large and goldenrod yellow, and it told me I need to write about the the thing I don’t want to let go of.

That’s literally what it said.

In my handwriting:

Write about the thing you don’t want to let go of.

And then, in smaller letters: on the blog

There’s no date.

Apparently past-me thought the instructions contained sufficient intel.

I don’t remember what particular thing-I-didn’t-want-to-let-go-of I had in mind though.

No idea. Not that it matters. It’s a good question that is always in fashion. Timeless.

Whoosh. Goodbye. Releasing.

During my five year tenure of play at The Playground, I let go of many things. In fact, that magical wonder of a space facilitated all kinds of releasing.

It even came with a secret elevator shaft which we used specifically for that purpose. Whoosh!

Energetically/symbolically, of course, not literally. The door was sealed off, though the stunning old-fashioned bell still worked on occasion.

It said BELL on it. It was perfect. I miss the Playground.

And here we are.

Here we are in the Year of Easing & Releasing, my Shmita year.

Over the past several months, I have let go of more than I ever thought possible. Sometimes beautiful and painful shedding, sometimes release like liberation.

Write about the thing you don’t want to let go of.

It’s a great sentence.

And I don’t know that I don’t know what it is I don’t want to let go.

I mean, I bet I do know. At the very least, I suspect many things, and probably more that I’m intentionally hiding from myself because it feels safer to convince myself that I don’t know.

If this year of Operation True Yes has taught me anything, it’s that I generally know a lot more about most internal mysteries than I’m comfortable admitting.

For whatever reason though, I’m not entirely ready to process this question yet. Which is okay. All hesitation is legitimate. And the way we play here — always — is Safety First.

We are here to heal pain, with acknowledgment, legitimacy, appreciation, love, creativity and play. Not to poke at it or force anything.

Self-inquiry should get to be as non-violent as possible, I feel strongly about this!

I’m going to try two things.

The first is that I’m going to proxy this!

I’m going to pretend that [the thing I don’t want to let go of] is carrots, since that’s the first thing that came into my head.

That way, I can ask the question like this:

What do I know about these carrots that I don’t want to let go of?

I can also ask related questions like…

  • What happens when the carrots exit?
  • What are some things that have helped me let go of carrots in the past?
  • What changes (or in what ways do I change) when I become the person who lets go of carrots?

And the other thing?

Company. I’m inviting you to play with me here.

I’m leaving the question from past-me here for all of us to play with for ourselves.

Kind of like what some people call a writing prompt and I call skipping stones.*

* A better image/metaphor for me, and also I find it almost physically uncomfortable that the name for such a powerful creative endeavor would be so bland. But that’s me. Call it what you want!

You can write about a stand-in thing (like carrots, except whatever comes up for you), and you don’t even have to know what you don’t want to let go of, though you might. Assume/pretend you don’t know, and just focus on [carrots] or whatever your version of [carrots] is.

And I whisper a secret here…

The most important question here is not “What is the thing I don’t want to let go of?”, and it’s not even “What do I know about the thing I don’t want to let go of?”.

It’s this:

How can I approach this with kindness and permission, acknowledgment and legitimacy, presence and love?

Approach is everything. We come to these questions with curiosity and affection, and we also are committed to making sure we feel safe.

Play with me? And helpful notes on commenting/process.

There is a reason introspection is hard! It means looking at what is, which also involves separating from what isn’t.

This means that as we turn inward, we often encounter monsters and Ludicrous Fear Popcorn, and all our misperceptions and misinterpretations. No wonder people avoid it like the plague.

And now you also know why I put so much emphasis on playfulness, and safety, and playing at the edges.

As for releasing, well, probably nothing is more fraught than that.

For very reasonable reasons.

We remember that we all have our stuff. We meet ourselves and each other with as much love and understanding as we can muster. We lovingly refrain from giving advice! We are here to play, and whoosh sparklepoints with each other.

And speaking of the beautiful and important practice of Safety First, I wanted to say in case anyone forgot that you can always post a comment: a) silently, b) under a secret name or even a secret email address, c) in code!

So feel welcome to take some breaths or play with a question or share anything sparked for you, or express appreciation/sparklepoints, or deposit a pebble of “I read this and I am here!”

My thank you heart is full of love and appreciation for everyone who reads. You are an important part of this space. ♡

The Fluent Self