Years ago, I had this wonderful boss. She dressed in turquoise and purple and adorned herself and her work space with turtles. Little metal, wood or plastic idols of them.
She was honest, open, inspirational and one of the most authentic mentors I had in my adult life. She cried during staff meetings when we'd talk about the injustice of racism and oppression. From her, I learned that it's ok to get really pissed or frustrated about something and it's certainly ok to emote and express it, especially when someone can learn from it and create change for the good of all. There was one other thing I learned from her: to put it down. To JUST DROP IT. Before a work retreat one day, something we were doing to "bond" as an office staff, she placed a dog bone on the table in the center of the room. We all wondered, "are we having a fluffy visitor?" Nope. It was a tool. She said, "I have this here to remind us, when we get really stuck or fixed on an opinion or viewpoint we have---to eventually just 'drop it, put it down'. Let it go. Stop holding onto it." Genius. How poignant, at this time of year when we are all about making changes in our lives! The New Year is a good excuse to wipe the slate clean and start anew. Even though we can really do this type of stuff EACH and EVERY day, it's perhaps nice and helpful to have the incentive from everyone around you doing the same thing. So, that's what my new year's resolution was for 2012: PUT IT DOWN. I wanted to leave the pain, frustration, ego, low self-esteem, resentment, bitterness, unresolved guilt, unexpressed words behind. ALL OF IT. I wanted to leave it in the past so it stops haunting and screwing with the present and future moments of my precious life. At the lovely New Year's Eve party I attended, I did just that. We all went around and expressed both what we looked forward to for 2012, but also--what we wanted to leave behind. I want to leave behind my need to be right. My need to be heard. My need to be a victim about things that happened years ago so I can suffer and live in fear endlessly day after day. Not only is it extremely practical for making each day more fun and growth-filled, but it's completely aligned with my Buddhist practice! Non-attachment (to outcome or ego) = less suffering. Make a list of 10 things you're holding onto and one-by-one...PUT IT DOWN.