Rumi says, “life is a balance of letting go and of holding on.” I agree. Yet frankly, it is a balance that I have mostly fumbled over, stumbled through, and struggled to navigate. More than not, I have held on to what was intended to be let go, and I have let go of what should not be given.

Still, it is this journey of balance that grows + excites + scares + strengthens me. It is a balance that also tends to piss me off, since I can easily slip into thinking that there must be a way to “get it” and be done. It is a balance that I’ve learned to be nearly impossible to find when I am insistent and resist.resist.resist.

As we begin this month of October, I am drawn to what is traditionally associated with this month, Harvest. During harvests, we collect the gifts of our labor that have reached fruition. It is a time of change, a time to exhale, a time to prune back everything that has served its purpose. It is a time to let go.

As far back as I can remember, I have carried a twinge of aching sadness with me during the Fall. It is also safe to say that I have struggled with letting go throughout my life. It is this very balance of  holding on and letting go that I have ached, prayed, and cried out to understand more easily. I struggle to let go of what is and what I know, even when it is already gone.

 Ultimately, I’ve discovered that this dance with balance requires me to surrender. Of course, it would never force me, as I am (we all are)  a divine being with the gifts of freedom and choice. Yet, I know that little more than struggle and strife, grief and turmoil will come of my life without the “Fall” of my breath, the exhaling of my ego, and the surrendering of my sword.

I use to believe surrender to be synonymous with giving up. In fact, I loathed the word altogether. It was the picture of defeat and weakness. Typically, my reflex has been to dig in my heels deeper and shout a resistant “n e v e r”!

Ah, yes. Absolutes, such as “n e v e r” are often the pre-requisite to crashing head on into a self built (absolute) “wall,” at least in my experience.

Thankfully, I’ve been shown the difference between letting go and giving up, between surrender and suffering. I have been given love in the darkest nights, the nights I felt I deserved to dwell. I have been taught that to prune back the dying debris of my life is a Divine act of unconditional love, and it is needed to keep me alive and growing. Now, surrender has become synonymous with strength; a strength I find at times and others …I do not.

During the Fall, we live with in equal parts of day and night. There is a natural and organic sense of balance all around, which is perhaps why so many love the months of Fall?

 Similarly, there are those beautiful and seemingly effortless times in all of our lives that we live and flow in that graceful balance of “holding on and letting go.” There are other times that may leave us feeling like gravity itself is Punking us, since we can’t seem to pull our ass off the floor. From those places, balance seems mythical, as do so many things. It seems that care and intention are needed in order to keep our butt off that floor and from “living” a life of muddled gray.

So, I ask you, what is your intent? What is your intention for today, tomorrow, right now? What is your intention for your life?

This is what I ultimately find myself asking in those moments, seasons, years in my life that are chaotic and wrapped fearful grayness. Not surprisingly, there is a common theme in the grief gray periods of my journey; I didn’t have one. I did not have a dream and a solid clear intention in that moment, or one for the foreseeable future. And usually, it was this question of intent that broke me, …broke me open. Empowered with a question and a choice, I became willing to surrender.

With that in mind, I can’t help to smile at the vibrancy of colors found in the Fall. I trust that it is our harvests that brighten and distinguish our gifts, even during those years that it is merely our soil that is being made healthy and ready to grow what will eventually be planted.

Honestly, there are still many moments that I feel that tightening in my chest, the holding of my breath, and the fear of the change looming with the falling foliage. Yet, I know that some awakenings take time, and sometimes-active presence and intention, truly takes practice. Letting go is a different experience every time, no matter how many times you’ve faced a harvest.

My greatest and wisest teacher is easily my exquisite 4-year old daughter. As I watch her light up with delight at the colors and changes of a new season, I am reminded that within me there is still a child who is learning. I am reminded that this is a journey, and that perfection is a boring gray myth. We are here to experience, to find our ever-evolving balance between “letting go and holding on,” and to dance the flow of night and day.

With intention, I welcome the Fall. I am ready. I am ready for the gifts, the colors, and the shedding of all that is worn and outgrown. I am ready to let go.

It is time to simply go outside and roll around in that pile of leaves and play, taking from them the vibrant lesson of letting go when it is time.

~ ~ Blessings ~ ~