Monthly Archives: December 2014

Only an open hand is free to receive

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I think I’ve just learned a valuable lesson over the past week: I have been going through life as if I can have it all…

While I have capabilities & access & have met with much success, I didn’t consider something key:

If I had it ALL, where would I keep it ALL ? How would I move around with it ALL? How would I keep up with it ALL? It turns out that would be a crowded & heavy & incomprehensible life. I have learned that it is much easier & lighter to recognize & relinquish that which holds me back.  To forgo, for “Go”. Very often, the very reason I can not move forward, is because I am holding onto something. An extended metaphor occurs to me this way:

     If you took a trip to Bali and discovered that there were a Monkey Temple; a cave carved by an ancient people, now a den inhabited by territorial monkeys. Imagine you were warned not to wear any jewelry because the monkeys are quick thieves who snatch bejeweled earrings & pendants & watches & such sparkling gold & silver things. You arrive & promptly notice the sharp teeth & claws of the monkeys & understand why no human has entered that cave in over 300 years of tourism. but then you have an insight: the monkeys are just naturually drawn to eye-catching things. You calmly but courageously cross over the ropes & head toward the cave & its treasure. The monkeys’ chatter quickly becomes alarming screeches, but you expected as much. As you near the mouth of the cave, the perched monkeys seem poised to pounce in attack, but you reach into your pocket to retrieve your watch & ring & sunglasses. You slowly toss your shiny items to lure the monkeys away & enter the cave unmolested. Inside, the light is dimmer, therefore the jewelry has less glitter & it is no wonder the monkeys lost interest & left the items here… the monkeys are not possesive after all & have no problem that you gather 300 years worth of gold & jewels into a leather sack that you find there.

   Now, imagine that you have gathered 50 pounds of gold & jewels, but the airline has a “no carry on” policy & a 50lb weight limit for luggage per person. Do you busy yourself rearranging your belongings? Do you agonize over trying to keep your shorts or sandals or even your toothbrush? NO.

The answer is simple & quick. Leave it all behind, of course.  You can buy more as soon as your plane lands at home! Surely you can survive without your toothbrush for a day of travel. You likely have over $10 million dollars, you can afford to buy another.

  Ok, so that was a bit dramatic, but the principle still holds true under more mundane circumstances:

Isn’t it nice to clean out a closet by tossing out unneeded clutter & discovering the clear serenity of fresh space?  Isn’t there a wonderful purity to letting go of all the second guessing over what you could be doing & freeing yourself to enjoy the lightness of being that comes only from focusing on simply being fully present to what you’re actually doing? If you are clinging fearfully to something anchored in the past, you can not move on until you let go. If you hold firm to your point of view, you can not see around it to a whole new perspective. If tighten your fist to clutch your last dollar, your hand is not open to receive far more. If you go through life taking on more & more without ever giving anything up, you will be buried alive. What are you willing to leave behind?

Once you’ve decided you want something, it is a useful question to ask yourself, “What am I willing to let go, to make room for what I want?”

Freedom is completion. You do not have to “finish” to be complete.

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White Winter Solstice Sky

Over the past few months, I have gone through the hardest part of a divorce. I have moved into one of my rental properties. I have closed my nightclub. I have closed my bar. I gave a company which I silently owned to the employees. I have written off several investments. I have entered into negotiations to trade my shares of the Foundry I started with my partner to my partner, in exchange for further equity in our other business together, a scrap metal recycling processing yard, & I will buy out his remaining shares, so that he may retire. My 30′s were exciting, but lost in the business of business. I suffered an enormous financial loss in 2008 & 2009 during the economic crisis. I lost $1M dollars a month for 4 months. Some employees panicked & started a competing company & betrayed me in a way that traumatized me. I loved them. In 2009, the man I made president of the electronics recycling company I started, panicked & loaded an overseas container with more than $1M worth of inventory & fled the country. In 2010 & 2011, I was trying to rebuild from scratch & my powerful & amazing wife jumped in head first & was independently trying to save us… the problem was that 2 people can not drive the same bus at the same time… it just leads to wreckage & that’s what happened to our marriage. We’re both fighters & we fought to come out the other side. We are best friends, but we had to amputate the marriage to save the body & life of our relationship.

So… here I am. Everything up to now has seemed such a rush & blur. I am somehow complete with all of my incompletes.
It seems very appropriate that it is Winter… dormancy, seems appropriate.

In my new residence…
My particular street is a beautiful vista of giant live oaks that arch over like a great cathedral. The last of the leaves are pirouetting to the ground like nature’s confetti, as if I was participating in a muted parade. I like that: the trees let go of their leaves which nourish the ground. I am devoting today to letting go of my past. Providentially, today is the Winter Solstice. In 7 minutes it will be 12:00pm EST December 21st, 2014 the exact “noon”, whereupon Winter begins. There is no duration to this, per se, it is an event. I find this an auspicious occasion to celebrate the release of the dead leaves of my thoughts & days leading up to this moment. I declare this as a pivotal event in my life. Today is my clearing. My wiping of the slate. My soil is made fertile by all I have learned & experienced & created up to this point. However, for my future to be whatever it will grow to be, there must be a clearing within which it can arise. So today begins my winter.

I had an insight while walking: it is possible to be “complete”, without finishing. I can simply let go of old frustrations, upsets & disappointments. By holdinging onto them in my mind, I have carried them into my present & I experience frustration, upset & disappointment now, as if something were happening now. I can simply let them go. I am complete with my unfinished business the moment I declare it complete, in the same way a fight is over the instant I quit fighting.

I welcome winter today, as the peace that comes from completion.

Today does not have to be a repetition of yesterday. My future does not necessarily have to have anything to do with my past. Today I let go of all the dead leaves of my past that litter my view. This leaves me free. Freedom is necessary to create. Space is necessary to create.

Today is as cleanly blank as a white winter sky; a halcyon clearing for all the fruitful & blossoming possibilities of tomorrow to occur.

I crave clarity. Maybe clarity only comes once there is a clearing for it to occur.

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S600 merecedes

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I am going to clean out a lot of my stuff from my move, let go of my status symbols & put them on Ebay, Craigslist, donate, gift, trash… I’m even going to sell my S600 Mercedes & my Montblanc pens & my Rolex watches.
I want to declutter & detach.
Also, I am going to let go of a lot of commitments. I am going to resign from the boards on which I currently sit. I am going to withdraw from many of the clubs & groups from which I am no longer receiving as much value. I am going to disconnect from Facebook & other social media. I am going to decline invitations from those people from whom I receive far less than I give.

I am going to learn how to meditate.

I want space.
I want refreshing emptiness.