Let It Go: How Unicorn-Loving Hippies Saved My Life
I began a daily meditation and journaling practice in December of 2014 as a way to save myself from moderate — to at times crippling— anxiety, sadness and racing thoughts.
Meditation has allowed me to sit with the ugly, hairy emotions we prefer to excuse from the dinner table: jealousy, rage, self-hate and impulsiveness to name a few. It’s shone a light on the inner workings of much of our self-imposed madness to find the serenity that all these hippie books talk about.
You know the ones I’m talking about.
The author’s name is Shakti Sutra. She’s probably wearing anything but a bra and if the book were a scratch and sniff, the sniffing part would be on her armpit and yep, you guessed it, it would smell about as natural as “I do not believe in deodorant” gets. The design? At best a throwback from the 1980's, but without that Buzzfeed, Urban Outfitter, “this is kind of cool” way.
While I joke about the aesthetic, the principles are relevant. The destination, if there is such a thing, is real.
I didn’t understand any of this for a long time. People would say things like, “We are love”. “Oh, shut the f*$% up,” I’d think, mostly because either they didn’t seem sincere or, in the rarer instance, they truly did emanate a warm, all accepting feeling that can best be described as love.
And they weren’t just mystical, unicorn-loving ‘hippies’. They were real people like you and I. It made me wonder what they knew that I didn’t.
There are many days when this all seems like West Coast bullshit.
I’m from New York. I shave my armpits and think deodorant is useful. Meditation sounded like a waste of time, self-love a placebo and the ability to not think 24/7? A joke, at best.
And yet, as I’ve come to realize, that just isn’t true.
People have told me my entire life to simply “let it go”. Whether or not they truly understood the mechanics behind such a directive, I now have a glimpse into one way to do so and it’s changed my life.
Over the past two months, I’ve begun to watch the storm as opposed to getting swept up in it. I am learning to witness more and react less.
Lively insights. Soulful dialogue. Peace. A glimpse of myself for the first time (!!). Spontaneous laughter. Patience. Compassion. The key to a world I felt shut out from.
Meditation won’t be for everyone and yet, it could be the ticket to a front-row view of who you truly are, a sight you’re just witnessing for the first time.
Don’t you want to meet her?
“Do not turn your power into inward-facing, self hate. It’s misplaced energy. It’s a fear of being seen and of coming into the world as yourself. It’s self-sabotage on a both a physical and spiritual level. When this happens, step out into the world more. Practice gratitude and allow your energy to expand. You’re trying to contain it. Hence your stomach aches. Let it grow naturally. Get out of your own way.”
“How,” I asked.
“Presence. Comfort with people’s disapproval. Surround yourself with people you love, your space keepers. Release expectations and the need for a specific outcome.”
Could it be that simple?