Ode To The Thighs

The essence of "Zen" is to see things as they truly are, to observe things as they stand, and to let things go as they should. But that is MUCH easier said than done! Though it sounds great to live in a zen-like state like a Buddhist monk, it's not realistic to expect yourself to attain eternal peace. And despite all my yoga training, I have no clue how to be in that mode the majority of the time.

A few weeks ago my best friend, who has a beautiful, creative mind and is an emerging writer, emailed one of her journal entries I'll call "Ode To The Thighs." She just submitted an edited version of that entry in a writing contest to answer the following question: "What have you let go of that has changed your life most?" Her answer..."Animosity towards my thighs." In this entry, she thanked her thighs for showing her when she was healthy and when she wasn't, for walking her towards and away from trouble, helping her bring children into this world, and for being part of her real, true self. At the end of this entry, she signed off..."With Respect & Gratitude" and even noted she was now attached to the thighs she had spent most of her adult life loathing. I thought this entry was brilliant and funny, and was again reminded that sometimes we hold onto the silliest things, and other times we hold onto things that are way too heavy to carry. We need to become more adept at letting go in order to enjoy the present and move forward.

Your emotional energy is directly linked to your well-being, so that energy should be spent on what is truly important. It should be spent on what has to be done that day, and on what values you hold closest to your heart - your family, your health, time for fun, etc. Don't hold on to what you don't need - physically in your schedule, or mentally in your mind. Just like the need to clear out closets a few times a year, we have to devote time to clearing out our mind clutter. Buddha said, "The root of suffering is attachment."  So...let it be when you can. Let unneeded things go with compassion, so new things can come your way. Take time to deign your future instead of focusing on the past. And, as yogis do, take time to sit in a quiet space and focus on your breath a few minutes each day. You'll be surprised how this can provide you with a little more peace and equanimity in otherl areas of life.

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