When To Hold On, and When To Let Go ©2017 Joan M. Newcomb

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My dog Emma had a seizure and possible stroke this morning. She’s nearly 15 and her back legs tend to give out, so when I heard noises at 5am, I thought she’d lost her balance on the kitchen floor. Instead she was lying sideways, looking like she was running, except for the drool coming out of her paralyzed face.

We sat with her as it finished and tended to her for what seemed like hours as she regained her ability drink water and then to walk.

Corentin de Chatelperron by Elaine Apa

I flashed back to 2013 when our other dog, Basil, died very slowly, probably from a brain tumor. He’d had an operation in 2010 that was temporarily successful, but when it apparently came back at age 12 we let him complete his life at home. It was an arduous and unnecessarily painful death.

Today, however, I sat with Emma and did my Consciousness Techniques on her, helping her electrical system come back on line when the seizure completed, allowed for the bigger pattern to reorganize, and still was surprised how normal she was when we were able to get her into the vet.

Thinking of Basil, I’d also communicated with her that if this was time for her to go, it was okay.

Basil’s initial illness came during a breakdown-breakthrough time in my life, in fact the operation and the year long repayment for it, helped postpone any decisions. Which lead to my being able to go back East to help my mother the next year. It was a time to hold on. Hold on to Basil, hold on to my mother. Yet I also held on to the on line aspects of my business, my radio show and my phone consultations, while letting go of my Seattle office and in person classes, and wedding business.

2013 was a time of letting go. My mother finally passed in January. We came back to Seattle with a dying dog. Basil passed in April. We let go of our house on Vashon Island that October, and after we moved to Tacoma,  I flew back East to help my father pass. There was also some holding on – my husband was hospitalized in July for what was thought was a heart attack (it was not).

The last few years have been a time of rebuilding, I started a new radio show with a cohost, I started Meetups around the Puget Sound, and I restructured my coaching business. It’s felt like a long time of holding on, holding space to provide stability for new growth.

I’m aware of the cycle shifting again, and I’m wondering what letting go is required. As I wrote this, I got the impression that a sailing analogy was called for. Except I’m not a sailor. So I Google’d “sailing terms” and found this:

Often you can’t sail straight at your destination because of the way the wind is blowing. A sailboat cannot sail straight into the wind. So, if the wind is blowing at you, often you have to work your way toward your destination by turning the bow of the boat back and forth, through the wind. If it’s blowing with you, you turn the stern of the boat through the wind. From ASA.com

If you’re sailing through life, you have to hold on sometimes, and sometimes let go. If the wind is coming at you, you have to let go of your sail, and the expectation that you’d get there as soon as you’d like. If you hold on at the wrong times, you can get blown over or go off course.

When the wind is at your back, you still have to let go of your sail or it could violently swing and the boom knock you over.

We’re sailing through the energy of life and it requires skill and intuition. Just like sailing a boat, there’s a whole body artistry to it, sometimes holding on and letting go at the same time.

There’s an expression sailors use, to “leave it on the wave behind”. Let go of whatever needs letting go of, hold onto what needs holding, and you’ll get there more swiftly.

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