Once upon a time, a Zen master and his young disciple were walking the country.
The particular monastic order they belonged to was very strict, and their vow of celibacy went so far that the monks weren’t allowed to even touch women.
Presently they came upon a river, wild and swollen from days and days of rain.
At the edge of the river was a woman, clearly in despair.
“I need to get across, my children are waiting for me – but if I try to wade through, I will surely be swept away by the currents and drown!”.
Without hesitation, the master gently picked the woman up, carried her across, and set her down on the other bank of the river.
After that, his disciple and he continued their voyage in silence.
Come nightfall, the disciple asked:
“Master, there’s something I don’t understand. We’re not allowed to touch women, so why did you…?”
Without missing a beat, the master said:
“I put the women down hours ago, miles back.
“Are you still carrying her with you?”
And so it is with many of us, if not all of us.
We carry things with us that we could have dropped long ago.
Fears, negative opinions, bad memories, people, habits, possessions… when those ‘things’ no longer serve us, or worse: hold us back.
We’re attached, afraid to let go, or we tell ourselves we need them to be who we are.
Or, even more devious: we carry things with us simply because we’re not aware of it, not aware we no longer need them, not aware that we can set them down and leave them behind.
So here’s my New Year’s wish for you:
That you may become aware of the things you no longer need.
That you may accept that you can let go of them.
And that you take the leap, drop them, and travel unhindered and unfettered by things from the past.
Because sometimes, all it takes is a decision.
That you may travel like a king (or queen), and that you may have the courage to not let the past slow you down.
And I’ll be there to travel with you – with these daily emails or as your coach, whatever you prefer.