The Art of letting go
When Art started talking about letting go of his expectations around what K9 should be on Episode 20 of The Humans Inside the Pods it only made sense to focus that week's article on the Art of letting go. See what I did there? Letting go of what you know, what you believe you know, what you want, is something everyone is confronted to throughout their lives, but living in a community, one seems to face it more often than not. Almost daily you are confronted with many new ways of doing things, things you took for granted, opinions you assumed were universals. Some things will drive you crazy, others will frustrate you, you'll roll your eye and breath loudly...but eventually, practice makes growth and you will learn to define your minium expectations, pick your battles and let go of the rest. It is one of the most difficult excercice of living with others though. Whether you call it change or unfullfiled expectations, it is a painful process. So much so that many of us tend to delay the discomfort by practicing what the french call "the ostritch move", basically burrying our heads in the sand and pretending it's all as it should be. We all know better but it doesnt mean that we do, better. So here is what I know. As cliche as it may sound, this is something my yoga teacher taught me. Happiness is temporary because it is the moment where your expectations are fulfilled. The more expectations, the less chance of happiness. The challenge is that most of our expectations depend on other people or factors that are not in our control.
Attachement is the batery of the mind. In order to stop constantly oscillating from happy to sad and find a state of peace and acceptance, you need to remove the battery from the pendulum. It is the attachement to our expecations that make the pendulum of the mind swing back and forth from happiness to sadness.
The more aware we are of that and of what is the minimum requirement for us to feel at peace, the easier it is to let go of the rest and find stillness.
So that's the theory. The practice is more painful because we are humans and more or less slaves to our emotions. Another thing my teacher said, which hits close to home, is "You either get better, or bitter". Both Art and I got bitter for a while I think, after being faced with the loss of our little community within the community and our vision of what our Home should or could be. It took a lont time, and different paths to get better. It took distancing ourselves to allow for a better view and understanding of the situation and the emotions around it, and while taking ditance, we somehow, at our own pace, went throught the equivalent of the steps of grief: denial, anger, bragaining, depression and finally acceptance.
For me it was accepting that what I loved the most about the Community, it's diversity, it's power of inspiration and spontaneity, the feeling of safety... all of it, was only made possible by the flexibility and constant evolution of the House, almost like a breathing organism, with each breathe and new resident, it evolved. By constantly wanting to go back to what I had known, I was simply and slowly weakening the very soul of what I was cherishing.
As Art decided to stay and "re join" K9, having left the house 8 months ago now, I find myself facing the question, do I get better or bitter? Do I keep crying over K9 or smile because it happened. Do I forget and move on, or take inspiration from it to create something here? Time will tell.