The Act of Letting Go

Well, I did it. I released him.  I won’t call it “saying goodbye”, as I had previously written;  I will simply say I released him.

I went to say goodbye.  I walked his ashes down to the water with the intention of saying goodbye, but as the ashes scattered in the wind and drifted down to the waves below, I knew it was just me releasing him, and that he would always be there whenever I wanted to visit and say hello.

A few weeks ago I went on a trip to Europe.  This trip was planned as part of a personal quest to get to know myself. This trip was something I wanted and needed.  Something to push me outside of my comfort zone, test my character and give me the time alone to explore who I am, what I want and where I want to go in my life. And to have some fabulous adventures along the way, of course!

I knew the trip was going to be special. It was not going to be be just an average “holiday”, but rather a turning point. A new chapter.  Perhaps even the beginning of a new story all together.

With this in mind, I knew it was time to let him go. The morning before I boarded my flight to Stockholm, I took the small wooden box containing his ashes down to the water.  With my black leather boots protecting me from from puddles and my polka dot umbrella shielding my face from the rain, I rounded the back of the pier. Luckily there were only a few fisherman out that day, so it didn’t take me long to find a corner to be alone with him.

I stood there in the rain. I had my ear buds in and listened to a sweet, slow melody as I reached into my purse and removed the small box. The wind calmed and the rain slowed to a drizzle. I collapsed the umbrella, resting it against the metal guard rail and held him in both of my hands. Then the tears came. But these were new tears, not the same I had shed for him time and time again.  This time, the tears were letting him go – releasing him. The tears leaked out, rolling down my cheeks, salt kissing my lips and continuing down to pool around my neck.

let-gooooo

I held him tight it my hands. I felt the box, the ridges and grooves where the inscription was carved. I slid back the cover and removed the small packet of ashes.  I snipped the top with a small pair of scissors, looked inside and saw the pale gray dust start to move in the breeze. I held the bag out over the railing, tipped it upside down and watched as he caught the wind and gently floated to the waves.

***

I returned from my trip this past Monday.  It was everything I had hoped it would be and more. Still basking in the glow of time spent reading on the beach in the South of France, meeting a psychic in Amsterdam, meditating with Deepak Chopra in Paris and all of the people I met and realizations I had along the way, I spent this week slowly integrating myself back into daily life, trying to carry with me all that happened while making sense of some of my personal reflections.

Today was the first Saturday in three weeks that I woke up in my own apartment.  Instead of rushing to get out into the world to explore or be productive, I took it slow. I savored the morning, just as I would have if I was on holiday. I declined an invitation to meet up with a friend and opted for a day of solitude, choosing instead to read, write, stretch my legs in the sunshine, take a long afternoon nap and have a quiet night at home.

Outside, the sun beat hot upon my face. San Francisco is known to be overcast, with autumn-like weather the majority of the year.  Today was unusually warm. On a day like today, the water beckons and you must obey.  Heeding the siren’s call, I made my way to the Bay and stood there thinking Do I go left or right? Left or right? I chose left.

I chose to go and say hello to him and see how his new spot was.  Today it was bright and sunny and hot – the pier filled with people.  There were men fishing and families picnicking.  There was a man sitting on a bench, playing his guitar and getting lost in the sound.  A couple leaning against the building, taking shelter in the shade and giving their dog a bowl of water to drink.  And right in front of where I spread his ashes, two men sitting on a bench drinking beer out of glass bottles – no brown bag. Proud and happily defiant. He would have liked that.

I squatted down to look at the aqua water and snap a picture of the beautiful day. The woman standing about twenty feet behind me, watched me closely.  When I turned to leave, she didn’t even attempt to avert her eyes, she just watched. Her observing me, me observing the others, and him floating along the water, watching it all with a smile. There were no tears today, just peace.

This is the first time I have written about him without crying. I have finally let him go. I have let him go both literally and figuratively, evidenced by my sense of peace and lack of salty tears.  He will always be a part of my past.  Knowing him and loving him has shaped who I am today which will certainly impact who I will become in the future.  But this next chapter is mine. Mine to write as I wish, carrying with me all that I have learned and all that I wish to experience.

And should I ever wish  to say hello, I will simply walk my feet down to the Bay and watch the waves lap against the pier, where he dances on the water and observes the passersby – just as he always has.

Your truly,

Erin Terese

P.S.  Thank you for taking this journey with me. Your readership, friendship and support makes all the difference in the world. xo

 

The World We Live In. And How You See It. The Choice is Up to You.

It is an unfortunate part of life. Well, not so much unfortunate, as difficult. Challenging. Heartbreaking and gut wrenching. Tear jerking and mascara smearing. Stomach knotting and fist curling.

It’s tough.

But we are fortunate to feel it.

That which breaks our heart and pushes our mind to the brink, is that which builds our character and shapes the world we live in.

If you have fallen on hard times, you know this to be true.

If you have found yourself in a moment that you never knew existed, or in a scenario you never could have imagined.  If you have found yourself frozen in a moment where all you could do was remind yourself to breathe. If you know what I mean, than you know how lucky you are. Yes, lucky.

I am saying it again.

Lucky.

These moments. These awful, horrible, disgusting moments are what shape you. They bring you to your knees and show you what matters to you. Your heart breaks and your soul quakes because you are learning what you need. Growing your character, growing your mind and growing in compassion. By leaps and bounds, you are doing this. You are not learning by the slow tick of the clock, or turn of a page – you are learning from down in the dirt. Fast-paced and bloody. Beautiful and broken. You are on a crash course, on the high-speed track to freedom.

Personal freedom.

If you have yet to realize this, just wait.

It’s coming.

One day you will open your eyes and the world will seem bright and bursting with color. Faces will be beaming and arms will be reached out to you, offering a warm embrace. The world will spin and sparkle in a way you never knew it could.

But the leg work is yours.

You have to find the pieces to put together, and the roads to walk down.

You have to look in the dark corners, and seek out the light.

This is the nature of the world we live in.

It’s how you see it.

What you make of it.

How you let what happens to you shape your world.

And how you shape the world we all live in.

The World

That is all for now, my lovelies. Just a quick thought for you.  From the world, the way that I see it.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

Silent Night

Silent Night has always been one of my favorite Christmas songs.  While there are many songs that are beautiful, fun or filled with holiday spirit, this song just seems so pure and filled with love.  Beauty hangs on the notes, dances with the words and warms all of the corners of my heart. Such pure joy is found in the birth of a child, in the twinkling of the cosmos and in “love’s pure light”.  This song is about the birth of Jesus, but in a way, it feels like a song meant for us all.  For we each are born with pure love and light.

Silent Night

This recording is for my mother.  She is a bright shining star of love and guidance in my life and my biggest supporter.  Since she wants so deeply for me to sing again, I recorded Silent Night on my iPhone for her this Christmas.

This is a rough recording, but may the feeling of love and light be with you today.

Merry Christmas!

Yours truly,

Erin Stafford

The Awakening

The nature of the awakening is that we are pulling each other, lifting each other, and helping one another.  We are inspiring and loving and giving each other the gift of remembering.  The ability that we have within us, to know and understand how to create the existence we perceive, is being remembered.  Awakened.  Rebirthed. Remembered. Renewed. Reimagined with the eyes of our former selves and current heart.  Our souls are being encouraged by like-minded souls.  Our hands are being held by those on similar paths.  We are moving together toward an existence that is far greater than our current minds can comprehend.  The beauty in this is that we are creating this together.  We are working together with varied skills and languages and visions, to build and manifest the world as we would like to see it.  There is great power behind our words, thoughts and speech.  Now is the time for us to quiet the mind, listen to the light and our inner rememberings and view the world with the eyes of a child: New. Possible. Loving. Limitless.

Awakening

Move forward with light, with love, and with incredible openness.

Yours truly,

Erin Stafford

A Quieting

After a lovely weekend of serendipity and destiny and truly present moments:

I am so very grateful for the people in my life and those that have crossed my path.  Words will never express the depth of my gratitude.

Thank you all for sharing your authentic selves.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

There Where My Longing Lies

It was there in the moonlight, gazing at the starry sky that I first felt it. Time stood still and the light shining in the distant galaxies was calling me home – pulling me higher.  My body was anchored to the boulder atop the mountain on which I sat, but my soul was soaring.  Voices and memories were pulsing through my veins as if they had been there from the beginning and reminding me with each breath and heart beat that we are as one.

Finally I was given a glimpse of what I had been seeking.  That longing that had been pulling on my heart strings, knotting in my throat and ringing in my ears had found its source. The sky.  The beyond.  Somewhere in the darkness and the twinkling of faraway stars and planets.  Past the black holes, comets and solar systems.  Farther still where sound and light and fantasy shift into a new language undecipherable to my mind.  Yes, it is there where my longing lies.  Somewhere my mind cannot explain, nor my memory attempt to fathom. There in that place lies a piece of me, every bit as connected as the brown in my eyes and the heat on my breath.  Part of me there is reaching out, longing to connect, wanting me to listen.

With open mind, heart and soul I listen.  Now, I listen.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese

Let the Journey Begin!

I am taking a leap of faith and following my instincts.

Like a five year old child, unable to sleep, knowing that there will be presents under the Christmas tree in the morning.  Like the scent of rain on the wind, long before the forecast was checked or a dark cloud seen.  Like the moment just before your lips touch your lover’s for the first time, locking in a passionate kiss.  Yes, just like that, I can feel something good is coming.

For most of my life, I have trusted my logical mind.  When push came to shove and important choices needed to be made, logic won over emotions and feelings almost every time.  This type of thinking kept me safe and secure, but did not do a wonderful job of making me feel happy and satisfied.  I was still longing for more, without really knowing what more I was looking for.  Over the past few years I have tried to find a better balance of following my mind, my heart and instinct.  Not surprisingly, the main thing holding me back was fear.  Fear of change.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of being judged.  Fear of failing.

Thankfully I realized the fear holding me back could only be released by me.  After all, it was placed there by me, so it was going to be up to me to figure it all out.  That kind of work must be done within.  As much as I love the idea of throwing money at the situation to fix it or using a Band-Aid to cover it up, no dollar amount or bandage can fix the fear – it can only be released by the owner and operator, Yours Truly.

Right now I am in a really good place.  This past year I have been picking up speed like a snowball turning into an avalanche (just ask my friends). I am releasing my past.  Confronting my demons.  Facing my fears. Taking on challenges. Falling down, dusting off, and trying again! Listening to my body.  Quieting my mind.  Following my spiritual light.  I am learning to trust (and rely on) my feelings and emotions more than my logical mind.  This is huge for me.

So here we are on this journey.  And I do not say we just to engage you, dear reader.  I say it because we are all on a journey together right now – this is part of the change I feel.  Recently, I have seen strangers becoming kinder and more patient.  I have watched close friends and family become more open and vulnerable. I have witnessed physical, mental and spiritual transformations result from the simple thought of wanting a better life.  These changes are not a result of a longing for more money or fame.  These changes are happening because we as humans are awakening to an inner desire to become the truest and best version of our self – whatever that may be. We are trying.

“For those of you who don’t know, December 21st 2012 is regarded as the end of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar otherwise known as the Mayan Calendar. New age interpretation of this date is that it marks the start of a time in which Earth and its inhabitants will undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that it may mark the beginning of a new era (Note: Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae have pointed to this date though it’s still debatable).” – The Lotus Effect.

I am taking a leap of faith and following my instincts.  Something good is coming.

All I know for sure, is that it is my job to prepare for it.  Not the typical preparedness that involves formal education or purchasing emergency goods, but rather internal preparedness.  I have never been this focused or passionate about caring for my mind, body and soul and helping others around me.  I know with every fiber of my being, that now is a time to feed my body nutrient rich food, sleep well, exercise and purify my body of toxins. That now is a time to quiet my mind and be open to new possibilities.  Now is a time to be patient, forgiving and speak with more love than ever before.

Yes, just like that, I can feel something good is coming.

What have you been experiencing?  Any tips, advice or ideas to share?  Please, all thoughts are welcome.  We are in this together.

Yours truly,

Erin Terese