40 Days of Letting Go: Day 16 ~ Let go of an old identity

This is not about a beauty make-over, But rather an inside make-over that might be long overdue.  It might be time to let  go of labels that you don’t want anymore, and maybe never even asked for.  How do you identify yourself? You might say “I’m the mother of two… grandfather…. CEO… dancer…. a dentist.”   But like everything, our identities morph and change over our life-span, and holding on to or buying into an identity that no longer fits can be unproductive and painful.

When it comes to our identity it might be wise to take the attitude of holding on “not too tight, not too loose”

 Even if our identity feels up-to-date, we are so much more than a list of labels, and yet, we need to have some sense of identity to shape our lives.  When it comes to identity, it might be wise to use the advice given by Youngey Mingur Rinpoche regarding the proper effort when meditating:  “not too tight and not too loose.”

Here’s how today’s Letting-go exercise:  Find the right balance with your identity:

1.  Start with five minutes of mindful breathing, gently ask any thoughts to come back later.

2.  How would you have identified yourself ten years ago?  Were you a teacher, parent of a toddler?  a student?  Now apply the same question to your identity five years ago.

3.  From the previous step, what still applies?  Is there some label you want to let go of, or start to shed?

4.  Focus on the concept of “not too tight, not too lose” today.  Can you feel a sense of ease and spaciousness around your identity?

5.  It also might be helpful to remember a basic human right that we should all identify with – that is – we all have the right to make mistakes, change, grow, and move on.

You are allowed to update your identity and focus on and foster the best aspects of your being.  Not doing so robs you and the world of your ever developing insight and gifts.

We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!

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