As a child I used to play pickup sticks. You know the game—the one where you have to pick a spindly thin long fragile plastic stick off the floor without touching another stick. Sorta like mind your P’s and Q’s or never mix your veggies with your mashed potatoes. Never the twain shall meet.

I hated that game.  As a child, because I invariably always lost. As an adult, because it conjured the obsolete philosophy of segregation of the races, of the religions, of well anything. I, like Thich Nhat Hanh, prefer a melting pot…is a much more palatable stew.

Since the advent of 2013, LOI has been showcasing the work of some of whom I consider the most diverse and incredible individuals I have the pleasure of personally calling friend.

There is a reason for this:

  1.  I wanted to offer perspectives on topics and disciplines that are beyond my expertise;
  2. I think their stories, words and voices need to be shared. And most of all heard.
  3. I wanted to present a smorgasbord of differing POVs to provide a canvas of tools that when combined create a perfect stew for the way to live a well-lived and well-loving life.

Jason wrote about making a loving sacrifice of something that served you and even perhaps defined you, but which no longer fulfilled you. He wrote of the need to let go in order to let in. He spoke of his personal experience of a personal journey and training he recently completed. He spoke of the imperative need to reinvent yourself at key points in your life so that you can create the you that would serve you (and others) in the present.

Ralph wrote about unconditional love, which he tied into creation and Mother Earth, the nurturing qualities of spring and renewal, ones of a mother guiding a child. He also touched upon quite eloquently I might add the need to keep it light and to find the joy in life and not take things so seriously all the time—a concept which I at times I need a swift kick in the arse as a stern reminder.

Richard wrote of maintaining integrity in our online personas and lives—in particular with regard to the posts and comments one makes in the blogosphere—a realm where anonymity temps us to at times say things we would never say to another while looking into their eyes.

Carter wrote about leveraging time—how when you release old unsuccessful holding patterns (no matter how comfortable they may be), you leverage your life and your energy in a way that is not only productive for yourself, but also for those around you. The result is liberation.

Jordan wrote about what he has dubbed Re Belle—a discipline he created that is based on his experience as a Tai Chi Master as well as being an offshoot from his personal life adventure. And Malaurie wrote about taking the yoga path, which entails letting go of the concept of perfection and accepting and embracing where you are in the here and now.

Weaving it all together, tossing it all into the wondrous stew, you discover a pretty great recipe for living life to its fullest.  Not to mention loving life to its fullest. Their words have touched me and made me a better person.

As such, I want to combine elements from their posts for the purpose of this post:

  1. Letting go of ideas, thoughts, habits and patterns, even people that no longer serve your life in the present;
  2. Deflecting old destructive patterns thru the practice of both physical and mental Tai Chi;
  3. Accepting the yoga path and embracing wherever it is that you are in your life now without expectations of perfection;
  4. Leveraging  your time wisely so you can liberate yourself and others;
  5.  Communicating on the internet  as if you are speaking directly to the person and therefore are accountable for your words;
  6. Providing  unconditional love to yourself and to others in a way that is not self-serving but serving for all;
  7. And most of all  the metaphor and real experience provided by Jason –how to find the courage to cut out the old patterns and ways that no longer serve you or others…might not need to physically  cut your hair but you can literally  cut the old patterns and ways.

This was my editorial intent and penciled in on my editorial calendar since prior to the onset of the year. I had wanted to present these insights from these particular individuals and then tie it together into a common bond.  I wanted to showcase these guest bloggers.  Ironically also earlier this year (and while it did fit into my predetermined “editorial calendar” thematically it was I must admit unexpected) an old pattern of mine was triggered.  A pattern that I knew I needed to let go and one I had thought I had let go, but one that I seemed to be revisiting nonetheless.

This pattern was triggered by several emails from someone whom had once been an integral part of my life but with whom things ended worse than badly.

Those emails triggered a landmine. One I knew I must not trip, but one nonetheless that I wished I could diffuse. I wanted to “fix” things—my old holding pattern. I wanted to make it all right. I wanted that pretty gift-wrapped package with the bold bright ribbons sporting a bow perched on top.  I wanted to resume communication and ties when in fact like Jason’s hair I should’ve wanted to cut it all off.

I won’t bore you with the story or the ugly details of what ensued immediately afterward. What I will do is tell you how it spiraled me back nearly four years into a hell from which I had thought I had already healed.

I immediately  flooded my thoughts with those self-help mantras that these were his issues not mine, it was projection and had nothing to do with me….the anger was his and not mine….I had forgiven him years ago now but he was the one unable to forgive me. I became consumed with my attempt to decipher why this happened, again….and why at this time in my life when things were going so well….

Which got me thinking—why do I care? Why am I spending…wasting…my energy and time on this issue let alone on him….why does his or anyone else’s words or opinion for that matter affect me to such a degree that I came to a standstill with regard to my life, my goals, my words, what I feel I am here to impart to others. For truth is what others think of me really is none of my business…that is their prerogative and right and no concern of mine.

So why was I so hurt and upset?


This one I knew.

It was because he hit my triggers. There were lingering insecurities and self-doubts and probably even questions that he caused to resurface and during a time when I had thought I had it all figured out.  It was as if a firing squad had been summoned  and I was the one standing blindfolded against the wall.  As always I got burned and he walked away justified and unmaimed. But truth of the matter is the only way his words could have hurt me were not if he believed them to be true…but if I believed them to be true.

All of this occurred during the same time Jason Levitt was guest blogging on his journey of progression and letting go of that which no longer served him. I realized that my former friend and flame arrived at the destination in my life at precisely the correct time. For whatever reason  I needed to have that slap upside the head to force me to face elements of my life and of myself that no longer served me.

I needed to let go—not only of the past and the pain but of my hopes and wishes that that past somehow could miraculously alter course. Most of all I needed to let go of my tendency to always want to fix things…to always have life and life’s events wrapped up in the fancy paper with the pretty pink bow.

For life is at times messy and we just have to deal with it. People who once served a great and grand part of our lives no longer serve it for individuals, relationships, goals and dreams change.  Just as Jason had written about cutting his hair and moving into a new him…I needed to cut my losses and move into a new me because this person, one whom had been my mentor once, no longer served a purpose for me and my life. More importantly I no longer served one for his life or for him.

That was the real truth and it stung. He no longer needed me.  Which was a good thing for it meant he had healed. I needed to accept that.

So I took a page from Richard’s article and refused to retort with anger or hatred. I just let it go. I took a page from Jordan’s article and deflected the energy with mental Tai Chi (and I did physical Tai Chi as well) and I even went as far to send healing energy and love his way.  Then another from Malaurie’s article and I accepted my life for what it was and where I was now, imperfections and all. Next I took a page from Carter’s article and channeled as best I could all my energy into a project I am spearheading. Finally I took a page from Ralph’s article and sent as best I could unconditional love to him, to myself to the universe and most of all back to Mother Earth.

Did it work? Yes and no. I am a work in progress.  Did it help? Most definitely yes.  For I had a collective toolset to draw upon.   I drew upon the wisdom and words from people I admire whom I had personally requested to guest blog for LOI—how is that for poetic irony?

And that my friends is why I hate pickup sticks.

For I believe that in order to survive as best we can in today’s world, isolation, or one specific tool, POV or mindset, or not touching, or interacting/meshing with  the lives and experiences of others is not enough….in fact I think it limits us. I believe that we need diverse and many resources from which to draw upon, a toolset, a wheel house, a grand buffet.


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