When these words appeared on my vision board this year, they seemed to be yet another reminder of the importance of play in my life. I’ve often gotten this message and have realized that it’s really an invitation to lighten up and not take life so seriously. But as the year unfolds, I see a deeper meaning to the message as I play with the idea of abandoning outworn patterns of behaviors, entrenched ideas and aspects of my life that have become habitual.
The word abandon has often had a negative connotation to me, but I’m opening to the possibility that it can also be empowering as I completely turn away from things that have kept me small, allowing me to move in more expansive directions. “I now abandon negative thinking, harshness, and procrastination!” This is a bold statement with a strong intention to let go. Nothing wishy-washy about it! When I abandon judging—myself, others, situations—I allow a softer way of being to emerge, one of open observation. Now I can simply notice whatever is going on internally and externally, a stance that allows me to respond rather than react to the world around me, and inside of me as well.
And yet there is still the word “play.” A gentle reminder that even bold, strong intentions are best held lightly and the results watched with curiosity. Abandoning is best done with kindness and loving compassion. Perhaps that’s the greatest message of all.