As we approach the official end of summer, I find I am floating through the day and then falling into a restless sleep at night. We just got back from settling our oldest daughter in her new adventure as a Torero at University of San Diego. While she is learning to swim in these new waters with a little more courage each day, I feel ungrounded and disembodied. Our family unit has changed after 15 years, which was when my youngest joined us with gusto, and the adjustment is incredibly hard for some very good reasons.
My family is at the core of everything I do. They are my reason for being, for striving to be a better version of myself, and for rising up each time I am knocked down by life. We four have always been each other’s safe harbor. Whatever is going on in the world and in our individual lives, we are strengthened and bolstered from BEING TOGETHER at the end of a day. While I am fully aware that change and transition is a part of a life well lived, this particular shift is seismic because half of my heart is in California.
My commitment to “family” has deep roots that start in Sri Lanka where I was blessed to grow up with supportive and loving parents that sacrificed all they could to ensure that my sisters and I would be able to live rich, full lives. Add about 30+ aunts and uncles and 50+ first cousins to that and you end up growing up in a veritable love stew – and yes, it DOES get a little messy sometimes. Leaving this cocoon was hard at 18, but it is the very thing that gave me the courage to be brave in what was literally a new world for me in America. Over the past 30 years, along with my husband, I have been intentionally manifesting and creating a similar “stew” with and for my girls. And they are becoming brave, kind, beautiful and compassionate young women who make me proud, which is why this transition is so incredibly painful.
The stronger our bonds, the harder they are to pull apart. In my religion we learn to practice “non- attachment” to eliminate suffering – easier said than done, and honestly a part of Buddhism I grapple with. Non-attachment from the bad stuff is easier than non-attachment from the good stuff. As the seasons begin to shift and change, I am trying to practice this particular tenet more mindfully as Four become Three, living under the same roof. I will try to let go of what I believe our family unit looks like, where we live, and when we connect to allow space for our new configuration to expand us.
What are you releasing during this shift of seasons? What is painful about the change and the new reality? What can you practice to steady yourself and allow the expansion to happen? I believe we are on this journey together for very good reasons, so I would truly love to hear your thoughts.