Last weekend I went to a music festival called Further Future. It’s produced by the same group that does Robot Heart at Burning Man. This year was my second year and I was so excited to experience it again. I also help out my friends that have a food truck called Poutine Your Mouth, they do all the large music festivals across the country. At this festival, like all festivals, the point is to get away from the day-to-day grind, dress up in whatever clothes and costumes as a form of self expression, and enjoy being in nature, dancing and connecting with like-minded people. For some strange reason, my ability to let go and just be there in that moment was incredibly challenging. I had so much on my mind, thinking about being out of work still and what my next career move or job was going to be, thinking about my age and where I’m at in life, thinking about our pregnancy struggle and a myriad of other things. By not finding the ability to let go, I took away some of my enjoyment of being there. By reflecting on it now, I realize how important it is to find the ability to let go and just be in the moment.
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
― Allen Saunders
Funny enough I just wrote a post titled, “What is Your Life Supposed to Look Like?” In it I talk about how society creates this pressure of achieving a list of things such as solidifying your career, getting married, having children and buying a house, all by the time you’re thirty. And if you haven’t achieved those things then you’re less than someone else who has. The point of that post was, wherever you are right now in your life is where you’re supposed to be, but this weekend I couldn’t accept that.
The more ironic thing is, most of the people at this festival were my age, which was quite refreshing. So when I was thinking about my age and being there, it wasn’t because I felt out of place.
It also wasn’t about not knowing what my life is supposed to look like, it was more about being too much in my head. And really what was I going to achieve by thinking about all this during the course of the weekend?
In another post I wrote titled, “Embracing Now,” it was more in the context of taking breaks during the course of each day by doing things like taking a walk or doing yoga or even meditating. And even though all that applies to the ability to let go, what happened this weekend is really about a deeper type of letting go.
“We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking.”
― Santosh Kalwar
I have completely accepted what my life is supposed to look like, in the sense that I’m not judging myself against society’s standards. However, because I’m in a transitional period in my life, my thoughts are consumed with what’s next. And truthfully, I wasn’t going to solve any of my worries over the weekend, so why was I stressing about those things?
I’ve always said to friends and family, “If you can’t solve something in the next five minutes, don’t worry about it.” But that’s exactly what I was doing. It’s as though I felt I didn’t deserve to be there, because I needed to solidify some parts of my life. How could I enjoy this festival while not having a job? How could I enjoy this festival at my age? How could I enjoy my weekend not having certain things in place for my future?
I now realize how vital it is to find the ability to let go. There’s mindfulness, there’s the ‘power of now’ and then there’s just simply letting go. I think these three things represent very different aspects of our minds and our lives.
I think in a way I’m glad this weekend was so challenging, it’s made me appreciate life even more. I just spent a good portion of the weekend worrying, consumed with unnecessary thoughts in my head. And I can’t get back that time, that time is now gone, so why would I ever want to do that again?
“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”
― Eckhart Tolle
The ability to let go is not just about worrying less, it’s also about letting go of your responsibilities at work, your daily to-do lists, your responsibilities at home and anything else you can think of that consumes your mind. There’s a time and a place for it and you really need to be aware of when those times are, so they don’t disrupt the moments when you need to let go and truly enjoy your life.