Let go and simply walk away when you must

When you can’t create value anymore or when you are not enjoying what you are doing anymore, simply walk away!
Graphic Courtesy: PTI/Internet
M.S.Dhoni surprised the cricketing world yesterday by retiring from Test Cricket. As India’s most successful Test Captain ever, everyone believes Dhoni has a lot of cricket still left in him. But the man himself thinks that he’s played enough of that format, having won 27 Tests for India and having led his team to be the # 1 Test side in the world, a slot the team retained for 21 months. Dhoni has always been remarkable – for being able to deal with victory and defeat with equanimity. His ability to stay unmoved in the middle, amidst all the action and chaos, has earned him the title of “Captain Cool”. But with his decision to retire from the oldest form of the game, Dhoni teaches us something far more valuable – he’s telling us that we must learn to let go and simply walk away when we must.
If you examine your Life closely, you will discover that much of your grief comes from clinging on to stuff – people, opinions, positions, things, money and such. The more you hold on to something, the more you will suffer. Such is the nature of Life. Life is in a perpetual, never-ending flow. To imagine that your Life should or will remain unchanged is downright foolishness. Trying to control Life is like holding on to water in your palm – it will simply flow away!
Each of us has a season in the sun just as we have our dark spells in Life. In our chosen vocation or in a field of interest, or in Life in general, we will have our own triumphs and travails. Yet we must never see any of this as permanent. We must learn to move on with time. We must also be willing to accept and appreciate that the generations that follow us will be smarter at doing whatever we believe we are currently best at. So, the intelligent way to live is to make way for others and for Life itself. Coming in the way of Life, by holding on to anything that you imagine is your own, is sure to cause inner strife and suffering. A simple rule of thumb can help here. In any situation, in any context, ask yourself if you are able to make a difference and create value? If the answer is no, walk away. Ask yourself if you are enjoying what you are doing or saying or whether you are enjoying being with someone? If the answer is no, walk away. It is that simple. Really!

Life often opens newer avenues when you let go of something or someone or some situation. Even if it immediately doesn’t, the very act of letting go is liberating. Clinging on is always about being under pressure, about wanting to prove a point – sometimes even to yourself.  But when you let go, there is no proving anything to anyone. When you let go, when you walk away, you are actually telling Life that you are open for new possibilities and opportunities. You are setting yourself free. And only when you are totally free can you be in bliss! 

It’s your thinking that limits you

Limits are what we create for ourselves in our minds. In reality, there are no limits to what we can achieve.

Marc Brew: Unshackled Spirit
Picture Courtesy: Marc Brew Company/Internet

My daughter had a very interesting encounter with a rare artiste in Glasgow yesterday. She met Marc Brew, 35 – a ballet dancer who, when he was 20, was injured in a car crash and has been confined to a wheel chair ever since. But Brew never gave up on Life or his dance. He has been working, ever since, in the United Kingdom and internationally as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and speaker. He was a guest performer and collaborator for the London Hand Over ceremony for the Beijing Olympic Games. Since 2001, Marc has been dedicating time to his own choreography with the Marc Brew Company.

My daughter had the unique privilege of training under Brew and performing with him. She sent us a video of her performance. It was really moving. Marc’s spirit, though he is confined to a wheel chair, is unshackled. His movements are so free and so full of Life. I am sharing one of his videos here – a solo performance titled “Remember When” .
Another specially challenged artiste, that Marc recently worked with, Dame Evelyn Glennie, 47 had this to say about him: “He may be physically confined to a wheelchair, but he is such an independent spirit, and has such freedom, and also authority, you can’t help but be influenced and inspired by him. It’s all the power of the mind, isn’t it? I have huge admiration for him.” Born and raised in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Glennie became profoundly deaf at the age of 12, but has gone on to become one of the world’s most successful virtuoso percussionists. She has performed at the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.
Watching my daughter’s video and doing my research on Brew, and then Glennie, I am at a loss for words. All I have are some questions – Are we living our lives fully? To our best and highest potential? What limits in our mind hold us back from doing what we are capable of doing – and really want to do? How can we unshackle from those physical limitations, break free and soar high? Where must we begin? Lots of questions there. Not all of them may immediately have clear and definitive answers. But, as Glennie says, if the mind is powerful and holds us back, its within our control to give the mind a new kind of power so that it sets us free. And the time to do that, I know, is NOW! Not tomorrow. But today. Now!
I want to leave you with a quote from one of Brew’s interviews (on European Dance Tours website) I discovered online: “After my accident, it was, I guess, logically suggested to me that I should look at new career options and go to University and do something different as I couldn’t possibly continue my career as a dancer; not after acquiring a spinal cord injury and being confined to a wheelchair. Possibly, every dancer’s worst fear is that an injury will end their career. But that’s exactly the opposite of what I did do. I still had the passion to dance and felt the dancer was still within me and just because I could no longer stand and dance as I once did, did not mean I cannot move and express myself through movement. I just had to look outside the square box of what society and the dance world considered “normal”. By challenging peoples’ perceptions of dance and disability I had to personally explore different ways to use my body in finding new movement potential working in and out of the chair as well as by partnering with non-disabled dancers. I don’t think I rediscovered dance, I just didn’t give up.”
If you are as inspired as I am, this Sunday morning, go re-examine your Life. And break free from all that you think shackles you and holds you back. Believe me, you will realize, that it was pretty simple to do that. Simply because, other than your thinking, nothing really was holding you back, and limiting you, from whatever you wanted to do and are capable of doing!