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Security Blankets

Photo of security blanketI’m about to make a major life change: I’m moving to New York from Washington, DC, the city I’ve called home for ten years. My husband and I have flirted with moving for ages, but have never gone through with it, until now.

Last week, we shared our plans with family and friends (some of whom took the news better than others), and went through every room of our house, deciding what to keep as we prepare to downsize our living space, big time (New York apartments are not known for their spaciousness). Amidst the emotional and physical stress, I noticed myself questioning our decision to move; were we crazy for giving up everything we had here in DC? A community, a home we loved, quiet, tree-lined streets…

In an effort to ground myself, I went to a mid-day yoga class, and I couldn’t believe it when, during savasana (final resting pose), our teacher read the following quote from Judith Lasater’s A Year of Living Your Yoga:

“Which do you want? The pain of staying where you are, or the pain of growth?

We all want to avoid pain. But to be alive is to have pain of some kind. Some of this pain is self created. Ask yourself which pain do you want – the pain of moving through your challenge or the pain of avoiding it.”

It was like she’d looked into my soul and seen the exact words I needed to hear. In that moment, I realized that I had become tempted, once again, to stick with the pain I knew — the pain of unexplored potential — rather than expose myself to the pain of the unknown. I was reaching out from a place of fear for my security blanket (life as I knew it), hoping it would make the chaos of this major life transition dissipate. Only this particular security blanket couldn’t comfort me anymore. I’d outgrown it. It was time to let go.

I know, deep in my soul, that it’s time for me to experience life in a new place. I have hungered for this adventure for years. I am ready to take the leap. There will be growing pains, sure — but that means there will also be growth. I’m excited to see who I become.

Do you have a security blanket it’s time to leave behind? Can yoga help you learn what it’s time to let go?