Glow from It or Grow from It

You can experience life as though it’s happening to you or for you and either way you set yourself up to feel like there is some quid pro quo, like you can tilt the odds in your favor if you’re a good person or you can manifest the reality you want if you try hard enough. You can tell yourself rejection is protection and everything has meaning and has been set up to teach you something. When painful things happen you can experience them as karma or as punishment for something you did or didn’t do. You can decide that everything that’s happening is happening for your growth.

The thing is, the earth was spinning long before you or I got here. The ocean existed before we showed up, the waves were rolling in, the waves were rolling out. The sun rose and set. The storms came and passed. The earth will keep spinning long after we’re gone. The chances that everything has been set up for any one of us are pretty small. That doesn’t mean we don’t matter or we don’t have the power to have a positive and lasting effect on the world around us, it just means that it might be a much kinder and gentler ride if you exchange the thought that “everything happens for a reason” to simply “everything happens” and it’s up to me to take from it what I will and to endeavor to be the best human being I can be while I’m here.

Whatever situations you face, whether we’re talking about a relationship or a job or anything else, you’re either going to glow from it – meaning it’s going to light you up and inspire you, or you’re going to grow from it. You do not have to do the mental gymnastics to put everything in your “thank you” column. When painful things happen, when you experience loss, grief, betrayal, or an unwanted twist in the plot, you can bet that you will grow. You may not have wanted the opportunity to grow in that particular way, you might wish with all your heart that you didn’t know what you now know, but we don’t get to choose what’s going to happen. The earth is spinning. We are here and my feeling is this is an extraordinary thing, just to be here with each other. Just to wake up each day.

Glow or grow in love,

Ally Hamilton Hewitt

If the posts are helpful, I also have books!

And you can join me for yoga classes and entire courses here.

Letting Go

Letting go is rarely easy, whether you’re letting go of a person, a way of being, a plan you’ve been working, or an idea you’ve had about yourself, someone else, or the world at large. As Mumford and Sons so accurately stated, “Where you invest your love, you invest your life.” When we’re invested, opening to the idea that we have to loosen our grip to allow something new to emerge takes a lot of courage.

Not long ago, a guy wrote in with extreme anxiety over telling his parents he wanted to drop out of medical school. He’s in his sixth year, and they both saved every penny for years so he could pursue this dream. His dad had two jobs, and they never went on vacations or added onto their house or treated themselves in any way, but everything in him is pulled to do something else, and the weight of the guilt is crushing him as is the anger over feeling trapped. He wishes he’d realized sooner so he could have spoken up years ago, but it took this long for him to accept it himself. Now he’s afraid to tell them, he can’t sleep, can’t eat much of anything, and feels miserable every day.

I get emails from people who are in relationships that aren’t growing and don’t feel right, but they feel stuck because they’ve been together for so long. I’m not one to suggest bailing on something if there’s any hope to revive it. I’m big on giving it everything you’ve got, especially if children are involved, and even if they aren’t, but if a thing is dead, it’s dead. If you’re living in a house with someone you don’t even know anymore and there isn’t any hope for love or connection, kindness or compassion, then I’m not sure how anyone can flourish, blossom or even feel seen. So many people feel invisible. Discarded.

Sometimes you have an idea about yourself that might be really old. Maybe it wasn’t even your idea in the first place. It could be something you heard and internalized along the way. I get emails from people who were told as children that they were stupid or worthless or not measuring up, and they accepted that as truth; now it’s their own inner dialogue. Letting go of ideas like that is essential if you ever want to be at peace.

Fear of the unknown can be so overwhelming it stops you dead in your tracks. The brain might be stuck on a trajectory (“I’m going to be a doctor”), while the heart is crying out for something else and all the can’ts and shouldn’ts and reasons why it isn’t possible to shift gears come flooding in, and create paralysis.

Any time you’re thinking about a big change, it’s good to move slowly. You know in your heart if something has come to its conclusion. You may fight against what you know for quite awhile, but if you know it, eventually you’re going to have to figure out how to accept what you know. Fighting the truth is absolutely exhausting, and it’s also painful because you’re betraying yourself. You’re trying to function in a vise grip. Just getting out of bed becomes a feat. It’s not sustainable, and if you try for too long to deny your own reality, you’ll make yourself sick. I mean that physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Once you allow your mind to go ahead and imagine a different path you’ll find a deep part of you relaxes. Maybe your shoulders have been up around your ears for months. Maybe you haven’t taken a really deep breath for a long time. Maybe this is the moment.

Sending you love,

Ally Hamilton

If the posts are helpful, you can find my books here, and my yoga classes and courses here.