Recently, a brilliant yoga teacher said to the class, “The opposite of holding on isn’t letting go. It’s digestion.”
Contemplating this idea and the claw marks on everything I’ve let go of it occurs to me—everything gets eaten.
We take in all kinds of nourishment, chew it up in our consciousness and in our bodies, use what we need—and the rest is waste.
Even stars swallow themselves whole. Combustion is digestion.
Even the most beautiful among us will die and be consumed by other things. Meanwhile, things die and we consume them. This is how life happens, and continues to happen.
There’s more stuff than ever, and we are making the Earth digest it.
Obviously, she can’t. And neither can we.
There’s a terrifying kaleidoscope of choices and “food” and information that we consume often without even knowing it.
All the time saved by “time-saving devices” has been filled with more shit to do, more things to consume. It’s impossible to digest it all.
I saw a photo on Instagram yesterday with 23,000 comments: 47 varieties of artisan pickles. Data plans. E-courses. Not to mention whatever unresolved internal hellscapes and secret wishes I haven’t faced. I’m still processing a dream I had about teddy bears and machine guns when I was six.
How can we ever make sense of it all?
The less I try to force my system to digest, the better ideas I have, the better I am at showing up, the more love I have to give—because I have more energy.
I want to be worthy of being digested.
I want to be not too sweet, and not too bitter.
I want to be nourishing in my complexity so that when I move through your system I support it if I can’t improve it.
All digestion takes some work, and I am no different. I have a few poisonous seeds in my core, but I want them to be easy to avoid, like the arsenic in an apple.
I want to be tender and delicious—but not addictive so you do not need to depend on me to feel better.
I don’t want to be anyone’s guilty pleasure.
I don’t want to be toxic, polluted by my own unresolved pain and things I should not be trying to digest.
I want to be satisfying, and I want my flavor to linger. Without overpowering.
I want you to be hungry for me.
I want to be good for you.
How much scrolling does my system really need? How many more friends? If I stop before I’m totally full, my digestion can move on to repairing and not using all its energy to deal with whatever I crammed into my gullet before bed.
Keep it simple. Be careful in what you consume and how much. Listen more. To each other, especially non-dominant voices, but also to whatever prayers are being carried on the wind through the branches.
This is how we let go of what we really don’t need: not by opening our hands, but by closing our mouths.
Author: Rachael Rice
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Author’s Own