Holding on and Letting Go: Finding Life's Timing

Hello everyone. If you’ll all settle down in your pews, we’ll begin our service. Today’s sermon is brought to you in part by Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan of The Milk Carton Kids.

This weekend I’m at a conference that has served me well in the past, The World Domination Summit. The first two years of the gathering created space for me to meet some of my most beloved colleagues in real life for the first time. And because I met these gems I was able to continue shaping my coaching practice and my soulcare community. Otherwise, quite frankly, I would have given up. (Creating new forms of soulful living is tough without a guide. We need traveling partners!)

But his year I’m not actually attending the conference, and neither are most of my colleagues. Instead we are “un-conferencing.” Arranging lunches. Clinking cocktails. Hang out around the edges. (That’s me. The perpetual edge-dweller.)

It not that WDS isn’t a stunning, original, value-filled event. It is–if it’s right fit for you. And right now — where the even is at, and where I am at–we aren’t quite in alignment. As we like to say in the biz of small biz, “There’s not good ROI.” (return on investment.) The value has slipped, at least, for me.

It’s got me to thinking about how things so often shift over the course of our lifetimes. The things that we were doing cartwheels over one year, seem dull the next. Or the song that got us through the last break up isn’t helping at all now. Time passes, people change, friendships ebb and flow. And yet, all to often we keep holding on with both hands, even when it’s not serving us well.

That’s why this weekend I’m serving up this vintage piece about timing, and asking you: “What is it time for in your one wild, precious life?” (I’d love to know.)

I’ll be back with another post on Finding Sisterhood next week…until then, Kenneth and Joey, step right up…


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about timing. Specifically about the timing around when to stay or when to go.
When to leave churches…
When to end a romance…
When to move out of the house…
When to step away from a friendship…

The challenging thing about life, is that it’s a moving target. We are always changing, always growing.

That’s why the yogis tell you balance is not static. That’s why we need flow. That’s why “organic” is a buzz word.

The thing is, when you are growing, there’s a period where it’s helpful to stay put awhile longer. To get a little more shelter from the storm. To rely on some familiar resources.

In the best case scenario, staying put means that iron sharpens iron, and the friction you experience in the old place helps you form your new views.
Remaining in the struggle for awhile can grow your communication skills. Being present to the process can help you refine the language you use to describe your new way of seeing the world. The challenge of a shifting relationship can teach you to listen as well as to speak.

There’s good reason sometimes, to stay.

Then again, it doesn’t always work that way.

Stay too long past the expiration date — with a person, in a place, amongst a tribe–and dysfunction sets it. We can develop a kind of perverse pleasure in staying mad. In staying stuck. In staying put.

You get to feel superior, when you are the one “right” voice in the midst of a community who is stuck in the dark ages.
You don’t have to risk the great unknown.
You can pretend you have a hand to hold although really, you’re just the cheese standing alone.

Eventually though, it’s time.

Time to leave the tribe of your youth.
Time to shape your own path.
Time to be yourself again, all the way out to your edges.

Maybe it’s time? Kenneth and Joey say it so well:

Did someone hurt you many years ago?
Did someone desert you when you needed them the most?
And the pain stayed with you everywhere you’d go,
And it’s been so long now but you just can’t seem to let it go,

Maybe it’s time.
Maybe it’s time.
Maybe it’s time to tell it you don’t need it anymore.

Did you lose someone that you loved?
Did they move far off or do you picture them above?
There’s an emptiness inside you and it’s worse when you’re alone,
And it feels so heavy now like you’re carrying the weight of a stone,

Maybe it’s time.
Maybe it’s time.
Maybe it’s time to tell it you won’t carry it anymore.

We ain’t got a long time and there’s a lot to do
But first you gotta decide to leave some things behind
Maybe it’s time.
Maybe it’s time.
Maybe it’s time to leave your chains behind.

Are you ready to leave behind the things that do not serve you well?
Can you take the step over the threshold?
Will you reconstruct that which you most value?

I think you are.
I know you can.
I hope you will.

(Amen? Amen.)

Gentlemen, will you play us out…?

tree girl July 7, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Thank you Rachelle for writing this.

This is me, right now. Challenging patterns of being and doing that have served me for the past 12 years, and now they don’t. Even things that I was enamoured with 12 months ago no longer fit.

I’m reminded of the Hare Krsna saying “It’s like chewing the chewed”.

Change is hard but I’m trudging through the awkwardness because I need to change in order to create new openings – experiences, people, opportunities. New ways of seeing, being, knowing, and doing.

Previous post:

Next post: