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Life provides us with the opportunity to be fluid and mobile, or rigid and fixed. This is as true in the body as it is in our mind. Hips that remain in a fixed seat, a clenched jaw due to stress, or tight shoulders from hunching over a computer can pin us down and prevent us from being free as much as limited perception, judgements and fixed beliefs.

Letting go of habit patterns doesn’t mean that mental fixations and physical coping mechanisms don’t come up, but when we learn to become aware of our physical and mental attachments, we have a choice in how we manage our body and mind moving forward.

On my trip home I visited my grandmother’s farm which has now become a part of the state park. She lived on that property for over 60 years, and during her lifetime, horses grazed, peaches grew and my mother and her siblings were raised. I was lucky to have spent a number of happy years living there while in graduate school; I witnessed many lives benefiting from the open space and connection to nature and one other. When I went back to visit last week, all the buildings had been torn down and any pieces of the past human existence (except for the old gravel road with the circular driveway from the mainhouse), removed years ago. In place of the animal pastures grew trees, weeds and overgrown thickets. This quiet place was the new home of many birds, deer, bees and wildlife, yet the echos of family and life as I knew it with it’s landmarks and memories, made it difficult for me at first to appreciate the new life embedded into my old paradigm.

Whenever we move forward it implies that we are coming from somewhere. Freedom is not simply floating away or rising up, detaching from your his (or her)story, but rather, connecting and grounding down to find flight. As we move into the new year with hopes, dreams and projects, it’s important to remember where the ground, and our history lies. Landmarks help us to remember where we are and who we are, but it is the pendular force of stepping back long enough to reflect that propels us forward, catapulting us into mobility and transformation.