what i learned from juggling

do try this at home
do try this at home!
a few months ago i helped organize a retreat called the art of seeing clearly.

it was a weekend in the country by the water, designed to help people learn how to improve their vision naturally. amazing right? what's even better was the full body and mind approach.

juggling class

so one afternoon we broke into groups. each group learned a new skill or talent. i was giddy. i was going to learn how to juggle!

now, i had done this a lot in my life. with work, with time, with people... just not with my hands. little did i know what i was about to experience was more than a mere trick or circus act.

time after time, my little hacky sacks would fall to the floor. plop-plop-plop! a little embarrassed and a little determined, i'd quickly swipe them up and try again. over and over. sometimes i'd catch them. sometimes they'd fall to the floor, making that terrible bean-baggy sound. less plops, more pshh-pshh-pshh!

where was i going wrong? so i started to mindfully watch what was happening, blow by blow, noting every move like a sports commentator. and here's what i noticed.

le trick: let go

we tend to believe when we start out, that juggling is about catching things. yes, catching is important, but in reality the hardest part about juggling is actually the letting go.

if you are a juggler, you know. the whole trick is in the constant and mindful release. the opening up of the clenched hands, the hands that want to cling, covet, keep these prized objects. when really, they are just hacky sacks.

in an instant i saw how everything in life is a hacky sack. everything! and we are made to think that we need these things. but if we learn to let go, to open up and throw everything into the air, to mindfully release, we find that the catching takes care of itself.

so next time i drop the ball, i'm going to pick it up and toss it high up. i might just make enough space to see a bit more clearly. or i might join the circus, who knows.