A little while ago, in what started out as a light meditative state, I was inspired to do a descent progression: releasing those things which provide shape to my expectations of myself and my perception of my limitations.
First to go were my parents and my understanding of their expectations of me -- and immediately I felt much lighter. Next were my academic credentials: my BA from one of the most highly selective liberal arts colleges in the US and my Masters Degree that was supposed to be the start of my own professional academic career. With them went all my baggage around what kind of future those credentials were supposed to have laid out for me, those futures which I so often feel I've failed to live up to.
Next I let go of uncrowned_king, and then Wolfling. In my daily life they are non-negotiable, but for the purposes of this exercise I let go any and all obligations to both of them. It was kind of scary how much lighter I felt after that.
Next to go were priestess vocation and responsibilities, followed by everything that required money: lodging, food, insurance, car. . .
Six gates passed, and I was feeling almost bouyant.
I never got to the seventh gate. I was so caught up in realizing how much weight of "should" and "need to" that I carry around that coming up with a seventh 'thing' didn't seem important.
Without all my references of duty and responsiblity I felt like I was being reborn.
Somehow I need to balance my authentic love for the people I let go of in the exercise, and my very real need to continue to support myself and Wolfling financially, with this sense of expansiveness and openness to joy that emerged at the end of the releasing.
It's like the perception tests of "what do you see in this picture?" These days I see bars and chains everywhere. There must be other elements to the picture of my life that I can bring into the foreground.