DevaTree Blog

Dashed Hopes and Letting Go

Posted By Carolyn on Aug 29, 2016

No one was more shocked than me when my oldest daughter told me she wanted to take a professional level yoga training with me this fall. She wanted to study—with her mother.

Asking all kinds of questions about the HeartRise Children’s training, I could hear the excitement in her voice. At twelve years old, she’d be the youngest grad at DevaTree School of Yoga.

Playing it cool on the outside, she had no idea I was bursting at the seams on the inside.

HeartRise was the first training Tamika and I created and is so dear to my heart—I knew sharing it with Anabel would be a huge journey for both of us. It was a dream come true—a dream I didn’t even know I had!

We talked about the commitment of taking a 100-hour training and what it might be like for her to teach kids her own age. I was thinking about how we discuss sexual development in the program and all the juicy personal stories about my own childhood and my parenting journey—I definitely had some cautions coming up. But I made peace with it and decided to trust she was ready to hear it all. She’d grown up in an open household—we’d handle it together. We even discussed what she’d do on breaks while I was with the team, and what it might be like for me to be her teacher.

And then one day she decided she didn’t want to do it—just like that.

What? I had totally wrapped my head around it and was getting excited for the challenge. My daughter’s whim and my hopes of having a child who wants to teach yoga were dashed. But here’s the thing. It wasn’t about me—it never was.

It was Classic Parenting 101. I had to let go—I had to make sure I wasn’t imposing my agenda on her.

Parenting is about constantly letting go.

There are so many ways we let go from the moment our children come into this world. First we let go of our “birth plan” (still good to have)—but what a joke! Then we let go of expectations, plans, ideas about how everything else will go. We let go of who they will become.

We let go of being able to protect them from every bad thing that could ever possibly happen. And we let go of being there for every moment of their lives.

My kids were young when I separated from their father, so I really had to embrace letting go. I remember the quizzical look on other parents’ faces when I would say I didn’t know where the rain boots were, or that I had no clue what my kids were doing at that moment.

I used to think moms who weren’t separated had it easier because they had more control over their child’s environment, but I’ve realized it’s not always easier—because we think we’re in charge of their universe.

From a young age I was learning to let go of all the details of what happened when they were with their dad; what they ate, when they went to bed, and the list goes on. I had to accept early on that I never had control over these little beings. It was so hard—but it made me better at letting go at each new stage of development—whether I wanted to or not.

A major bonus of this kind of radical letting go, is it’s helped me realize I can’t be a perfect parent.

One friend told me that at the beginning of every school year she tells her children’s teachers that her kids live in a separated family and to expect the forms won’t show up at school on time. With all the paperwork going back and forth, claiming this out loud helped me let go of getting it perfect.  

Letting go frees me up; it allows me to be imperfect. Now, if I find myself wanting to control a situation, I have to stop and tell my “perfect parent” to move over.

Letting go never ends.

The moment I let go of one thing, another issue crops up. We don’t have to be parents to practice letting go. This week I’m working on letting go of my anger at a situation that occurred weeks ago. No matter how much I practice, letting go still pops up and presents a new challenge.

I may sound like a loosey-goosey parent without boundaries and rules, but that’s not the case. I’m still constantly setting limits, and I’m fiercely committed to loving and nurturing these babies of mine.

I love being the Mama Bear-Protectress of my kids, but allowing them to also do their own thing, their own way, in their own timing strengthens their Spirit.

I’m growing independent, free-thinking humans. They’re growing a mom who is learning to let go.

Anabel might change her mind, but who knows what will come next for her. It’s not for me to know.

What are you letting go of in your life? Does it feel easy or hard right now? I’d love to hear, in the comments below.

In love and freedom,
Carolyn Jyoti 

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20 Comment(s)

Lindy King on August 29, 2016
I always did love Anabel’s spirit and her ability to have such adventure and flexible thinking. Thanks for sharing some of those moments. Much affection "Miss King" Lindy
Carolyn Jyoti on August 29, 2016
Hi Miss King, You were there for Anabel at a very pivotal time. Thank you for being with us on this journey. Carolyn
Amanda Noland on August 29, 2016
Oh such a timely piece...as kids are back school for the year, it’s that time to let go again! As friends health spiral to places no one wants to visit, time to let go. As parents and I age, time to let go. For me it’s not just about letting go, but about leaning in to Jesus. Be blessed!
Carolyn Jyoti on August 29, 2016
Amanda, Thank you for your wise words. Blessings to you! xo
Lotus Why on August 29, 2016
Thanks Carolyn for making it so clear for me. As a parent I walked this path with my child and then she took another path; it’s a letting go. I trust that something has been fostered to allow my child to take freedom (diverge from me). Later, we join up again and another letting go happens... You are so right, this is life. My daughter has taught me so much about myself; children have so much to teach parents. In letting go I allow freedom, the contrast for the need to control. Anabel and Stella are the free thinkers of the world! Yeah! and Yeah toyou, Carolyn!
Carolyn Jyoti on August 29, 2016
WOW your words touch my heart. You’re such a teacher to me Lotus. I bow deeply to your wisdom. xo
Brenda on August 29, 2016
Thank you for sharing these wise musings. On the other end, I’m a child with an aging parent. I struggle to let go of what I want her to be - how I want her to be! It’s a challenging journey for me. These words help soothe my anxiety and desire to have things as they always have been! Letting go.... and allowing it to be.
Carolyn Jyoti on August 29, 2016
You are so brave Brenda to be embracing the changes and challenges every step of the way - it’s inspiring to witness. All my love, Jyoti xo
kathryn byer on August 30, 2016
Oh yes, can I ever relate to this! The adult "child" of aging parents, along with being a parent to young adult children of my own. It’s been tough lately, and sure helps to know i’m not alone. Thank you
Carolyn Jyoti on August 30, 2016
Kathryn - We are right here beside you, learning through the challenges! Much love, Jyoti
Wendy on August 29, 2016
Thanks so much Jyoti, for your excitements, challenges and wisdom. Sometimes for me the "letting go" process hurts as it feels - and is a bit of an emotional upheaval ! Ah, but the Sun always shines!, and that emotional pain melts away. My eldest daughter left home when she was 18 - She was ready. I was not. I wanted to protect her and my other two children in their growing up years. Really what I found, was I needed to let go, I had no control over their journey in life - although for some reason I thought I did. I came to find out I was trying to save them from all my wrongs --- But they aren't me ! .. LOL Today, it is a daily practice --- Letting go and Letting God/ Universe take over ...Accept each moment as it presents itself - Enjoying the moments the best I can .. You and your girls inspire me daily to be a better person, mom and grandma Love you xox W.
Carolyn Jyoti on August 30, 2016
Wendy, Thank you so much for your honesty and sharing your life experiences with us. You are an amazing light being, mom and grandma. Your daily practice is such a great reminder to help manage the letting go everyday! Love you xoJyoti
Susan Murray on August 30, 2016
I started my day by reading these wise, experience-fueled words. The thoughts expressed echo both my living and parenting journey. Letting go of control was the gift of my separaton and divorce. I am grateful for it because it now informs my attitudes in every realm of life and living. Thank you for sharing your insights so beautifully, Carolyn. Fondly, Susan
Carolyn Jyoti on August 30, 2016
Susan - What a gift you are! Thank you for your wisdom and sharing the transformational power of letting go! Carolyn
Donna Hammond on August 31, 2016
Carolyn .. I really enjoyed reading this blog and can relate on so many levels with what you are going through as a Mom. I too separated when my Jackie was only 6 months old. What a shock to the system. We persevered through many years of ups and downs but here she is in her 50’s and still my little girl. Hang in there all three of you.
Carolyn Jyoti on August 31, 2016
Donna - You are amazing! Thanks for being a model to us all! xo
Julie on August 31, 2016
Although we haven't seen each other in a very long time (dancing? remember?) I still read your posts and this one really came at a good time. The girls are 13 and 11 now and I gotta let go a bit more now. Although they don’t want to go very far I still have to realize that it’s happening. You’re still awesome! :)
Carolyn Jyoti on August 31, 2016
Julie - It is so great to hear from you! You are an amazing mom. Love to you and the girls xo
Amanda Eriksen on September 06, 2016
"Letting go of something that was never mine in the first place" - what powerful insight - something I am constantly reminding myself - While I had a hand in creating "my" little ones - they are not really mine, but sentient beings in their own right - and they deserve their own power! I too stuggle with finding balance with the protective mama bear feelings and the need to let them experience life on their own. Thanks for sharing everyone!
Carolyn Jyoti on September 07, 2016
Hi Amanda - Wow - what you have shared is so powerful and touching - the dance between letting go and protecting our sentient beings, will continue on and it is so beautiful to know that we are all in this together!

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