Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Magic of Letting Go

Today's post is by guest Lorna Czarnota, a storyteller from Buffalo, New York and a good friend. Recently she lost a necklace that had special meaning for her--a necklace made from a cast of a pebble she found in Ireland. Searching in the usual and then the not-so-likely places yielded no necklace. 

(I had a similar experience this week. A ring I'd bought recently and really liked disappeared. I tried hard to remember when I'd last worn it, where I might have taken it off. I searched everywhere I could think of, but my ring remained missing. I finally admitted to myself that my ring was gone, and to be grateful for the time I'd had it and let it go. It's something I've learned to do over the years; quite often the missing item returns but if it does not, it is no longer a weight on my soul.)

An Award-winning storyteller and humanitarian, Lorna has been telling stories professionally since 1985. She performs and presents in schools, libraries, museums, festivals and conferences, runaway shelters, detention centers, residential treatment facilities, theaters and community venues, among others. Her performances include traditional and original stories, occasionally with music and songs for all ages. 

Lorna specializes in mentoring at-risk youth and their families through story. She was nominated in 2004 for United Way and Univera Health Community Hero Award and named Hopevale Incorporated's Volunteer of the Year for 2005. Lorna holds a certificate in trauma counseling. Her other specialties include identity building in communities following disaster and personal trauma, empowerment for abused women, imagination playtime, historical portrayals and role-play, and Scottish tales. 

Let's hear what Lorna says about losing and finding:

"I am thinking today, as really I have for a while now, about the "magic" of letting. Sometimes I call it "surrender." This is not the same as defeat. It has to do with opening and emptying. When we hold on to things, we are closed and full. 

The concept is still difficult for me to explain, but yesterday with the loss of my necklace, I became filled with only the need to find it. My good friend Susanna reminded me to let go so it could be found. I already had at least one foot in that place of surrender. Of course, Thomas found it; he had not surrendered but his holding was different from mine. He was looking for it out of love for me and that is different. He wasn't desperate.

It doesn't matter if we are looking for work, love, a lost item, answers; when we get to the point where the desire for that is so great it fills us, we most likely will not find what we are seeking. We become obsessed and filled with desperation. 

I can say this about the "magic of letting go" because I have witnessed it over and over and over in my own life. There really is something truly amazing about taking that leap of faith into surrender. This is a courageous action, not the same as defeat.

Let go. Allow your heart to open. You will notice that even your physical body relaxes and settles and calms into the eternal possibilities. Opportunities really do arrive on our doorsteps in these moments of surrender. Answers flow. Our vision becomes clear, and things happen for us rather than to us."

Like Lorna's necklace, my ring returned to me too, found by Larry in the floorboard of my van. I am glad to have it back, and to know that my man kept searching after I had given up. That was a gift in itself.

Lorna has four new books to be released this year, one for History Press on New York state history, and a series of three titles for Parkhurst Brothers Publishing called Dancing at the Crossroads: A Guide for Practitioners in At-Risk Youth Programs. You can follow news about this series at Parkhurst Brothers Publishing Facebook page. Her young-adult book, Breadline Blue, was published last year by Jan-Carol Publishing; my review of this excellent story is here.

The National Storytelling Network honored Lorna with the 2006 Oracle Award for exemplary leadership and service and significant contributions to community through storytelling. I honor her every day as a caring, mindful person who finds beauty and truth in her life every day. Read more about Lorna at 

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.



Good post. I believe letting go is a trait that one learns over time. As I age I find that new wisdom's appear and teach me how to live peacefully. -- barbara

storytellermary said...

I love that you and Lorna "let go" and your sweet loving men returned the lost items -- pretty good lesson in what are the real treasures in life. <3

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