It’s tough letting go of things we love. We are all infants in that sense, sometimes clinging to our projects, creations and children - unaware or unwilling to see that letting go may gift them with the possibility of becoming what they were meant to be.
When I established Everyday Mindfulness Scotland in October 2011 it was a just the glimmer of an idea. It was born of my experience of finding meditation powerful in freeing me from crippling cycles of depression, and wanting to share the benefits of mindfulness practice with others. When I sought mindfulness training in 2008, there was nothing available in the West of Scotland outside the NHS and Buddhist centres, so I travelled to Dublin to attend my first course in the Oscailt Health Centre there, a life-changing weekend that opened doors on new possibilities. Later, it made sense to attempt to fill the local gap by training to teach mindfulness myself.
I had no idea that within five years it would blossom into a social enterprise with 500 graduates; 30 professionals trained to teach; courses delivered for around 30 public and third sector organisations and have its own dedicated training space – all ably supported by our team of voluntary advisors and associates.
It became clear to me this summer that it was time to let this project go, time for someone else to lead it into the next stage. Naturally, there is a great part of me that wants to cling on. I have loved the teaching, enjoyed meeting such a broad range of openhearted people and working with such generous colleagues. But I know it is time to let go, not only because my caring commitments don’t afford me the time or energy to keep going, but also because the enterprise deserves fresh energy and direction. Knowing it will be in the safe hands makes it so much easier to let go. I’ll still be involved, but at a distance, as a voluntary adviser. And I know that the many deep friendships I have made over the last five years will continue. As for my own personal mindfulness practice, that will continue, as will meeting with others for group practice. I hope to find more time for other things too. I’m a little bit excited about this new space opening up before me.
These days, our grandson is eight and he no longer cries when the MV Loch Shira slopes off down the slipway. He is much more interested in her cogs, pistons and radar. He asks all sorts of questions that I struggle to answer. He swings through the trees above my head and easily outstrips me running, but he still comes back for a cuddle now and then! It’s what eight-year-olds are meant to do.
 Oscailt is Irish Gaelic for ‘opening’.