I want renunciation.

And this is a shocking thing to say – even to myself – as just a couple of months ago I saw renunciation as following a long list of rules that force one to give up everything fun or pleasurable.

That isn’t renunciation at all actually.
That’s forcing.

And I recently I let go of my attachment to completing all 30 books report by the deadline.  Not giving up, but detached from the outcome.  Transforming it from a to-do list item to part of my life’s work.

Spiritual teacher and pioneer in bringing yoga to the West, Swami Radha, says that renunciation cannot be forced.  You can be very determined but the cucumber will only drop from the vine when its ripe.[1]

And as the burdens I have carried for far too long begin to fall away it’s an indescribable feeling of freedom.  It’s the feeling of flying down a hill on my bicycle.  It’s the feeling of a bird flying quickly through the forest.  Darting in and out through the tangle of branches.  Fast, focused and free.

And I want more.

So my work is ripening the cucumbers – which as a gardener I know is both a complicated and simple thing to do.  The main ingredient is time but the cucumber will not make it at all if the seed is not planted or if there isn’t day to day care.

And as I tend the burdens in my life – giving them water and love – and wait for their time to ripen – I am learning to be like that bird.

I am learning to be free.

[1] Radha, Swami. On Sanyas. Kootenay Bay: timeless, 2010, p. 23.

Want to read more about learning to be free?  See Rise Up or The Rule Book.

Author: Bryn Bamber

Career Coach Bryn Bamber helps people like you find a career that’s aligned with your goals. Her Burnout to Brilliance program teaches you how to make small shifts that will free up tons of energy for the things you really love. Start today with your FREE Checklist: Decrease Stress and Get an Hour of Your Day Back! Get it here - Learn more about Bryn & the Burnout to Brilliance program at

6 thoughts on “Renunciation”

  1. “Want,” I sense, is the wrong verb, at least with “renunciation.”
    Wanting to let go is another matter, especially as it becomes taking steps to let go and then simply letting go of this or that.
    But it’s anything but easy.
    Are you living within a community that can facilitate this transformation? It’s something I describe in my novel, “Ashram,” and something I wish were more available today, unlike the early ’70s.
    Best wishes and blessings as you go.

    1. Hi Jnana,

      Thanks for your comment :). This fall three long time devotees at Yasodhara Ashram took the inspiring step of Sanyas. The transformation was such a beautiful and joyful thing to watch it showed me that in little ways I can renounce too.

      Om Om,

  2. I come back to your poetry this morning and feel inspired by your words. Thank you. Without intending to assume the role of the picky editor, I see a typo in the 4th paragraph above: “And I recently I let go of my attachment to completing…” Blessings Bryn, Quinn

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