Less than 48 hours ago my husband and I said good-bye to our youngest daughter on a bustling street on the campus of Brown University in Rhode Island. We hugged and kissed, shed a tear or two and headed west. Watching her in my rear view mirror I saw her skip away in search of her freshman friend.

And, just like that, my nest emptied.

Nothing could have prepared me for that moment. Of course I knew that it was coming. Over the summer I had tried to picture my husband and me having dinners alone. I thought about the quiet that would pervade the house. However, I purposefully tried not to talk about it with others or to search the web about how the empty nest might feel.

You see, I want to experience this shift my way. I don’t want advice nor do I want to know when this raw state of change will pass.

I want to feel empty.

Right now I don’t want to fill my schedule with a new hobby or sign up for a new on-line course. I don’t want to work more or socialize more.

I want to feel empty.

The Buddhists teach that emptiness is the gateway to discovering everything. In experiencing nothingness I may just become intimate with the immensity of my existence. In nothing I may just experience everything.

I have been given a tremendous gift this week, but it won’t necessarily last. As I sit in this tender transition my life as I knew it has ended, my role as mother is redefined and my new relationship with life has yet to reveal itself.

I feel empty. I feel nothing. I feel everything.




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About the Author | Cara Bradley

Cara Bradley, founder of Verge Yoga in the Philadelphia area, is a passionate teacher of 30 years sharing her curiosity and enthusiasm for experiencing life fully. She is also the founder of Mindfulness Through Movement, a non-profit offering programs to schools in urban Philadelphia. Her book, “On The Verge: Wake Up, Show Up, and Shine” (New World Library) will be available in 2016.

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