Liberation Begins with Letting Go

Yesterday I quit the School of Leadership Graduate Program I had worked so hard to get into.  I have always been absolutely passionate about our children and the liberation that education can bring to their lives.  Two years ago, I decided I would go back to school so that one day I could open up a school that pushed the boundaries of education and learning just a little bit more.  So that I could create a school where children would approach learning through healing and self-discovery.

But yesterday I quit, because I was no longer feeling alive.  I was learning incredible things, but all along it seems my heart has had other plans for me.  In attempting to do what I think the world needs, I have missed many opportunities to observe deeply what makes me come alive.

“Don’t ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive and go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  – H. Thurman

I’m still passionate about working with our children, but not in the way I had planned it.  I have no Plan B, no next steps.  I am even letting go of that.  When the time is right the universe will flow through me unrestricted, and I know I will see the greatest magic I will have ever seen.  Instead of making plans for what I’m going to be or how I’m going to prepare, I’m just going to start living in the moment and doing what makes me come alive.   I need writing like I need breathing.  I need nature like I need my heart to beat.  I need dancing the way a hummingbird needs its wings.  I need photography the way a story needs a storyteller.  For the first time I will learn to come alive!

The following is the letter I sent to the director:

I am fearful and saddened to say that I am going to drop out of the Graduate School of Education Leadership program. I would love to sit with you and talk about all my reasons because that is the least you and all the folks that work so hard in the program deserve.

I’ve been dealing with some non-stop health issues. A couple of days after the end of the last course I ended hospitalized for 4 days from a colon infection that ended up traveling into my uterus. I suspect it was the combination of stress and the lack of mindfulness in my food intake. I am currently dealing with a sciatic nerve condition that literally has rendered me 80% immobile for the last two weeks.

I know that much of these physical manifestations come from a deeper place of spirit calling me to bare attention to how I am choosing to live my life.

In reflecting and meditating so much during this time off, I’ve come to realize that I have to slow down. Most of my life I’ve moved too fast. From the time I was little I was a caretaker and always full of responsibilities beyond my age. I’ve never stopped.

This weekend I tried to write about the kind of school I would want to lead and the kind of leader I would want to be, and I couldn’t get anything on paper, not even what I thought I knew. My heart-felt so heavy, and part of me was disappointed in me, because intellectually I thought this is what I was meant to do. So I guess what I’m saying is that if I ever become a leader, I want to be the leader that can overcome the deepest fears and can intimately listen to my heart even within the noisy clatter of confusion, and I must start now.

The GSE program is an incredible opportunity for learning and transformation, but it is just something that I cannot physically, emotionally, and spiritually handle with the workload of teaching, which I am also contemplating stepping away from at the end of this year. I’m not sure what is in store for me next, but I am understanding more and more what I need to let go of. It is completely frightening, but also very liberating.  Thank you for having given me the opportunity to learn from you.


Cristina Malo.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s