Giving up, or letting go?

Attending an Ash Wednesday Mass last week, I was held by these words - "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return" - delivered by a volunteer with the ceremonial ashes to my forehead. What to let go of for the next 40 days? As a child, giving up something for Lent felt like an exercise in self-discipline. (And skillful cheating, as I'd sometimes give up something I didn't care that much about - listening to the radio - instead of something I did - watching TV.) But through the mind of a yogi, releasing what you don't need can feel liberating. Seeing the cross of ashes in the mirror later that day brought to mind our brief, exciting ride within the cycle of nature. The ritual of ashes felt like a good savasana: first facing, and then making momentary peace with, the act of letting go.