Letting Go of Control

Lately, I am saying yes to the opportunities the universe presents to me. It is my role to accept those gifts not to own or control them. The benefits include the joy that comes of being engaged and invested in exactly what I am doing. Rather than being responsible, obligated, or in charge, I am merely a part of something larger than myself. Letting go of control is not easy but when we allow ourselves to step back from that role we ignite a spark. We begin to feel more vibrant and alive, as if there’s suddenly so much to see, do, say, build, dream and create. It is awe inspiring how quickly the universe conspires for our success and our joy in the process. 

It is powerful to let go of the illusion of control and simply accept the help that is given in whatever form it comes. By showing up excited to engage we open ourselves to possibility. We release control of the process and make space for wildly unique and different outcomes to present themselves. This is the birthplace of ingenuity and creativity. For creativity to thrive it needs an environment of safety, room to grow, and the absence of control.

Releasing control allows the universe to use us as instruments to create more magic in this world. When we graciously accept all the bounty and blessings the universe bestows upon us we become part of the process. You are only one snowflake floating in a sea of miraculous little ice crystals. Each one is just like you and yet completely different. How magnificent to be one of many and yet also completely our own. How incredible to be free to relax, release control, and float. The future holds innumerable outcomes for each of us we open ourselves to possibility when we release our hold on control.

What is one thing you can let go of controlling right now? 

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Release Responsibility + Control

Spring is in bloom here in Ohio and I am experiencing a creative reawakening. It is a conscious remembering that what we ask for the universe provides. We are showing up in new ways, refreshed and transformed. Making space for those activities that bring me joy and that inspire me. I am no longer available for those activities that drain my energy or leave me feeling unfulfilled. There is a natural resurgence of energy as if spring demands a release of responsibility and control.

To show up authentically we release all of those things we do not need. We are born naked, what can we take off? What do we no longer need to bear the burden of carrying? I have found in life that it is incredibly easy to take on things that are not my own. We collect obligations, tasks, work, and labor. I have held onto many things out of a false sense of responsibility. A desire to fix what is not mine to repair.

I once received a powerful bit of advice from a stranger in passing. She said, “Love is not meant to be held or given, it is meant to flow through us.” In this way all energy and emotion should pass through our lives. The goal is to be porous like sponges, able to absorb only that which is intended for us and release the rest. This allows everything not meant for us to pass quickly without lingering. Another way to think of this message, “those mountains you are carrying, you were only meant to climb.” 

Author Anne Lamott asks, “What is help if not the sunny side of control?” Releasing control is the greatest gift we can offer to ourselves and others. To release control we remember that our value is not tied to our productivity or performance. We all have intrinsic value. When we purge all of the things that are no longer ours we make space for the relationships, experiences, and gifts that we are intended to receive. We trust that that which is meant for us will come to us. We need not be responsible for more than our fair share of work or duty. Our value is not tied to our labor or our misplaced obligations to fix, repair, or care for others. 

We are here to create and give the best of ourselves to the world. As we create our own paths, let use put down the mountains we have carried. Let us climb them instead and leave all of the extra weight that rightfully belongs to other people for them to manage. This spring we are no longer bearing the burden of someone else’s mistakes or issues. Each of us is free to manifest our own destiny, no longer encumbered by the burden of false responsibility or control. We are free. 

Doesn’t the relief feel incredible? 

Making Sense of Chaos

We are living in the calm before the storm right now. Our current home and the home into which we will move next month are both in limbo. We are preparing to move, packing more boxes every day and trimming down the possessions we have out. The walls are naked and much like the purging before and the cleaning that followed, we are living with less. In many ways it is freeing. 

It is just enough upheaval to be in one home but also halfway out of it. I have been so focused on what comes next that only zoning out in front of a show seems to do the trick. My meditations feel light and I come away from them less refreshed and more focused on the mounting list of to do items that grew while I was attempting to align myself and my energy. Feng shui would say that my life is out of line because my home is out of alignment. There is no rhyme or reason to the stacks of boxes that are taking up every available space right now. Our home is typically a peaceful zone of respite from the outside world – right now the chaos is inside the house.

Here’s what I know about surviving and thriving in chaos. I need to breathe deep. I need to keep meditating even though it feels ineffective. I need to close my eyes and calm down. I need to go on a walk. I need to trust the universe and finish packing the almost full boxes that are lingering between open and closed. I need to finish wrapping up the paintings and art work still hanging on our walls. It is time to pack away precious momentoes and prepare myself to move forward. It is time to let go of attempting to control the chaos and to simply embrace it. 

Isn’t that funny about control. Ever having control is a complete illusion. The nihilist statement, “We live on a floating rock in a giant space with no real end,” beautifully articulates the breadth of control we completely lack. Being reminded of how small we are, how small I am, helps me to remember that this too shall pass. That this moment and all it’s stresses and fears and insecurities will not last forever. And I do not need to carry the responsibility for making it perfect on my back. What is to be perfect? What is my responsibility? 

My role is small and the work I do tiny, but like ants moving leaves from outside their hill back to the center to be used, shared, and of service. Perhaps those ants have a name or a dream but their role in life is simply to use their gifts to be of service to their community and so too is mine. 

My duty is not to analyze or predict what my impact will be in life or the world. My role is simply to show up and perform to the best of my capabilities the tasks I have been assigned and am inspired to complete. That is my work. That is my calling. And while I do not understand all of it or how it all relates together, that is NOT my work. I simply carry the leaf, sharing my thoughts and the fruits of my labor with all of you because you are my community, my fellow humans. You are who the work is for, and about, and to glorify. 

My brain is all over with the work there is to be done, but my focus, my next right thing is the completion of this piece. My next work is to take myself on a walk. I need to get out and to stretch my legs and to take care of myself. And then I will consider another task, my next step. 

What steps will you be taking next? Do you ever feel this inner conflict between taking action and stepping too far into thinking you can control the outcome?

A Clean Slate and New Beginnings

I once read that cleaning your home is an attempt to control the chaos of the world. And logically it makes sense, I cannot right the world but I can dust this shelf.

When I’m dealing with a particularly difficult challenge the repetitive motions of cleaning give me the perfect amount of mental effort to reflect on my problem and figure out my next steps. The action is irrelevant, it is the larger purpose it is serving. Repotting plants or mending stuffed animals is not high on my list of fun projects but when I have a larger problem to tackle these rhythmic, repetitive actions soothe my brain and give me familiar exercise without taxing my already overwrought mind. 

Therefore, in our home when it is time to clean we typically follow a routine, when we are angry we sometimes scrub with a little more intensity, but when the cleaning becomes something we do to control or as an excuse to avoid a larger conversation then we know it’s time to let the cleaning go. 

Having an open heart and open hands is a blessing. It is a gift that we have so much that it needs organizing. And in the midst of the chaos of moving and transition it’s easy to fall into the comfort of cleaning in order to give ourselves the temporary illusion of control, and that’s ok. Sometimes it’s more than necessary. 

Sitting in discomfort is hard. Recognizing that your actions are indicative of larger issues is hard. Not distracting ourselves from all the conflicting emotions this moment has brought to our doorstep is hard. Feeling all of the feelings is hard. There’s a lot to feel, a lot to love, a lot to mourn and a lot to rejoice. And sometimes rather than clinging to a scrub brush we need to cling to each other because this wild ride is just getting started and it’s going to get a whole lot messier anyway.