It's been a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK, and I spent Monday musing over all the things I've got going on and rather than firing off at a hundred of miles to attempt to control the ever-spinning plates that I seem to be endlessly juggling in my life, I decided to let them all fall.
You see, I've been doing this thing called life for a long time, and between you and me I honestly thought by the time I got to this stage (the middle) I wouldn't be still be swinging from the trees trying to keep up with everything. I genuinely thought by the time I reached my fifties; I would have it all under control.
But nope, I'm not ever going to control this thing called life!
Somewhere along that path of plate spinning and swinging from one branch to another at a 100 miles an hour; I did eventually come to that massive realisation, it took me a very long time though. At first, it scared me to think that I'm not controlling anything around here; it left me feeling a little vulnerable and insecure.
(Confession - I was a bit of a control freak!)
You see, I liked my lists, my schedules and everything else that I did that made me feel in control, so it was a bit of a freak out moment for me when I realised that even though I had convinced myself I had it all under control, nothing was in my control.
And that's the illusion we all buy into, well at least until we see something different.
Now that I get this, I am so pleased to know that I don't have to stress myself out anymore attempting to keep everything under control, it's such a huge relief! No more crazy to do lists to look at and remind me of everything I am not achieving.
No more scheduling my day to an inch of its life and stressing out that I am not keeping up with everyone.
No more stressing out over double bookings in my diary, or missing the kid's dental appointments, hair appointments or any other appointment for that matter!
I know I do not need to control this anymore.
Maybe this sounds a little strange to you, especially if you are like how I used to be. And no, I'm not about to start rattling on about some fancy life scheduling app ;)
You're probably thinking but how the heck do you manage to do stuff, and meet commitments.
The answer to that is simple; it just happens, whether I control it or not.
I don't need a to-do list to know when to turn right or left, the little inner navigation system that I like to call my inner wisdom does that for me all by its self.
And it works perfectly every time, well providing I am tuned in and listening! It's when we are not tuned in that we start to experience problems.
When we are running about mindlessly attempting to fit everything in and not stopping long enough to slow down our thoughts so we can hear that deeper voice within us is the reason that things go wrong in life.
Or we take the wrong turns and make decisions that are not in our best interest because we are not listening to that voice.
Somehow we buy into the belief we are in control, and as long as we keep moving forward and doing stuff, we will manage to hold it all together. And that's all great until something happens that we either didn't see coming or we have no control over. We get thrown sideways, go into a panic and wonder if life will ever be the same again.
It's happened to me many times and was the most significant cause of much of the anxiety I used to experience in my life. I'd try and convince myself that if I always have a Plan B, I will be able to navigate anything. Then that day comes, and the Plan B isn't a fit, nor the Plan C, or D or any other plan I had, the only thing I had left to give was to give up, surrender and trust that my inner knowing will get me exactly where I need to to be.
Maybe you have experienced the same, or maybe like most of my clients you are teetering on edge, with a pile of plates you are attempting to juggle while you swing from branch to branch and are feeling the ever constant tremble of anxiety that runs through your body. Trying to convince yourself it's ok because you are in control.
But the fact is, none of us are in control. Even when we think we are, we're not. You might think that you are because you chose that car you drive or chose that house you live in, but when it comes down to it, even those things aren't really in your control.
That car you drive or house you live in was determined not by you but by what was available at the time you went searching. They were determined by their availability and the amount of money you had in the bank a the time, and whatever garage or estate agent that happened to be open at the time — even the salesperson, selling the car or house. Change one small detail, and what you chose on that day would also change.
If you don't believe me, imagine, what if you had a different salesperson that day who had a preference for a different house or car and thought that was a better fit for you so never bothered to share the car or house you currently have. There's a good chance you would be driving a different vehicle or living in a different house today!
It's an illusion we are all living in, we think we are in charge, but when we dig deeper, it's easy to see we are not. And the great news is, that it all works out perfectly anyway! Because I can pretty much guarantee you'd still love that house or car.
When we stop pushing, driving and start opening and trusting, everything still works out perfectly in the end. That's why it's futile to be stressing out over to do lists and trying to keep life on what we think is straight and narrow.
As my life becomes fuller, I realise that the only way to navigate this life is to drop my to-do lists and start listening more deeply to what's calling from within. That small but perfectly formed little navigation system is always on my side, nudging me to go here, do that, do this and not that today!
When I listen and allow myself to be guided by my inner wisdom, I feel all need for me to control what's going on in my life drop away. As I share this understanding with my clients, I see them soften, hear their voices quiet down and notice how they slow down, as they too know the truth in what I share with them.
It's always such a relief!
And it's beautiful to see and experience this, to witness someone seeing what they have always known, and that what's stopped them from seeing this is that their thinking has shrouded them into believing they should be in control.
We are not happening to life, life is happening to us, and when we slow down, surrender and let go of trying to control life, something unusual unfolds.
We get to experience life, even in those difficult times with so much more peace and joy than ever before.
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