Surrender

Am I a control freak? This is the question I have been asking myself a lot lately. Mainly because in nearly every aspect of my life at the moment I do not feel as though I have any control. This includes work, personal, body (especially my foot), home and friendship/relationship.

So, the big question is “What am I afraid will happen if I let go of control?”

I guess I have the usual quandary – I can try and obtain control or I can surrender. By surrendering I am not choosing the easy option in fact I am choosing to just let the cards be dealt and patiently wait. Surrender literally means to stop fighting. It does not mean I am being a bystander in my life, it just means I am letting go of my need to orchestrate the situation.

I sometimes feel that the deepest need I have is for a sense of control. When I feel out of control, I experience a powerful and uncomfortable tension in my life. However, I’ve noticed that things go much more smoothly when I let go of this control—when I allow them to happen instead of making them happen. I believe that the universe does have a plan but sometimes I just don’t have the patience to wait. 

Surprise you

Unfortunately last week I let my mind run the show where I should have trusted my heart and intuition. I understand that it is important to practice ways of getting outside of our thoughts and just allow them to be what they are; thoughts. Our minds are beautiful machines, but they are not all that we are. Last week I struggled to use my mind as a tool to help and support me and instead allowed it to over power and hurt me. My fear of being out of control was forcing my mind to make decisions just to regain control instead of thinking with my heart.

Below are some tools I found useful:

This is a great affirmation to say in front of the mirror:

I trust that everything will happen as it is intended to.
I honour and love myself.
There is no need to control; I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given so far.

Another great idea that works for me is reaching out to someone I value and trust, and talk about how I am feeling.

This is a great little visualisation I use if I become aware that I’m in control mode. I imagine that I’m in a small boat paddling upstream, against the current. It’s hard. It’s a fight. My vision gets very narrow and focused, my breath is shallow, adrenaline is pumping and my heart rate increases.When I choose to let go and surrender, I visualise the boat turning around, me dropping the oars, and floating downstream. Sounds gorgeous doesn’t it? Don’t get me wrong I am not just letting life wash over me. I am an active participant in my life but I need to recognise what parts require my control and what parts just need my utmost surrender. 

These may seem like simple solutions but they are so easy to forget when I feel as though I am spiralling out of control and desperately wanting to regain this illusion of control. I’m still an amateur but that is okay. 

Ironically, the one decision I have control over is my ability to relinquish my need for control. So “Am I willing to let go of control?” Letting go of control is about loosening our grip, allowing ourselves to be supported and trusting that things will turn out as they are meant to. Is this easy? Not always, although it can be.

This week as I become more skilled in letting go of control I hope to release and transform a good amount of unnecessary stress, worry, and anxiety from my life, my work and my relationships. I can enjoy each moment and be grateful for everything I have and understand that the truth is that I don’t have control.

Control

New Beginnings

I am a great believer in honouring each stage of my life. I honoured grief by really feeling it and allowing it to wash over me and will continue to do so. I honoured a diagnosis of an illness as a time to stop and reassess how I was approaching my life. By honouring these stages and not ignoring them or running from them I have become more self aware, more resilient and have become acutely aware of who I am and what my strengths and weaknesses are.

I have spoken in great detail about my challenges with these changes in my life and I have been very vulnerable at times and will continue to do so. Writing and journaling has allowed me to express my deepest thoughts and feelings.

Many people who know me have commented on my general attitude and vibrance at the present moment and so I thought it would be remiss of me not to write about this stage of my life and celebrate it as well. In a nutshell, I am feeling sensational and unstoppable.

Starting over and rebuilding my life has not been an easy thing to do and I am not finished, in fact it will be a continuous process. I had to learn to be patient and gentle with myself by treating myself with love, compassion and understanding. I have had to learn to surrender to what is and embrace my reality.

In the process I seem to have rediscovered my own femininity and confidence which means I am proud of my body and instead of hiding it, which I often did, I am embracing it for what it is. I also continue to treat my body as a temple, nourishing it and appreciating it inside and out. Ultimately I have learnt to make peace with my body.

I now have an inner knowing of who I am and therefore have confidence in my own opinion, which in the past I sometimes did not trust or always listen to. This does not mean I need to express my opinion or force my ideas onto other people, in fact it means the opposite. I am more open to everyone’s right to have their own opinion because of the very fact that I myself value and trust my own.

Expressing gratitude daily has allowed me to value even the smallest and simplest things in my life. I use a simple app on my phone which alerts me at a certain time each day to record what I am grateful for. The app even allows me to add photos which I love because sometimes a photo tells a thousand words. (Check out Gratitude Journal in the AppStore! http://bit.ly/thegratitudeapp) “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough” Oprah Winfrey

Another weird thing that I always do is have music playing around me, even when I am in the shower. There is something uplifting about rocking out to a song and dancing like nobody’s watching.

I also began by starting at the end by asking what kind of life I wanted to create for myself. With this beautiful image in my mind I was able to build my life. On the other hand, I also had to be flexible and sometimes go with the flow trusting life and stop waiting for my “real” life to begin.

All of this work and self-improvement has actually highlighted that the real me was here all along. It is interesting that the biggest changes occurred in my life when I started accepting my true and authentic self. Not until I realised I already had everything I needed in order to feel happy did I amazingly feel happier.

While feeling so good it shouldn’t come as a surprise, and yet it still does, that an equally emotionally intelligent man has stepped into my life who quite frankly puts a bright smile on my face. It is very early days but I am enjoying each moment and not looking too far into the future. As you all know I am a great believer in just valuing the present moment and not letting fear or my mind race ahead of me. Overthinking a situation can often diminish the fun and excitement of the moment and I intend on enjoying each moment (sometimes like a starry-eyed teenager).

So, in this very moment of my life, “I have found that if you love life, life will love you back” – Arthur Rubinstein

Love Life

Let Go and be Happy

This week I read a story and I wanted to share it because for me it was very timely.

Once upon a time there was a little sparrow,

She loved to fly so high in the sky

So innocent and free

One day while flying

She sensed an immediate threat

Looking down, she saw a hunter

With his gun pointed straight up at her

Ready to flee,

She looked upwards

Only to see

Even more danger

An eagle eyeing her from way up above

Like a piece of candy

The Little Sparrow with no choice to be free,

Decided to let go,

Surrendering her life to God,

In complete serenity

In that precise moment

A snake bit the hunter,

Who misfired his riffle,

Hitting the eagle

Setting the Little Sparrow free.

– Nicky Sehra.

Some of you may put the sparrows freedom down to luck and I agree it is a reasonable explanation. I however believe that we need to trust that we are  exactly where we are meant to be and follow the natural course of life.  I guess I am suggesting that we don’t fight life, don’t resist it but instead trust the wisdom of life. Complete acceptance is not an easy task and takes quite a bit of strength. I have learnt firsthand that we cannot control events or circumstances in our lives. One thing we can do is simply ‘let go‘ and ‘surrender’ to the universe.

“Acceptance of one’s life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary, it means accepting it as it comes, with all the handicaps of heredity, of suffering, of psychological complexes and injustices” – Paul Tournier

I am not suggesting giving up but every time I try to control my life it complicates events further. I have had to learn to become comfortable with the unknown. I know for myself holding emotions, stress, pain and fear accumulates to disease. Allowing my feelings to surface and learning to ‘let go’ allows me to move forward in life.

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” ~ Ann Landers

butterfly_on_hand-1280x800