It does feel good to relinquish control, doesn't it?
When you loosen the reins after a long, hard effort, you actually feel a softening.
No problems to solve, no imminent danger to mitigate, just: Ahhhh.
If you grew up feeling like you had to control the chaos around you or felt responsible for other people’s experiences and wellbeing, it's hard to soften the reins. Our young brains were wired to believe that we had more control over the world than we do. However, as we age, we realize that that in order to shift ourselves away from the overwhelm and worry that comes with our vigilance, we have to loosen the reins on those things we have habitually tried to control our whole lives. When we learn to let go of what is outside of our control, and focus on what is within our purview, we will feel a softening. But not always at first. Clients come to me walking the line between holding tight and softening.
They may say, "I am ready to focus on myself." "I am committed to protecting my studio or writing time."
Great, I say!
But you can’t make a change - like set a new goal for your work and creative life - without releasing the reins somewhere else.
If you are about to embark on a new project and you are either a) Hesitating or b) Feeling overwhelmed --- you might want to check in with control center. Are you afraid that time spent on yourself will wreak havoc on other people or things? Do you think something bad will happen if you set boundaries around your time and space, or around money?
What is the problem your mind wants to control or mitigate for fear of danger? That delicious feeling of breathing into the softness of letting worry go is actually available to you RIGHT NOW.
Old fear and the belief that something bad will happen when we relinquish control - is what tethers us to the past.
Make a list this week:
What I can control are these things?
What I can’t control are these things?
You might feel some emotion come up when you make this list. It’s hard to accept that we can’t keep everyone around us in clean socks, on time, happy or even alive. Not everyone will like us or what we create.
You have to do the leg work to make the kinds of shifts that bring you to AHHH.
But always the first is becoming aware of when you are trying to control things you just can't. When you want to change, you need your energy to stay with what you can control.
Choosing to shift your focus onto what you can control, is risky. It puts the onus on you to soften to what is here for you right now.
Altogether now . . . Ahhh.