Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Letting Go’

The other day I was riding my bicycle through the neighboring town of Denville. One of the many hazards of riding on the roads here in NJ is that the pavement must endure the freezing temperatures of winter and the blistering heat of summer. And that means many roads are in disrepair.
 
One particular intersection I confronted on my ride that day was ravaged by the cruelty of those seasonal extremes. Within a 10 yard stretch of pavement there were numerous potholes, divots in the pavement, grooves, and loose gravel was strewn everywhere. On top of that, I was immersed in morning commuter traffic. In a nutshell, it was treacherous terrain for a biker that easily spelled disaster.
 
As a natural reaction to the danger, my body tensed and became rigid. My hands gripped the brakes a little tighter preparing for the worse, my arms tensed and pulled closer into my body, my legs stopped peddling, my thighs tensed, and I held my breath. All of my energy and focus shifted to my eyes as I tried to plot a path to navigate through the mine field.
 
After a few intense seconds of jerking my front tire right and left to dodge the many booby traps in the road, I made it through. And although I was safe, my first thought and observation was how “out of control” I felt. I was so tense and rigid that if I needed to react to disaster, I would not have had the ability.
 
As weird as this might sound, I then thought of drunk drivers. I have read that when drunk drivers get into car accidents they often escape from the accident unscathed. One reason for this is that due to the alcohol, their body is relaxed and offers no resistance as it is jostled around during an accident. Essentially, their body goes with the flow of the energy and is taken where it might go.
 

I immediately wondered where else in my life was I living “tensed” and rigid, trying to control the outcomes as opposed to relaxing, trusting and letting life flow in, around and through me. I could see from this experience that traveling through life tense and rigid was not always the best approach to the bumps and potholes I encounter in life. In certain circumstances, I needed to let go.
 
And then a popular 1980’s song by 38 Special popped into my mind —

Just hold on loosely,
But don’t let go
If you cling to tightly
You’re gonna lose control.
 
Amazing how those 17 words captured the moment so perfectly.
 
Regardless of what the life situation is, be it a relationship, work, family, your kids . . . whatever, these seem to be sage words of advice.

 

Assuming we are not all really going to go through life drunk, the secret to living a peaceful, less-stressed life is to trust.
 
Trust in yourself, in your god, in your loved ones, in life itself. Trust that all will be OK and is unfolding as intended. Trust that whatever is before you, holds a gift.   Trust that the timing is perfect. Trust that the answer you received is perfect. Trust that life is nudging you in a direction.  And rather than resisting, stop, take a breath, and look for the message the Universe wishes to whisper to you.
 
One of my all-time favorite books captures this concept of trusting and letting go perfectly —
 
“Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth.
 
But one creature said at last, ‘I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.’
 
The other creatures laughed and said ‘Fool! Let go and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!’
 
But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.
 
Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.
 
And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, ‘See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!
 
And the one carried in the current said, ‘I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare to let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.”
                                                                             — Illusions, Richard Bach

 

READ HOW THIS APPLIES TO YOUR BUSINESS here.

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

It was Christmas Eve morning and the sun was just breaking the horizon, lighting the sky from a deep purple to its first hints of turquoise.  The last stars of the night twinkled their good-bye, winking at me. 
 
I was excited to put the finishing touches on January’s newsletter that I had written a few weeks earlier.  I sat at my laptop, plugged in my flash drive, but failed to hear the familiar “ding” telling me the computer recognized the new drive.  I took it out and tried again with no better results.  In a panic, I turned on my other computer and tried it there with the same deaf response.  No “ding” of recognition.
 
I am not a materialistic man.  I have little in my apartment and if I am attached to anything in life they are the invisible things you cannot touch – love; friendship; laughter; the company and conversation at a good meal.  As a writer, however, my words are my treasure.  Thousands and thousands and thousands of words I have written over the years capturing my thoughts, my emotions, my heart.  All of which are now trapped on the inaccessible flash drive.
 
For a moment, I cannot breathe.  A wave of fear rushes through me and settles in my stomach, as if I have just been kicked there during a horrible fight.  I repeat the process of sticking the flash drive in and out of the computer at least 20 times.  Nothing.  I stare at the computer screen blankly, pleading with it to ding and tell me it has found my files – found my life – on the flash drive.  
 
My heart sinks and all I feel like doing is crying.  I am attached to my words, and now they are gone.  I take a long hot shower, letting the water run over me as I ponder the loss.  I follow this by sitting in the warm sun, meditating and grounding myself in my new reality.
 
I am now challenged to live some of the principles I teach in my coaching.  Life is not what happens to us, but rather how we respond to what happens to us.  If I stay attached to my words, yearning for them to somehow magically return, I am promised a life of misery and regret.  I will be left suffering and stuck in a place that will deny me the ability to welcome in all the future gifts that await me.  Life is very much like a never-ending wellspring, pouring forth new gifts, and in my case new words, everyday.  To spend too much time looking longingly at the past, wishing for those words to return, is to admit that the power and creativity within me is limited.  And it is not.  Not for any of us.
 
The Universe wants to give us all we desire.  And it wants to give it to us on a silver platter.  But if the table before us is cluttered and full, it has no place to set down the platter of gifts.  I ponder this principle and realize the key ingredient to living it . . .  trust.  My table has just been swiped clean in one quick motion, like an arm sweeping across a dinner table scattering the dishes and glasses on the floor.
 
As I sit before my computer, I can only wonder what new gift of words awaits me at my now barren, clutter-free table.  I trust that they will be magnificent as I stare at my past trapped in the flash drive, close my eyes, and leap into the future of the blank computer screen.

 

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
                                                                             –  Alexander Graham Bell 

If you so choose, each new year is an opportunity to sweep your table clear and welcome in the new gifts the Universe wishes to give you.  The trick, of course, is not to be attached to what you had in the past or to the outcome of the future.  If you can manage to live in the freedom of the present, trusting in the moment, and trusting that what you desire in your heart will be manifested, the life you desire will suddenly appear before you. 

Read Full Post »