I like to live in a clean house. I like an organized kitchen drawer so when I need something I know exactly where to find it. Most of all, I love control but not nearly as much as I used to. There was a time when I would not leave the house without a detailed plan of action. I was detailed and controlling and I felt safe knowing I was going to achieve what I had set out to do and therefor, be perfect. Yay!? Not so much. I won’t go into details in this post but after many years of deep inner work and Self discovery my life is much different. Control isn’t something I crave or desire and I couldn’t be more grateful.
What I have come to realize today it is not a lot actually, it isn’t super insightful but it works for me: as soon as I begin to control my environment my entire spirit for life disappears. The usual creative flow is stagnant like pond water on a steamy summer day in Alabama. Why would I continue to do something that does me no good? It’s simple; it was all I knew. Until….I knew more.
This new level of consciousness was apparent to me last week when Timm and I decided to take a trip to Flagstaff around midday. It was the first time I actually let go and just went with the flow, consciously. I was aware of my need to make a plan, find trails to hike and figure out exactly how to get there but I let it go. There was a feeling within me that just wanted to let go and allow the day to evolve the way it wanted to as opposed to the way I wanted it to. To those of you who know me, this is a huge step. While I have had moments in the past of letting go of the bigger things that make a deeper impact I still struggle to let go of the little things that could possibly make the day less stressful. The organized and tidy side of me is one of my favorites, and I am not going to judge myself because some call that controlling, I call it aware.
As we prepared the car with the essentials for hiking such as water, dog leashes, fruit, hats and sunscreen I felt as though the fog had lifted and I wasn’t just keeping myself busy. I was living. We were living life and allowing the moment to flow. Do you know this feeling? Goodness is it ever amazing.
We arrived in beautiful Flagstaff without a clue of where to go. It was about to pour down with rain and we had no umbrella; which I embraced because I have learned to love the rain andthe way it feels on my face. I was excited to explore the mountains and forests with Timm and our dogs. I am blessed to be with a man who is naturally free flowing and I don’t even think control is a part of his inner vocabulary. Timm has certainly taught me a lot about allowing life to unfold. For once, I let go and what was let in was an overwhelming feeling of love for the moment. After we began walking I started to feel the way the ground under my feet felt, it wasn’t hard, it was soft yet strong. Have you ever noticed the way the forest floor sounds when you walk? The wildflowers were blooming in all sorts of hues of purple,red and yellow. The pine trees were something out of a fairytale with their tall trunks and mushrooms growing off the sides. Birds sang songs and all around us were yellow butterflies. The rain fell on us as we stood under a giant pine tree and when the hail started we just stood there in silence appreciating nature. Sounds like a dream, right? Our day in Flagstaff was dreamy but it was also very real and I realized I had been allowing so much to pass me by just in order to stay in control.
We don’t have to give up control completely-it serves many of us in several ways that keep us on track. There will always be a detailed part of me and that is because I am dedicated to excellence and there is nothing wrong with that. Letting go is the best thing I have ever learned to do and while I haven’t mastered it by any means I am aware of when control rears its head. I just remind myself to do my best. Isn’t that all we can ever do?
Do you find letting go difficult? As you may know by now I do not give advice on this blog. I will never give advice because how do I know what is best for you? You know what is best for you. May I offer one mantra to guide you just a little? Here it goes: JUST DO THE NEXT SINGLE THING. When the mind starts to pull hard and the need to control a situation arises keep breathing and know you are not alone. Many of us do this-you are not defective in any way. Silently, I repeat the mantra Moe gave me three years ago which reminds me to stay present and just do the next single thing that will lead me to a place of inner peace. I hope that helps, it is somewhat miraculous for me! It is amazing what happens when the mind is given a chance to release and relax, it seems the body follows naturally.
What are your steps to going with the flow? Are you a detail oriented person who likes to hold the reins? I am interested in how others create flow in their lives and how it enhances their moments….please do share if you wish.
All photos are my own.