MY or NO way? How often do we not get what we want…the results we wants, the response we want.
I’ve been pondering this on a much deeper level after experiencing an intense Buddhist retreat a few weeks ago. This notion of REALLY letting go of everything – even if it’s in this moment. I mean everything, every desire, pleasure, want, attachment, aversion, resistance…all of it.
This was a most intriguing experience, this ability to truly be at peace with everything – just as it is. And of course the crux of all this was being at peace with myself, just as I am. At any given moment that may be happy, sad, excited, anxious, disappointed, joyful, tense, serene, angry…any number of different states or feelings…
I’ve been having a very challenging time personally and professionally this year – on and off – after deliberately disrupting and changing various elements of my life. This has been, and continues to be, a combination of letting go of things that aren’t serving me, taking a stand and honouring myself more. Being more real and authentic. Who knew there were so many layers to this?!
I realise now that my hope was this was nearing completion – however life has had different ideas. This has meant – especially in the last few months – being in very big ‘don’t know’ space with myself, my purposes and in some of my most precious relationships. At times I’ve found this utterly uncomfortable, disorientating and frightening. And on the flip side this is proving to be liberating, expansive, revealing, exciting – and the thing I’m most enjoying is a growing sense of my self expression and more of ME emerging. As a leader and as a woman.
As part of this I have been consciously practising the art of trusting. And the art of welcoming loss actually. Trusting that things will work out even if I let things I care about go…trusting that all will be well…trusting that the universe ‘has my back’ and the powerful vision I am holding for myself is being created. Even if I cant see it yet. Que sera sera eh? I made myself really smile yesterday by writing a mantra about what I’m aiming for “trusting deeply that I can master trusting deeply”…
This may seem like a hands off leadership strategy but I tell you what my friends, in a letting go space there is a natural alignment with things as they are. An alignment with the ability to go with the flow of life, event by event, adapting and course correcting. Not being attached to a particular path or how we get there opens up a world of possibilities. This isn’t about being passive but actually actively managing our energy to be allowing, accepting, conscious and responsive. Seeing what emerges. Focusing on the here and now, responding to what’s actually happening rather than being tied to a fixed idea of how it ‘should be’.
I share this partly because it seems to be so ingrained in our culture this push to ‘get’. Get ahead, get something or get somewhere. As if the goal of our lives was to get more and more – and as fast as possible. What’s the purpose of that? How about slowing down and enjoying the ride, being more fully present to the ride. We need a bigger purpose, a bigger vision to see us through – especially when the going gets tough.
One of the things I LOVE about purpose is that there always is one, whether we are conscious of it or not. One of the most revealing exercises I’ve ever done is to make a list of my actual behaviour with different things and then ask myself ‘what’s my purpose?’. Our real purpose is always revealed in our actual behaviour.
So if your driving, demanding, insisting on having things your way – in a fixed mindset about anything – maybe what’s required, essential even, is some letting go. In that space peace and freedom can be found. The space of awakening to life as it is – not as we demand it to be.
I’ve worked with many leaders who struggle to delegate, let alone empower their teams. So this is where the challenge eh – letting go and trusting.
And of course this all starts at home. Can you let go and be with yourself just as you are, right now?
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