Stop trying so hard!

Most people who know me would probably say that I’m determined, hardworking and pick myself up after every fall. Life in my world has felt like I needed to exert as much of my focus and willpower into accomplishing all those things that I thought I craved. When I encountered setbacks, knock backs, challenges and people who didn’t quite see things ‘my way’ then my strong driving force would ignite and I’d turbo-charge my way through all the crap.

As an avid self-development junkie I devoured the principles for powerful goal-setting, applied the skills for ‘getting more of what you want in your life’ and banished my inner demons through positive affirmations. I lost myself, found who I thought I was, then lost myself again until I became completely confused when pondering the question “Who am I?”

In the midst of all this frenetic activity I missed the one truth that held the potential to resolve EVERYTHING. The stress that we feel when we have goals and expectations is based on whether or not we attain that which we have set our heart upon. The career milestones, the money we want, the person with whom we decide will be ‘The One’. That particular house, that holiday, that university for our child, that ideal weight, that fitness level, that marathon, that amount we need to save to feel safe.

When we don’t get what we want, we instantly judge this as a failure or disappointing. Actually we judge ourselves as failing and not being good enough to get what we want. We’ve placed so much importance on the things that we think we want that we become emotionally attached – superglued – to specific outcomes. Many of us become hardened to repeated failures or have become ruthlessly competitive (mainly with ourselves.) We may feel somewhat cynical about life. The glorious technicolour dreams of our youth have become tarnished with bitterness as we learn to lower our expectations and readjust what we believe to be more ‘realistic’.

BUT…….let me ask you to ponder upon this thought for a moment. What if the world that we live in, this Universe, this reality that we know as ‘My life’ is always watching out for us? Always making way for something better? What would happen if you let go of your need to have a specific outcome, that specific person and surrendered to the ebb and flow of your life? What if ‘your striving’ was creating a tension that was taking you further away from that which you truly desire? What if you stopped judging the outcome and simply surrendered to accepting that everything that happens is always perfect for you at some level?

Sometimes we become so fixed in our thinking of what we decide is the best result for us that we become oblivious to other options, other opportunities, other relationships, other ways of being. Instead of living with life as our friend we try to tame ‘the monster’ – seeing life as a battle for supremacy. So much tension is built around the need to control what we believe to be the best outcome for us personally and the best for those we care about. We then become blinkered to an array of tantalising options that hold marvellous potential for joy. Our fixation on one way shuts down the myriad of other ways. If happiness is the final destination we choose one road and regardless of the blocks, the traffic jams and the terrain we persevere, never realising that sometimes there is a much easier route to happiness.

Much of my own life has been about trying to control my life and as the years race by it gets utterly exhausting. It is only when I look back with calm objectivity that I now see how every pitfall was a turning point, a wake-up call that enabled me to experience a higher version, a better version of myself.

If something happens that is not what we thought we wanted we are either being given a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow or the Universe is clearing the way for something better. If we disregard these two options then we will be presented with the same ‘opportunities’ (we will interpret these as hardships and life being cruel again) over and over again until we finally learn to let go and surrender to the powerful forces of life itself.

If you allow yourself the opportunity to operate from within your heart rather than your head you empower your senses to absorb information that enables you to align with joy, rather than stress. Love rather than fear, ease rather than pressure. When you let go of anything that no longer serves you, usually things born from your ego mind, you experience a sense of lightness – an inner freedom that feels expansive. Old resentments, old beliefs around what you should or shouldn’t do, relationships that cause you to feel ‘less than’. Expectations of stuff you think you should have acquired by now. Old hurts around your parents, your partner, those bullies during your schooldays.

Let go of what you think you should weigh, how your body should look for you are so much more beautiful than the shell that houses your heart. Let go of the perception that there is a ‘right’ way and a ‘wrong’ way because everyone of us has our own unique way and that can change in the blink of an eye. Let go of grief in the knowledge that those who you’ve loved, who are no longer around are simply following their divine path.

Give yourself permission to feel at ease with who you are and where your life is in this moment. Stop trying so hard and surrender to the invisible and loving forces of the Universe. When you trust that, all will be well then everything in your life right now – is what it is. Let go and enjoy the waves of potent possibilities when you surrender to the moment, each moment feels as comfy as a warm and fluffy pair of slippers.

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