Formula for How to Let Go and Free Yourself

“The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go.”
Richard Bach

It’s easy to be brave in a blog post.

It’s a little more difficult in real life.

I have the distinct impression of hell breaking loose. I wanted to shake things up. Well, I have shaken things up. And now—surprise, surprise—I feel… unstable. Things have been set in motion; and it’s time to go along for the ride.

Life is forever calling you forward. The decision is not so much about where you want to go to, but how much or how little you’re going to resist the journey (hint: less is better).

Once you start down a road, you often find that things are much closer than they first appeared. There comes a time, when you least expect it; when you’re not really paying attention: something shifts. You’ve made the leap from improbable to inevitable and sometimes it comes as a jolt. Your mind races. You can jump from excitement to fear and back again as quickly as your thoughts can jump from one projected future to another.

The formula works something like this:

Instability + trust = exhilaration
Instability + doubt = dread

Your job isn’t to fight the instability. Instability is a necessary change agent. Your job is to learn how to trust more and struggle less. Your job is to find a new way of looking at things.

Today has been one of those days: a lesson in trust.

I said I wanted to quit my old occupation and do something more aligned with the whole of me. Let’s just say if I have too many more days like today, I may get my wish sooner than I thought.

I’ve been longing to let go of some old responsibilities and the thought of freedom has been so tantalizing. Today I caught a glimpse of one possible unfolding and to be honest, it scared me. It brought into sharp focus the realities of going at it alone, of starting over on a new path. It happened once before and I freaked out. I panicked. I ran back to the safe stability of the known. Now I’m having to face those same choices all over again. Am I ready? Will I ever be?

I’m beginning to realize I wont ever be completely ready. Or rather, the conditions will never be just right. But it doesn’t matter. Because, in the end, it’s not about the conditions, it’s about who you are inside. It’s about staying resolute to that knowing and not being dissuaded by appearances to the contrary. Knowing that conditions are merely the echo of what you’ve declared emphatically in your soul.

There’s a certain power in faith that can never be equaled by calculation, no matter how prudent or cunning. You just don’t have enough information. You don’t know as much as you think you do, and you don’t control as much as you like to pretend. If you think life is just chance and chaos then that’s a pretty frightening realization. So we seek stability. Predictability. We carve out a nice little niche in the turmoil and stay there as long as we can. It’s small, it’s kind of dull, but it’s predictable; and we like that. It gives us the illusion of control.

Playing the probability game is easy when you know the deck is stacked in your favor; but it’s not real self mastery. Want to know a little secret? It’s always stacked in your favor. There is no chaos. There’s only well-being, and well-being resisted.

It’s easy to loose that perspective. We’re always looking forward; and that’s the best way to be facing. But it makes it easy to forget where you’ve come from. This isn’t the first time I’ve resisted letting go. And that’s a comfort to me because it helps me to remember that while the prospect of change is often frightening before it arrives, once you allow it happen, it invariably makes your life better.

The life I’m living today would have seemed an impossible dream a few short years ago. So much of what is now routine to me I once though fantastic. I never would have expected living and working overseas; I never would have expected having clients happy to put me up in hotel rooms and subsidize my travel; I never would have expected reaching income goals that seemed absurd when I set them, or working on such stimulating projects, or having this level of independence.

More than once I’ve had to pause, and realize, with some surprise that the life I’m currently living is exactly what I dreamed of at some point in the past. And yet so much of the journey here I resisted. So many times I was hesitant, or fearful or worrisome about the future. And for what?

Although I have strived a lot, I can see in my better moments of lucidity that my success doesn’t come because of my striving, but rather, in spite of it. And I’m reminded that letting go, that taking that leap of faith is the moment in which you choose to embrace a newer, greater life.

What you’ve imagined will be when you stop fighting against it.

Trying to learn that lesson better this time around.

How to Overcome Your Fears, Conquer Your Anxiety

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