I feel stuck. Stuck is really hard for me. One of my highest values is freedom. I feel stuck because I am holding on to strategies, which need to change. I am holding on when what is really needed is to let go so something new can emerge. As I tighten my grip, the intensity (and drama) escalates as I try to ward off the winds of change, which are in fact here to ultimately release the stuck place. Crazy right?
A friend of mine reminded me of this fantastic sailing tip that is of great support in getting through intense situations. It is simply this: When a big gust hits and you are getting blown over, the last thing you want to do is pull the sails in tighter. You need to remember to let everything go… and, here’s the cool part, simply allow the boat to right itself and choose a new direction. If you have ever done this little maneuver in a strong wind you know it is a loud, sheet snapping affair that can seem pretty chaotic and it DOES WORK!!!!
So much of our lives are subject to unpredictable change. (Obvious newsflash, I know.) It is no longer the kind of world where you can be successful just by focusing on strategy, hard work and having great people around you. All this helps, for certain AND you can still get in big trouble if you hold on too tightly. When the huge billowing gusts of change blow through providing what is intended to be welcome relief and fresh inspiration, you gotta be able to let go and allow your boat to right itself.
Once your boat is upright, choose a new course. There you have it…you are now un-stuck!
My parents have both had health challenges. They are 99 and 94 and live close by. Since December 7th I have been with them in hospital rooms and ambulances. I’ve held their hands and watched them heroically face their destiny. I’ve had moments where I’ve done well and moments when I’ve fallen apart.
Through it all, I kept repeating “This will be the best Christmas ever.” There was not much evidence to support this idea. None of the trappings of a beautiful holiday seemed close at hand. And…in the end I did attract a lovely Christmas eve dinner with Kevin and a beautiful church service that was freely available to me. I just had to walk through the door. My older sisters were tirelessly present and many, many friends offered prayers and blessings. Each and every holiday card this year was treasured in ways that their senders can’t even imagine.
My parents are not having the end of life experience that I would have hoped for them. I don’t know if there is anything I can do about that. The best solution I could muster was to get them into the same room together. Now I simply hold them with courageous and compassionate strength as I allow them to do their thing, whatever that looks like for them.
Yet the questions of leadership remain. How do I take a stand for what they need when I really don’t know what they need and I can’t trust my emotional responses to what I am witnessing? The answer simply seems to be to unfold one moment at a time. One breath at a time. Keep turning my mind back to my heart’s wisdom and courage. Keep trusting Grace. Keep following the rays of light. Keep savoring each and every moment of Joy. Keep turning away from the dark thoughts and surrendering myself and each of us into the light of Love.
I’m practicing the art of surrender. Right before the United States Independence Day holiday, I realized that I had once again slipped into things being hard, endless trying, stress, overwhelm and a generally lousy place of disappointment. I’ve been grieving losses and unmet expectations. Face down in the mud of my life, I pleaded, if I surrender may I please have things be easier? A voice replied. “What do you give up when you say you surrender?” Well it’s a long list the surrender list.
I surrender my suffering, pain, fear, my trying to achieve a particular outcome and my expectations. I was reading that true surrender is not done from a place of HAVING to surrender. Surrender is something we choose because we WANT to surrender. I’ve been leading personal retreats this month and reading When Fear Falls Away-the story of a sudden awakening by Jan Fraizer It strikes me that how she became fearless is she did indeed surrender to the natural flow of the river of her inner Divine Power. And here’s the thing…rather abruptly joy and bliss took hold of her and never again let go.
Here is a poem that articulates this process so beautifully. The author is a radiant, beautiful, courageous inspiring female executive, who is, as I am…and all my clients are, up to great things in our world. Her vision is huge, her leadership is potent and yes, she has gotten good at losing. I’ll let her say it herself:
Practicing Losing-For Advanced Beginners
I practice losing now. Losing my expectations held on so tightly Losing my expectations of myself, my future, my perfectly stacked ice cream cone. All floating up like pieces of burnt paper from a fire, or the way snowflakes disappear when they hit a warm surface.
I practice losing now, losing an identity I thought I was supposed to have. Losing a mask I was supposed to wear. Losing a practicality that once served in some way and only now seems awkward and uncomfortable.
I’m practicing losing now and seeing, discovering what’s still there.