Hello My Readers,
I read something recently that sparked some intrigue inside of me. It was in a book I am reading called Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow. By reading I mean picking it up randomly throughout the past 10 months. I like it better this way because I feel I am being called to the lessons and insight I need at the right moment. The book is about embracing change and overcoming life’s challenges. It gets intensely deep and specific by touching on dealing with the most inexplicable difficulties of life, like losing a loved one or handling a divorce. I actually began reading it to help me cope with a difficult and interesting period of change I was going through. All of the lessons in the book are enlightening and relative, even if you are not experiencing the exact hardships the author references. It provides guidance and insight to help you make the choice to be broken open instead of broken down in times of defeat or uncertainty. I recommend it to anyone that has or has had hard time with acceptance in any way.
The author, Elizabeth Lesser, mentioned something that has turned into a question I like to ask when I find myself having a hard time to accept what is. Some of the biggest deterrents of growth and happiness are our resistance to change and longing for control. Which always amuses me because change is the only constant in this life. It is proof we are all alive. Imagine if nothing changed? If all remained the same, there would be no life. That is something to think about whenever you find yourself resisting change: change gives you the feeling of being alive. (What a trippy and awesome reminder.) Instead of letting ourselves surrender to this natural law, we often let fear, worry and ego step in the way. I can proudly say I have gotten much better at embracing change and letting go of the way I think things should be and instead accepting them as they are. But I know we all experience situations where we can’t accept our current reality, or question what could be, or long for what we think should be. Not only is this interfering with our happiness, but we aren’t allowing ourselves to fully live into the natural flow of life. Would life be worth living if everything happened EXACTLY how we planned it in our heads? We would never encounter the things in life that make us happiest and strongest. The greatest gifts are often those that are the most unexpected, not the ones we planned for. I could have never predicted my current reality and it makes it that much more exciting and wonderful. If you find your life is too predictable, I think it’s time to loosen the reigns and welcome uncertainty. Life without uncertainty is no fun, and everything that naturally happens to us connects us to greater things. I find it so exciting to not know what the future holds. Although I have an idea of where I’d like things to go, I try to accept that the reality I envision doesn’t compare to the greatness that lies ahead. Acknowledging this intuitive confirmation that life works in your favor will shift your current energy to gratification and happiness. There will be no need to worry or fear the future. Instead you can find fulfillment and enjoyment in the present, which is what this life is about guys.
However, we are all human. No matter how aware I am that I need to just let life flow for me and show up day to day, I find myself trying to fine tune my reality. When “bad” things happen, I get upset and when things don’t go according to plan, I wonder why and wish I could change it. In this book, the author speaks of life as a flowing river of change. Each day we have a choice: We can relax and flow with the nature of the river, allowing it to pull us in the direction we’re meant to go, or we can swim hard against it. Flowing with the river feels smooth and calm. It fills us with courage, enthusiasm and the energy of life. Resisting the river is straining and stressful. We feel as though we’re treading water, stuck in the same place or moving behind. I liked this analogy because unexpected challenges and hardships happen in life ALL OF THE TIME, both big and small. The future will always be unknown, no matter how hard we try to believe otherwise. So why not just go with the river flow of life, feeling open and calm, instead of trying to change the nature of it’s course? (We are so silly for ever trying to do this.) If I find myself with feelings of going against the river, I know I’m trying to control things I should instead be accepting. That is my cue to shift my mindset to a positive one, and affirm that life happens the way it does for a reason. I think things like, “My reaction to reality is more important that reality itself. Everything that is happening is happening exactly how it’s meant to and will bring me the lessons and opportunities I need for growth.” These motivational reminders allow me to chill out and flow with the river of life. This doesn’t have to be about big dramatic events, but can be directed towards the smallest of things, like having to work late or the weather being shitty. For whatever reason, it can be just as hard for us to relinquish control of those little things as it is the more life changing ones. Side note: Having self-awareness and taking control of what you can in life is important. Losing that power isn’t the point of surrendering to the river flow of life. It’s more about controlling what you can while accepting what you can’t, and maintaining the right attitude no matter what happens.
Sometimes it’s the tiniest of intentions that will help us feel our best. Whenever you find yourself having difficulty accepting what is, no matter how big or small, ask yourself “Am I flowing with the nature of the river or going against it?” Allow yourself to remember all the times that you flowed with the river of life and the amazing opportunities it birthed. Or maybe remember times you tried to go against it, and acknowledge how stressful not releasing control feels. The whole point of life is to feel our best, and most of the time all it takes is a shift in perception or tiny pep talk to remind us how.
Just Keep Swimming,