Letting go of control.... Phew, am I being offered opportunity after opportunity to learn the next level of this concept. Letting go of control is a common phrase in the self development world but what does it really mean and how do we practice it? Below you’ll find real life situations and practical ways of letting go.
What does “letting go” or “let go let God” really mean?
Letting go means observing your attachments and expectations to the way you think things are supposed to look, and the way you think things are supposed to happen, and instead allowing them to be what they are. We can tell when we’re at this point because it usually shows up through perfectionism, feeling frantic, things are not aligning, you’re pushing and forcing something to happen. This weekend was a perfect example. I was really attached to the location of the coaching retreat, the way the retreat agenda was supposed to flow, and the nuances of how things were supposed to be done. But when life started presenting opportunities for me to let go of all those attachments, and I trusted that life could take the reigns, then love poured through, pivots were made with grace and ease and immediacy, magic happened, and the participants experienced miracles.
Why is letting go so hard?
Letting go is hard because we still have a primal brain as well as our more evolved frontal cortex. The primal brain is geared for survival. But if you want to evolve, which is why most people seek self development, or should I say sometimes their life seeks them through challenges to heal, grow and evolve, letting go of control forces us to elevate beyond the primal brain in conscious mindfulness and action.
Letting go of control triggers this primal need to survive and be safe. This was really important when we lived in the forest and had to stay alert and not get eaten by the bear. But now in 2018 most of us are not living in the forest and we are not being chased by the bear. However most of us have childhood trauma or wounds that triggers this need for control to survive. When we are letting go of control, we are being forced to evolve. This is why it can feel hard. This is also why its important to have the support you need once you’ve made the commitment to heal, grow and evolve.
How do we know if we are being asked to let go?
Some of most common ways I experience little nudges from life, and observe my clients at this pivotal point that its time to let go of control is when we observe ourselves having a position about how we were wronged by someone, or the need to be right in a conversation or situation. We can tell when we’re at this point because we feel triggered or reactive or impulsive, we’ll start defending our position, it will feel really hard to find space inside of yourself to listen to how someone else is feeling, you’ll want to be right (versus happy). The trick is how to listen with the eyes and ears of love to another person, have compassion for them, process the emotional wounds and triggers, hold loving and respectful boundaries for yourself. I’ve noticed all of this with my daughter’s father. I had to apply a lot of what I teach my coaching clients on myself the first four years of my daughter’s life. And let me tell you, this stuff is not always easy or comfortable. It can be painful while you’re moving through it. There are times now when it’s still not easy. But my focus is for love, grace, peace and ease inside of myself because the only person I have dominion over is myself. My prayer is that will emanate to her and to him.
I’ve applied this process to countless situations in my life and the lives of my clients - addiction, disease, work, finances, infidelity, divorce, separation, self love, spiritual expansion. And once I started writing this post I realized that it’s a lot longer than what can fit in an IG post. I wanted it this post to be thorough and helpful, so read what fits here in IG, and then click on the link in my bio to use the exercises that I apply to my own life and my client’s lives.
What is the process to let go?
When you notice things not happening the way you want them to, this is your red flag that you’re in this beautiful space to practice letting go of control. Block off 30 minutes (I know, we all have a lot of things to do, but this is where and when your transformation happens - not at the weekend retreat). Take out a piece of paper, and write this down:
1. What are the facts of what is happening? (Notice how hard it can be to remove the feelings from the facts)
2. What judgments and stories are you telling yourself about the facts? List them out, “I am judging myself as…” or “I am judging X as…” or “I am buying into the belief that…” (This will be like meditation on steroids. When you start to see how many stories, judgments, beliefs we place on facts it’s truly astounding)
3. What are the feelings it’s bringing up for you? (Notice that it’s our thoughts that create our feelings)
4. What did you want to happen? (This starts to show our attachments)
5. Why did you want it to happen this way? What do you perceive it have done for you, or would have happened, if it had happened the way you wanted? (This usually has to do with our core wounds/learnings in this human incarnation and our souls journey this time around)
6. Are you willing to be clear about what you do want (the higher vision) and let go of your plan and turn it over to the Universe to handle for you (or God or Spirit or the Goddesses or whatever you believe)?
7. State what you want the Universe to handle and state that you are ready to be willing, open and receptive to the answer and receive help from an energy out there that is much bigger than you.
8. What is one simple action you can take (without pushing or attachment) that could show that energy you’re ready for it to take over? After you come up with one, then write a list of other actions. (Note: This is often time the opposite of what we would normally do. For example, I have a very action oriented client. Her actions included closing her computer, going to a restaurant to have dinner with friends, blocking off three hours one evening to watch Netflix in her pajamas, anytime she felt fear she would say the affirmations below.)
9. Give yourself a big high five or hug or smile or hand on heart touch of love. Remind yourself that this is not an easy process and you are courageous for leaning into something new.
10. Say out loud, I am safe. I am loved. I am enough. I am abundant. This will affirm most of the wounds and triggers that all is well and you are being held.