“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.” ― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
When my son was in middle school I became really tired of juggling and always trying to anticipate/manage the endless details of my family life and business. I knew there had to be another way. I wondered, “How could I live more in the flow of life?”
This curiosity launched a journey and through it, I unearthed my deepest desire: to feel more trusting, free and relaxed. And to hone the ability to just … let … go.
Over the last decade how I live, work and play changed radically. Yes, I’m still achievement-oriented, and at times this serves me well. But I stopped trying to control everything (one of the top 3 causes of stress) and started going with the flow more of the time. This past year I wrote out fewer to-do lists, eased up on strategic planning, only took on work projects that brought me joy and practiced a deeper level of self-care. Interestingly, I found the more I let go, the more success I experienced!
How is this possible? Through living more in the present and deepening my self-care practice. I set daily intentions (so I could channel my energy more effectively), released expectations, practiced “good is good enough,” was more vulnerable and willing to ask for help, I stopped forcing outcomes and ultimately, my desire to feel peaceful eclipsed my need to control. As a result, I found my flow and life became more enjoyable, spacious and easy.
I remember one time when I was leading a work-life balance workshop for a group of Fortune 500 female attorneys at a retreat center in Arizona. One of the women jumped up in the middle of the session on “managing energy” and said, “Ah-ha! I now I realize why I’m always so stressed-out: I over-manage my life!” The woman, who also organized events for her law firm, was used to creating plans A, B, C and continually anticipating every conceivable course of action her clients, kids and business might take. As a result she was always living in the future or the past, but she was rarely in the present moment. Her habit of hyper-managing every detail of her personal and professional life was exhausting her. She thought by being so on top of everything she was alleviating stress but she was actually causing more of it (and often creating extra work for those around her). She’s shared with me many times over that this insight changed her life.
Letting go and managing and controlling less can mean opening up to more joy and spontaneity in your life … if you’re willing to trust, step off the cliff and surrender. Actor Larry Eisenberg says,”For peace of mind, we have to resign as general manager of the Universe.” I’ve turned in my resignation–are you ready to hand in yours?
HOW CAN I SUPPORT YOU? HERE ARE TWO OPPORTUNITIES FOR FINDING MORE FLOW:
- Book me today ~ My 2021-2022 speaking calendar is filling up! Consider hiring me to create an online balanced living experience to help your team, organization or employees feel less stressed and more resilient, creative and focused. For 20+ years I’ve been working with companies/organizations like Merrill Lynch, the Center for Women in Law, the Hewlett Foundation and more. Whether it’s a workshop, keynote or custom retreat via Zoom, I’d love to discuss how I can support your team or organization. Learn more here.
- Live in Western NC or know a soulful woman in this area? I’m forming a small in-person Mastermind Group this spring in Brevard, NC (just south of Asheville) for women who are self-employed or who are birthing something new. We’ll meet twice a month; this is modeled after the popular women’s circles I’ve been leading for 20 years. For more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by mindfulness coach/author/speaker and self-care evangelist Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women find balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, AARP, Spirituality & Health and more. She and her team have certified more than 400 facilitators in 10 countries around the globe to lead self-renewal groups for women based on her pioneering work. She’s the author of two books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life. She and her husband live in Western North Carolina and Austin, Texas and are enjoying a new empty nest. More on Renee here.