Someone should start a program ‘Control Freaks Anonymous’ but until they do there’s always yoga! I’ve never been one of those laid back sort of gals that go with the flow. I’m learning to be. Motherhood does call for some serious organisation but for me (and many) those first years with a shiny new tiny human come with gripping, clinging and micro managing aspects of life best left to unfold. Control and worry are like two peas from the same pod. Once we muscle and grapple with every minutia detail of our life to seemingly have order (aka certainty & security) we sign ourselves up to a permanent fear of disorder (aka uncertainty & insecurity). Do you follow?
“Blessed are the flexible for they will not be bent out of shape!”
The more we demand control in every aspect of our lives the more inflexible we become. There’s rigidity in routine that forms great structure but just how much structure is consistent with good mental health? When life (and motherhood’s) inevitable obstacles come up can we ebb and flow with life’s twists and turns or do we bind ourselves with organisation and expectation, stifling our energy, pushing down our fears in a whirlwind of list making, health regimes, home improvements and challenged relationships, pushed to the brink as we endeavor to ‘feel’ in control and be perceived by others as having it all under control.
Like with everything balance is key.
And life and motherhood actually demand a great deal of ‘flexibility’. If we say things ‘MUST be so’ well were set for a shocker as life rarely deals the hand we demand it should – right?! I learned this long ago, yet when my daughter was born I developed that sixth sense, that hypersensitivity that Mummies for centuries have bared reference to. Bumps in the bed, tossing and turning restlessness that can’t be appeased without some sense of certainty you’ve nurtured and provided safety for said shiny new tiny human as beyond adequately as is feasibly possibly every waking (and unwaking) minute.
I can even leave the house with dirty dishes left on the side now!
Over two years on the yoga mat and off it, I’ve slowly allowed myself to relinquish a little of that tightened grip, that push and pull, the constant checking, the insistence on certainty and perfection and I’ve started to feel again, to let the fears wash over me and the frustrations sing. Yes at times I feel uneasy (and the kitchens a mess) but at least ‘I feel’.
The rewards I tell you have been immense. And I will tell you…. a renewed sense of self, a refreshed connection with the world not to mention my daughter……hubbies doing more cleaning and dishes, hoo ha.
Highlighted below at its succinct and simple best are the rewards i’m experiencing from a little less military precision, a little more openness to last minute changes, the ditching of diets and detoxes, occasional omitting of cleaning ;). I can even leave the house with dirty dishes on the side. If ‘control issues’ are draining the joy from your life (and probably yoga practice) I hope I can inspire you to take a few risks, live with some uncertainty, get playful, be spontaneous, be vulnerable, allow your partner more autonomy, feel powerless at times and sit with the discomfort, let go and enjoy the ride.
Examples (a tiny few) how ‘over control’ was tipping the balance in my life
Avid list writer, hoarder, labelled, sorter, obsessive tidier ,following diets and detoxes with rigid exercise regime, Perfectionism in Asana, Pushing my bodies limits in practice, Constantly doing 3 things simultaneously, Always rushing, often late, Often an hour early (to avoid above) Exhausted, Irritable, ANXIETY, Tension, Mood swings.
The list goes on but if you’re a ‘control freak type’ my guess is you kinda know it and you know the price you pay for it IS WAY beyond worry.
Some ‘how to’ tips on letting go (BUT it’s really very unique to the individual)
Surrender to the mat!
Learn to trust the process; the Mats got your back.
Let the teacher lead (or the self/Intuition)
Follow your intuition
Learn the voice of the Ego
Make space for mistakes
Fall and get back into the pose (or challenge)
Take breaks when you need them
There’s no race and no finish line
Did I mention Breathe deep : )
Do what you love often
Put yourself first
Speak kindly to yourself
Find poses you release into easily and then notice ones you can’t. Notice how you follow patterns in your practice and break into some new ones.
5 rewards for ‘letting go’ in yoga and in life!
1. Deeper Enjoyment – When you’re in the moment with diminished fear for the consequences of your actions, life becomes high definition. Shred the shroud of guilt that ‘control’ demands, walk head high. YOU ARE ENOUGH EXACTLY AS YOU ARE.
2. Openness and opportunity – You know that saying ‘nature abhors a vacuum’ well when we make space in our life (and practice), when we trust that things will work out, opportunities arise. They just do!
3. Greater connection to self and others – VULNERABILITY EVOKES TRUST, when we take the courage to put ourselves and feelings out there we exude confidence in ourselves and the world, this confidence permeates others, we are drawn into deeper connections through recognizing were all made of the same stuff, dealing with the same ….junk.
4. Creativity and self expression – I can’t tell you how, I can only tell you that creative juices, ideas, inspiration and the joy of expressing yourself are intrinsically linked to letting go and having faith in the bigger picture.
5. Discover the True You – For so many years I worked tirelessly to become the person I thought I should be – SUCCESSFUL, WEALTHY, BEAUTIFUL . Finally I slowed down, loosened my grip on life and made space to recognize I WAS BORN THAT WAY.
I welcome feedback and comment!
Have an awesome day