We may not have control over everything that happens in our lives, but we can learn about letting go of our reactions to challenges that come up for us. When we experience situations where things don’t happen to our liking, how can we maneuver our lives so we at least maintain peace of mind and peace of heart? What is the important thing to control? Is it to control the physical realities of our existence, or is it to learn how to control our reaction to things that might not be of our choosing? We do our best when we find a balance between both.
When we become incapacitated in any way through illness, accident or the aging process, we may lose some abilities that we have taken for granted in the past. What can we do to avoid feeling upset and depressed about the situation or our suffering? One thing we can do is to actually practice ‘letting go’ ahead of time, before such situations hit us. Practice with the small stuff so when the big issues come up, we already have an ability to let go of our attachments.
Are you a perfectionist? Many of us constantly strive for perfection, but in general, nothing always works out exactly the way we want it to. We can practice letting go of the need for everything to be perfect. In this way, we can learn to let go of the inclination to control our lives in every way. It is quite a process as we learn and grow with these concepts.
Most of us prefer to be with people who are generally content and happy with their lives. We are more attracted to people who aren’t always complaining about what they don’t like, but who are cultivating acceptance and appreciation for life, rather than resisting it. The idea of ‘going with the flow’ can be very helpful. Are we able to accept the way things are or do we resist them mightily? ‘Going with the flow’ is not about accepting things that are unacceptable or accepting abuse without putting up a fight. In those cases, we need to take necessary action to mitigate the issues. When we come to an understanding that our attitude actually affects how things turn out, we are more likely to stay positive and focus on our blessings. Most importantly, we get to choose how we live each day.
Letting Go In 12 Steps
1. Accept life as it is given.
2.Practice accepting the imperfect.
3.Let go of need to control everything.
4.Let go of how you think it should be.
5.Let go of judgments.
7.Learn how to control your reactions.
8.Be here now. Live in the moment.
9.Keep an open mind and a happy heart.
10.Practice radical acceptance.
11.Move toward your dreams.
12.Do the best you can and accept divine timing.
Thanks for visiting our Soundings blog. We would love to hear from you about how you have discovered to let go of the need to control. Remember, when you comment here we will send you a free mp3 of our music.
And do take advantage of our Soundings of the Planet Summer Special. 30% off until August 5. Enter code: SUMMER2017 at checkout. Always a good time to experience Peace Through Music. Blessings to you!
Change is a constant factor in our world but few know how to successfully circumnavigate unwanted events or issues that show up in life. During our four decades together, Dean Evenson and I have discovered some helpful tips on how to sail through changes of life’s inevitable ups and downs and move forward in a positive way. Today, we share some of those ideas with you.
Years ago, we were living in an old farmhouse in upstate New York with some fellow video artists. We had recently learned the concept of ‘go with the flow’ but hadn’t really had a chance to put this principle into action. Soon we got our opportunity. Our landlord decided to evict us – and we found ourselves facing a cold winter with no apparent place to go. We decided to apply our newly discovered principle and allow ourselves to ‘flow with the changes’. Instead of complaining about our predicament, we said to ourselves ‘there must be something better coming along’ and we prepared to move forward. Our neighbors and friends were very surprised at our attitude and watched us as we approached a big transition in our living situation without knowing where it would take us. Fortunately, we ended up finding another country house near Woodstock, New York that was large enough for us and a few others. We packed up and moved our whole household there just in time to beat the winter snow. From then on, with every change that came our way, we kept a positive attitude and things always got better.
Years later, we heard Dr. Deepak Chopra explaining what he calls ‘the sea of infinite possibilities.’ We were very inspired by his approach to being open to and actually benefiting from change. He said that since we never know what’s in store for us and sometimes so-called ‘bad’ things happen, we often resist them and let our fears rule us. He suggested we imagine behind us a sea of infinite possibilities, ever undulating and evolving that is always ready to present us with favorable choices. He pointed out that fear, worry and getting upset cause these potentials to freeze up and block the flow the universe is able to provide for us.
Sometimes our life is out of our control, at least for the moment. Big social events and personal or family issues may sweep us into an unknown not-of-our choosing. Suffering happens. Old age, sickness and death are common forms of suffering first recognized by Buddha. As young Prince Siddhartha, he had never seen such things until one day he escaped the confines of the palace and came across those very conditions. He was horrified and commenced on a quest for understanding how to overcome suffering. In his process, he underwent many trials and tribulations before coming across meditation, the Middle Path and the peace of a quiet mind. The first step in the Eightfold Path he postulated is ‘Right Perception’. When things happen that are not to our liking, often the only thing we have control over is our own perception of the situation and how we react to it. When we can embrace change and tap into the ever evolving sea of infinite possibilities, we open to the opportunity of transforming what we initially perceive as a negative, into something much more positive. By simply keeping an optimistic attitude, we find ourselves working with the universal flow instead of against it. This in not to suggest letting yourself be randomly blown by the wind. Instead, no matter that happens, it is important to stay focused on your principles, values and goals. They are your moral compass and the direction your path is heading, no matter a few swerves in the road. By having a clear sense of purpose, when challenges do arise that you don’t have immediate control over, you can take a deep breath, pick yourself up, face the direction of your dreams and move on. We would love to hear how you have learned to cope with change in your life. Let us know what tools you have used to keep going when unexpected or unwanted things happen in your life. Remember, when you comment here on our blog, we’ll send you a free mp3 track of our music as thank you.
I couldn’t resist sharing this wonderful video from Jack LaLanne who was an early forerunner of the fitness movement. Jack enthusiastically taught people how to be healthy through nutrition, exercise and good attitude. Hey doesn’t that sound familiar? It’s what we’ve been talking about for years. This video encapsulates his tone and spirit and is a good one to watch over and over whenever you are feeling down in the dumps. All the money in the world can’t seem to buy happiness so perhaps we need to take a clue from people who have less in the form of material wealth but seem to have it going in the spiritual wealth department. Thank you Jack LaLanne for being such an inspiration! May we continue the quest you began for true health and happiness and share what we have been learning.
Let me know how you find happiness even when times are tough.