The world is filled with self-help teachers. Go into any bookstore and you will find shelves filled with books telling you how to live abundantly, find the perfect relationship, shift your baggage, release your fears……the message is generally always the same, just written in different ways. The Magic, The Secret, The Breakthrough Process, The Success Principles, The Journey. Different processes, great books and also numerous workshops by powerful teachers. I have to wonder, if it was as easy as many of these books say it is, why are there still thousands of people struggling, in basic survival mode, barely making it through a day let alone a month or a year? I think it all boils down to one thing. Well two actually. Self-discipline and commitment. We want the change, we want all the good things but let’s be honest, we are not always inclined to make the changes we need to in order to bring that about! We know we should eat better, exercise more, use our creative energy, watch less TV, go to bed earlier, meditate, have quiet time. We may even manage it for a week or two. But somehow, it’s so easy to fall back into the old habits.
Is it because these changes become another item on our “to do” list? Most of us already have a “to-do” list that makes us wilt when we look at it! So perhaps we tap into that rebellious inner child who stamps their foot and says “I will eat sugar/salt/wheat/junk food and watch trashy TV reality shows. Don’t tell me what to do!”
The further I walk along this road which I suppose can be called a spiritual journey, the more I see that letting go and surrendering is a powerful tool for change. When I stop beating myself up about what I eat/don’t eat, the number of times a week I exercise and the fact that I am not writing enough, suddenly I find that not only do I want to do these things, but I also find the time to do them. I go to Pilates because I love it. I love the strength and flexibility it is building in my body. It’s no longer about “I must exercise” and more about “I am loving the way my body is looking and feeling.” I find odd moments to write and suddenly writing becomes part of my week instead of something I try and fit into my diary (and usually fail to do).
13 years ago, I started running empowerment workshops for youth – I tried every which way to find the right avenue for this work. Time and time again doors opened, I would get all excited and then bam! They would slam shut. I cannot count the number of times I have sat sobbing, frustrated and so sure that it never was going to happen for me, my husband, sweet man, holding me and assuring me that my time WOULD come.
It seems that finally it has. It’s early days yet but it’s looking good. I’m taking it one step at a time. What changed? I let go and I stopped stressing about the “How”. I stopped waiting for the door to open. I created my own door. Well more of a cat flap really! On a small scale, in a way that was workable for me. Because I realized that I could make a difference in the life of one person. And the change in that one person meant they would go and change the space around them. So instead of chasing the “I need to make this happen” on a big scale I started to allow it and be open to creating it. It became a part of my life as opposed to a goal I seemed to be endlessly running after. I made a choice to take a chance.
As I look back on my life I see how much time I have spent trying to “fix” me. Believing that the way I functioned in the world was “wrong”. But I see now that I am not a Robin Sharma who gets up at 5am every day for his holy “me” hour. I am not a Jack Canfield or a John Demartini. I am uniquely Di. So I have stopped beating myself up for being “less than”. Or “not enough”. I have started to allow life. That means all of life. The great days and the not-so-great days. The days when all I want to do is crawl into bed, throw the covers over my head and retreat. The days when I am bursting with excitement and passion for what I do. The days when togetherness with my husband is the order of the day. All of that is me, and I will allow it. It may not work for anybody else and that’s fine. It works for me.
Allowing life means that you need to be fully present in each moment. That is when you can hear the wisdom and the guidance from your body and that higher place within you. That place that knows. The place of Presence. When we stop chasing the dream of being perfect, happier, thinner, richer is, strangely enough, when we may find a greater sense of peace. Sometimes what we yearn for will begin to appear, or we may even find we no longer desire it! When we allow that quiet whisper of knowing is often when the shift starts to happen. When we start saying “I will” instead of “I must” or “I should”.I have discovered that I can have quiet moments in the busiest of days and I can have “holy” time in queues and traffic jams. I can allow myself to make conscious choices. The more I allow this, the easier it seems to become.
So, what are you doing to start allowing in your life? What is your quiet whisper of knowing? One of my very favourite quotes, below, is from Gary Zukav. Allowing is a powerful tool to bring you ever closer to Authentic Power.