Life is hardly ever black and white - shades of gray color our existence. Uncertainty keeps life exciting and is always at bay unless we close ourselves off from the outside world and live in a bubble.
Don’t get me wrong; I love living in a bubble! My hubby and I both work from home, and although we interface with our clients on email, via phone or video, we have little interaction with partners, co-workers, colleagues, and the like, like ordinary people. 😊
Mostly, we work on our projects, take our children to and from school, and on occasion, visit with friends. We live a quiet life, as neither of us has family that lives in the same town. Our drama is minimal, and we like this lifestyle that we have lived for the past few years.
We are, however, adventurers by heart. We love exploration, travel and experiencing new cultures. And with our decision to move across the country, our routine has happily been disrupted.
Let’s say we are working on loosening our need for control.
To mix things up and satiate our desire for adventure, we are taking our children on a three-month vacation to Paris, France. When we return in September, we will be settling in New York City (I’ll be a 3rd-time residence there - it’s a homecoming!) 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
We have our lodging in Paris for the next three months, but short of this, nothing is specific. I chuckle and consider this is our custom program to release the need for control.
Control is a universal human need - like safety, security, and companionship. What makes life exciting and terrifying is uncertainty. Everyone I know, myself included loves being in the know. As I have been observing myself through the transition of moving and jet-setting across the ocean in our next adventure, I have come to realize how much I am addicted to being in control.
And so, aside from adventure, we are expecting to be a bit out of control. Even the moving process feels a bit out of control.
For example, this week, as I am busy working with the house, I find myself here, reading and proofreading this post, preparing to have it up. I am confident that as I post this, I will continue to receive comments to update the blog due to misspellings and grammar. (Yes! My blogging audience is gentle and forgiving - thank you, Loves!! ☺️ I am so grateful for this loving support). There are times when I am totally aware that I am outside my comfort zone and remind myself to surrender my addiction to control and seemingly “need-to-know-ness.”
1. Addicted to Control
There is an underlying addiction that we are all subjected to in modern living. In a sense, we are addicted to control: the need to know.
This knowing that I am referring to is not the knowing in our hearts, but instead, the knowledge in our heads.
We are the product of the information and technology age, and thus have vast amounts of data available to feed our noggins. Information is delivered and digested in virtually every interaction we have. It seems we have a pretty good handle on controlling our knowledge from the intellectual point of view.
The Solution is to Integrate.
Both Head and Heart must merge! Along with the heart space, our natural intelligence could stand to be more intentional. It seems we might need to work a bit harder to reap the knowledge that lies in our hearts. Some of us have, after all, spent a lifetime protecting, disconnecting and forsaking our hearts.
If you have ever thought you made a great decision because you made it based solely on numbers, data and/or facts, but still do not feel quite right, you may have forsaken your heart.
If you’ve ever gone with what’s safe, less risky, what’s conservative and ignored the call of the heart, you may have to squelch your heart’s cry.
Living life based solely on the intelligence of the brain at the neglect of our heart may be giving into our addiction to control.
Faith in the Conspiring Good of the Universe
Having faith and taking action has a similar dynamic for me. Like the head and the heart, one informs the other. I consider myself a deeply faithful woman. I don’t mean in a religious sense, however.
My faith lies in the sense of conviction all things conspire to my highest soul evolution. And still, with the faith that starts at the size of a mustard seed, it grows because I believe.
As I believe I am indelibly connected and blessed, I have faith that all will be well: what goes up (like tossed salad) lands o it’s feet; what may feel like discord will result in harmony. It is the way of nature, so long as I don’t fight it - the calm and the good will come.
When the time comes for me to take action, I do it. Taking guided action, too, is part of my practice of living faith.
Many people would gasp at being away for three months. Not I! I love it!! It feels like an opportunity to write a chapter in the book of life! A whole new world to explore and discover. And that I don’t speak French (yet! ☺️), which will be even more intriguing! 😳
As an American in France, and not speaking French will genuinely require me to practice faith and action together!
2. Letting Go of the Comfort Zone
We have knowingly and intentionally decided to be in the cloud of unknowing. We are courageously following our heart, our bliss and our calling to do this!
Living in this cloud requires us to let go of what feels ordinary and safe.
Moving is an opportunity to practice recognizing, remembering, and rejuvenating our intentional life, living from the wholeness of our entire being.
To allow not merely our heads to make decisions, but to also honor our sacred hearts in on important decisions.
The intelligence of the heart, coupled with the presence of mind cultivates an intuitive trust.
3. Courage in The Stillness
By stilling the mind, we might bridge the data our heart has to offer, to balance our inner sense of knowing.
In the stillness, my soul ignites. I connect to the world through communing with nature, practicing gratitude, and fostering awareness of the good that is in my life. This time alone, I consider my spiritual time. Stillness and spending time in The Silence gives me the courage to surrender control.
4. A Practice of Non-Attachment
Moving is a practice of non-attachment.
We realize that our lifestyle is against the grain for most “normal” people. Many live in or around a single geographic location, mostly within a region or state. They work hard for stability, to buy a home, stay put, raise a family and create community. Naturally, most people are attached to the life they’ve worked hard to set up (and get just right!)
Both my spouse and so are not typical people. Our lifestyle, even as we age, is unconventional. We love the freedom of being able to explore life, meet new people and experience different cultures, even within the same country.
Being a couple has enabled us to develop our strengths into superpowers, making us seem ultra crazy, I mean compatible.😂
For most people, one cross-country move is crazy. Together as a family, this will be our 8th time (not a typo) relocating across country or region or ocean.
That sounds nutty, even to me as I see these words on the screen. We have moved for work, for graduate degrees, and to satisfy our curiosity to explore. We learn every time we move and uproot, about ourselves, our friends and about life!
And you know, sometimes (almost every time), the week before the move feels chaotic and a bit (entirely) out of control.
5. Aligned to Bliss:: The Payoff to Surrendering Control
Most people ask us how and why we choose to put ourselves in the unknowing knowingly. How do we live with the chaos, anxiety, so much out of control-ness of moving? After all, relocating is rated as one of highest stressors ever!
The answer is simple - our baseline as a family may be very different than the typical family. We know that any chaos, anxiety or "messy-messy" that comes up is temporary. We focus on our bliss, which is aligned and integrated with our value system as a family unit.
6. The 5 Core Family Values that Take Us Places (literally!)
Core Family Value #1 :: Adventure
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. Helen Keller. Both my spouse and I felt this way before we got together. As a couple, we seem more compatible because we know each other well, and can support and foster adventure in our life.
Core Family Value #2 :: Non-attachment
Non-attachment is a lifelong practice for both of us. The attachment to people, places, and things is a natural human dynamic. The clinging itself leads to much suffering. The awareness of affection and the practice of non-attachment helps me become a more resilient person. I am stronger because I can bend with the wind and not break because of rigidity.
Core Family Value #3 :: Home is where the heart is
My home is not the building in which I live - it isn't even where my things are. My home is wherever my husband and children are. My centering and grounding are not about a house - it is about the heart. We can be anywhere, so long as we are together, and we are safe at home.
Core Family Value #4 :: Community
We have an expanded community. We build heart relationships. We firmly believe in the idea that “like attracts like.” We are okay with finding our soul sisters and brothers as we travel. We don’t have compromising relations with people whom we don't necessarily get along. If you are in our life, you are a keeper! In this way, our circle and our family transcends that of blood, to the soul.
Core Family Value #5 :: Carpe Diem
Seize the day. So far as I know, I have only one precious human life. I want to live, experience and embrace where ever it is my heart take me. After all, following my heart eventually led me to my love and husband, who has a freakishly similar perspective and attitude in life. So you know, I am happily following my bliss, decidely living the *bleep* out of each day, and loving my life.
We are not traditionalists. I have to say that I am truly blessed beyond measure because my husband Clifford and I have found each other. He is the lid to my pot. We are compatible in most ways, and it makes for a harmonious and symbiotic relationship. (Yay!!).
The five practices of surrender to control noted above edge me out of my comfort zone.
- Recognizing My Need for Control
- Letting Go of the Comfort Zone
- Finding Courage in The Stillness
- Practicing Non-Attachment
- Aligning to and Following My Bliss
- Living my Family Values
These practices to surrender control tame my addiction to the need to know. The support of an excellent spouse and our shared family values enable me to courageously lean into the bliss that is my one precious life. (hooray!)
As I carry one today, I am surrendering control and following my bliss! And now, time to finish loading up that truck! 😉
Please Raise Awareness and Share The Love ❤️
Be well, my friends. Before you hop off, please share as you are called:
What about your life are you feeling out of control with? Can you identify blessing in disguise?
Are you much of an adventurer?
What is a positive takeaway from this week’s post?
What are your surrendering to be at peace today?
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