Monday, April 30, 2012

Losing Control

I have lost control.  This is a new feeling for me for I was always an "in control person".  I was always the one to be on top of affairs, run things, coordinate, orchestrate, conduct, facilitate, manage.  This proved very successful during my corporate years as I was rewarded and sought out because I could "make things happen" and "get things done".   I ran every aspect of my life and those in it with diligence. I easily managed  multi-million dollar budgets and several hundred employees in the same manner I orchestrated family trips and play dates.  I was always the "go to girl" for corporate projects, functions, baby showers, or weddings.  Everything always went off successfully.   I thought fast on my feet and always had a back up plan or alternative to ensure a final successful objective.  I recall how proud I was at the "astonishment" of other parents when I gave them a typed Agenda of Events for my son's 5 year birthday party.  It never dawned on me that their reaction may not have been in accolade of my "accomplishment".  I did not notice because my focus was centered on controlling the situation. It was important that I even dictated or at least influenced how others even thought of me and what I was doing.  I was always intent on controlling how I thought I appeared, not realizing that the tight, overbearing grip does not align nor appeal with a peaceful, zen-filled life.  It took a simple act of waste disposal to send me spiraling out of control with a blissful gratitude.

Throwing it all away

Last week, my area was scheduled for a long awaited disposal of yard waste and debris. After a long winter, it was great to clean up loose leaves, dead shrubs, and grass clippings.  As we are in the process of cutting down a dead tree, we had accumulated quite a bit of branches and twigs for disposal.  Since the pick up is not a regularly scheduled event, I had written it on the calendar a month in advance to ensure we would not miss  pick up.  Since my town has strict rules about when and what you can put out on the curb, to place the waste out the night before was not feasible. It was important to put things out first thing in the morning. All day prior to  pick up, I literally calculated how and why I would bound the branch bundles and determined where each would lay. I went to bed ready to get up to get things out bright and early.  When I awoke, I immediately prepared to go outside to start my task.   To my utter surprise, for the first time in years, I had slept longer than I wished to.  I immediately began to panic, feeling the control slip from my grasp.  My house was quiet.  My family had already left for the day.  I had missed their departure, something I had not ever done.  When I opened my front door ready to get back on track, lo and behold, to my utter surprise,  the waste was prepared and placed at the curb, ready for pick up.  My family had taken care of it.  No, they did not calculate  how, why or where to do it; nor did they "consult" with me, they just did it.  I went back in and sat down.  This simple act became an earth shattering revelation for me.  The objective was accomplished and I had nothing to do with it.  I had no control over it.  I had lost control and all was still standing.  With no control, I had just learned how  to rely and how to depend.


When I started practicing yoga,  as I first began my vegan transition, I never hesitated to accept the assistance of others.  I naturally sought out others for help in areas I had no knowledge.  Perhaps the humility of the practice and the quieting of my mind allowed my heart become open to dependence.  In this instance, I came to the realization that you can not control that which you do not know and that is it okay not to know. I discovered a new found freedom in accepting the guidance and reliance of others, discovering that as I became more agile in poses and more knowledgeable in raw vegan consumption, I find I need not be in control, that things will eventually fall into place exactly where and as it should at the precise moment it is meant to occur.  Being present in the moment and acceptance of self "as-is" was wonderful in my yogic vegan life however it took the trash episode to break the grip of mental control I still maintained on everything outside of the vegan, yogic circle.  I am finally beginning to loosen up.
Loosening Up

In my past, the worst in the world that could ever happen would be to lose control.  The epiphany of last week has shown that loosing control is not a terrible thing at all.  It is something we all can do on a regular basis.  Loosen up and let it go. For in reality, you never were in control of others anyway.  You can't control other people or other things.  There is an arrogance somewhere hidden within the thought of being "controlling" that facilitates such thought.  Let it go.  Imagine an empty glass on an empty table.  Allow the glass to fill up slowly with water.  See the water fill the glass to the brim and feel the water spill over the sides onto table and run in all directions off of the edge.   Imagine yourself as the water.  Imagine  you filling up glass to the brim as you slowly begin to spill out in all directions, all over the place with no control...dispersed.   Instead of focusing on self, become so full of yourself that you have had enough, that you now must spill out into the unknown to spread and share that which you used to try to keep contained in the one glass on one table.  

As you lose grip of that which you held too tightly, let it go, as well as what others may think of you, of expectation, of objective if each is something that continues to keep you bound and wound around artificially created stresses and desires.   If your hands are in, on, and around everything, it is time.  Time to learn to look to see your true self.  Realize that a typed agenda for a "party" of 5-year olds is absurd.  Realize that attempting to manipulate your view upon others in an the attempt to influence their view of you is selfish and inconsiderate.  Stop, reflect, look through your trash for your "ah-ha" moment.  Realize that sometimes, it is okay to be out of control, to throw it all away, to accept dependence. Understand that you don't have to know or do everything, to touch everyone, or to always be in control.  Accept that through meditation and breath, you can let your mind drift to free your spirit, releasing the grasps and tensions that kept you up on your toes, holding up shoulders, eyebrows, hair, heart rates, agendas and schedules.  Know that when you return to your physical state, you will see just as I have, that the earth is still rotating on its axis, that objectives were met, that others helped and that everything is fine, just as it should be.

Yoga - Partner Poses

When practicing yoga with a partner, one practices dependence as the full benefit of the posture can not be realized without release of personal control.  Instead of focusing on "self", the focus is to be reliable to and to rely upon "other".  Partner poses provide deeper stretches, connectivity, challenge, and increased strength.  Partner practice facilitates awareness of letting go of control, letting go of self, and encourages reliance, bonding, sharing,  and awareness.  


Lisa is Raw on $10 a Day (or less!) said...

Nicely said. The partner poses are beautiful!

Yoga Girl said...

Namaste dear Lisa!