We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.
~ Joseph Campbell
What are you holding on to?
Well-meaning advice tells us: have a plan… work the plan… stay the course. And there’s a time and place for a plan. Just like there’s a time and place to take a match and turn it to ash.
It’s comforting to have a plan. It’s a way of having control over things that we often feel overwhelmed by, such as losing weight, managing our finances or finding our ideal career path. A + B + C, and ta-da!, you reach D!
The plan can give us the needed structure to begin. What happens, though, when we’re not meant to stop at D? Or if we need to do E or F before D even becomes possible? If we move lock-step through our plan, nose to the grindstone, eyes on the prize, chances are we’ll miss at least one – if not dozens – of opportunities to stretch into a new possibility.
A great phrase came up in our last “The Best Year of Your Life” book discussion: “I am open to outcomes, rather than attached.”
Being attached to certain outcomes is different from wanting to achieve a goal. Being attached means that we want nothing less, more or different than our desired outcome. We perceive anything else as failure.
Being open to outcomes, however, means that we have a goal in mind while being open to the unpredictability of the journey and how we get there. We are more in line with our intention (how we want to feel) than the finished “product.”
At different times I’ve found myself clutching tightly to ideas about what my life “should” look like and what my path “should” be. I even get tangled up in what other people will think if I deviate from what I perceive they expect (accept?!) of me.
I’m coming out of one of those times. I’ve gradually loosened my grip and allowed some air and light to enter into my thinking. And as I’ve released, I’ve let go of tension… attachment… limiting beliefs. I’ve made room for new possibilities. I am accepting that the life waiting for me just might be bigger and brighter than I ever could have meticulously planned for myself.
Are you ready to open, release and receive what’s waiting for you?