Has anyone ever told you to JUST GO WITH THE FLOW? Yeah, right!
Just “surrender”, they say?
Take a chill pill!
Well, last time I checked – people don’t become successful by “chilling”! I mean, how can anyone expect you to rise to riches by letting go and letting the universe take care of things? The control freak in me becomes very edgy at the thought.
And, after all – life is a serious business, isn’t it?
We have responsibilities, we have ambitions, we have career paths, we have plans, we have bills to pay … which means … we need to put pedal to the medal, we need to hustle, we need to work hard, we need to take life seriously.
Taking life seriously will mean we will be taken seriously.
Taking life seriously will mean we are acting like adults.
Taking life seriously will mean progress and success.
And for me, I was always a serious child.
I could go through years of therapy to try and work out why I was so deeply serious, or I could just grow from it and move forward.
I was a serious toddler, I was a serious tween, I was a very serious (and temperamental) teenager and I became a serious adolescent and you guessed it, a serious adult.
Now, I can hear my friends shouting bu**sh*t from the sidelines; “Nicky, you were a wild, crazy child who pushed the boundaries. Nicky, you were often the life of the party and a little bit off the wall.” Um, yes – that’s true – I had my moments and I had many of those moments BUT the underlying consistent current, buried into my being, was seriousness.
I majored in 4 subjects at University (not the mandatory 3).
I started my own business at the age of 22.
I bought a franchise at the age of 24.
I finally joined a “corporate” company at the age of 25.
And I rose through the ranks.
I would never normally admit this, but it’s the truth. I moved swiftly from “training materials developer” to “team lead” to “project manager” to “operations manager” to “regional manager”.
It felt good. And looking back, I realise that my ambition was fuelled primarily by my seriousness. (It was also fuelled by my mom telling me that “it was ok to be average” but that’s a whole other story)
So, there I am – a young adult – carrying a bag of seriousness in the one hand, and a bag of ambition in the other.
Can you picture that? Me carrying two heavy bags?
I am sure you can. And let me colour in the details for you. I was now 28, working crazy hours (sometimes I would be at work at 5 and work through until midnight), extremely thin and in a nutshell, disconnected.
Disconnected from life.
Disconnected from joy.
Disconnected from me.
But I was on a serious mission. A mission to prove myself!
Looking back, I can see the ridiculousness of it all. Like, who was watching me anyway? Who was I trying to please?
And, what happened in the end?
The universe stepped in.
I was in my car, waiting in the driveway for the gate to open and two men came over, tapped on the window with their gun, and hijacked my car.
My bag, my laptop, my phone and my car was stolen but I was left unharmed. Shaken, stirred but alive.
All my close friends and family were worried about how this event would impact me negatively but I knew deep down that the universe had given me a gift. Because when life shakes and shocks you, you feel shaken and shocked. The process of feeling the world shake under your feet forces you to actually take notice of yourself. So, the hijacking was a gift.
A gift of a shift in perspective.
A gift of a change in priorities.
A gift of connection.
From disconnection to connection.
Connection to me.
And let me tell you this.
All tragedies are lessons.
All discomforts are lessons.
All heartaches are lessons.
And these lessons are gifts. Gifts to help you move forward. Gifts to help you get clarity. Gifts to help you get closer to you.
So what was the lesson? What was the universe gifting me with?
I believe that this moment in time lightened the bags of seriousness and ambition that I had been holding onto so tightly.
I stopped working extra hours. I stopped trying to prove myself and I stopped caring what other people thought about me.
And you know what?
Somehow the 2-300 emails I received a day didn’t have to be answered in the moment, somehow life went on, regardless. Somehow, I managed to keep this high flying position working half the hours.
I learnt how to put boundaries in place.
I learnt to “do what I can” without trying to do “everything” to please “everyone”.
I became a lot free-er.
It’s now over 10 years later, and my bags have gotten lighter and lighter, and I now know this:
Life is not a serious business.
“The BASIS of your life is FREEDOM. The PURPOSE of your life is JOY.”
– Abraham Hicks
We are here to experience JOY.
How many of you can say that you experience JOY in your day to day life? Joy means experiencing a sense of jubilation, glee, delight, exhilaration and elation.
Joy can not live in the same space as Fear or the need to control. By trying to control everything (out of fear), we take away from the magic of life.
“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”
– Joseph Campbell
And “letting go” of the plan doesn’t mean giving up and losing all ambition. It doesn’t mean we become lazy and uninspired.
Just the opposite.
Letting go opens us up to connecting with who we really are, it means relaxing into the present moment – and then, letting the magic in.
And this is something you can practice starting right now!
You don’t need to have something BIG happen to you to WAKE YOU UP.
Awareness is the first step to changing your state of happiness. In this moment, right now, you can commit to doing more things that light up your soul, that bring you joy, that make your heart sing.
I invite you now to close your eyes, take a few relaxing breathes in, and make this commitment to yourself – to slowly start to let joy in. To slowly loosen your grip of control and to slowly start flowing with the river of life, letting it take the lead.
Slowly does it.
And why not join our community of daring dreamers, and get support as you take this journey of re-connection back to you.
Wishing you a relaxing, flowing, inspiring, chilling weekend!
Yours in #BigLove
Don’t worry – you don’t have to do this alone!
+ Do you need help letting go and bringing joy back into your life?
I’d love to help ♥
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