Early this year, I wanted to pull the trigger on an event I’d planned for months. My business coach and I felt this was the right next step, and I missed public speaking, more accurately, ahem, being on stage, so I was excited.
Being a Proper Person, I got my house in order. Hired an event planner. Researched venues and scored my #1 choice – beautiful & under budget. I wrote the run of show and outlined team roles. Put down deposits. Signed contracts. Marketing was about to start. Things were falling into place even more easily than I expected. Here’s my event planner:
So why was I stressed?
Between excitement, I felt huge pangs of anxiety, thinking “How will I pull this off?!” My mind raced at the thought of one more thing I’d have to do. I was moving into a new apartment, planning another event, seeing clients, running my business, running my mom’s business. I’d gone for seven months straight, skipping vacations I promised I’d take. The more time passed, the more stressed I felt. Excitement turned to I-can’t-take-a-deep-breath. Ennui and restlessness set in. My head hurt. Things started to feel HARD.
Just for kicks, I played with dates in my calendar. What if I juggled it around….or moved my Trinidad trip….or just moved the dang thing to next year entirely….
I moved the event to three months later in my calendar without any intention of really moving it. Instantly, I felt energy. So much energy I laughed. I felt my shoulders relax and put my hand on my heart. The heaviness I’d felt for the last few weeks lifted. I smiled a genuine smile for the first time in days.
I asked myself if I really wanted to do the event. Unmistakable answer: NO. “Absolutely NOT.” Admitting it gave me huge relief and within a few minutes, I’d done a 180 with my state of mind. It was surprising how quickly “How will I do this?” became “How will I knock it out of the park?”
We make it much harder than it is when we don’t pay attention to what feels good.
In that moment, I stopped trying to make it work. I stopped controlling and lining things up. Our dreams don’t need to be lined up. They need wiggle room and huge amounts of time. Less lining, more zig-zag. I saw that fear of not wanting to do something wrong or deviate from my plan had been driving my choices. But forcing things was NOT working.
So I let my desires drive. Suddenly, things felt good and possible again.
I now not only saw myself pulling off the event, I saw me doing it with flourish and flavor and magic, just the way I like it. That state of mind is the one I want to create from, not stressed out trying to “pull it together.”
Dreams are meant to bloom fully. And the full bloom takes time, requires space and flexibility. Dreams wither under the weight of stress and control. No matter how badly you want it and how great the result, if you force it, you’ll never want to do it again because the journey will have almost killed you. What looks right, might not be right. Right now, or in six months, or ever. Even as I planned it, I knew there wasn’t a bone in my body that wanted to pull it off. It was only after I moved it three months later that I understood how I’d gotten into the situation in the first place. It was because I hadn’t given myself enough space and freedom that I grew bored and tired. But now that I had real time to plan, I could create something beautiful, not just do it because it fit into my initial plan.
Paying attention to ease gets you the most from your dreams.
It doesn’t mean you’re lazy or irresponsible; It means you know what’s baseline right for you. Even if confusion momentarily sets in, you still know. Had I paid attention to the uneasiness I felt even though things fell into place (universal trick) I could have felt good that much sooner.
Letting go of control allows you to stand in your full capacity, creativity, and splendor. “Making it work” does not. Ironically, when you allow ease to guide you, you have more control because you harness the process, not just the outcome.
Like a Proper Person, I told my coach I moved the event and immediately filled my calendar with lots of space, freedom, and unscheduled time. I booked the trip to Trinidad with my guy, and went to the beach with my book and an ice-cream. Putting ease on par with ambition is a lesson I’ll have to learn again and again, and I’m reassured life will give me enough reminders and chances to practice. Here’s my day at the beach.
What do you need to let go control of today? What are you forcing or stressing about today that just doesn’t feel right? Know that releasing control over the outcome and focusing on what feels good to you can make the difference.