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The Illusion of Control

Oct 11, 2022 | Daily Trek, F*ck the Bucket List

Control is an Illusion - Radical Trekking - Ayelet Baron

On Being in Control

We have been taught to always be in control. Many of us have been conditioned to love predictability and safety. And fear the unknown. As a result, we have attached ourselves to a way of life that doesn’t always welcome spontaneity and flow.

My friend Diane reminded me of John O’Donohue’s wisdom: “Unfinished Poem. I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.”

What no one teaches us that it’s healthy to let go of attachments to outcomes. When we get up in the morning, for example, and hope we have a “good” day, we may be setting a trap for ourselves. Why would we need to hope for such a day? What if instead, we simply got up excited and let our curiosity guide our day?

The deeper question is: what is driving our life and who is actually driving? What if our real work begins when we embrace uncertainty? 

Trusting the Currents

When we are guided by a fear that our deepest hopes will be shattered or that we need to “manifest” that partner or job or outcome, we are actually giving away our power. Didn’t we come to this planet to be a powerful creator of a healthy life? Are we not here to support ourselves and each other in community? Is it so simple that we can’t always understand the need to flow with ease?

Imagine that you start practicing unconditional love and trusting the currents, which means you have no room for even the smallest judgment. This does not discount the role of discernment, but you can discern without judgment. That is the key to opening the pathways within you to possibilities and opportunities.

Judgments, shaming and blaming yourself and others weigh you down and keep you stuck. Letting go of judgment sets you free as conflicts and disharmony within yourself and others fall away. You no longer need to attach yourself to the echos of your past. And you have to show up, fully, for yourself first.

There are many who try to control us; from how we live, what we think, what we consume and what gets our attention. But when we step into our power, we begin to make conscious choices and discern what and who is healthy for us. We let go of outside influences that are not healthy for our wellbeing. We begin daily practices that meet our needs. There is no formula on how to live a meaningful life.

Learning to ask for help is something we can only do ourselves as no one truly knows what we need or what we’re going through.

What if courage is about acknowledging how powerful you truly are, and also about letting go of what you cannot control by trusting the unknown?

The Illusion of Control

Being in flow means letting go of needing to control everything and allowing life to unfold. What if there is nothing to control?

When we stop trying to control everything, our experiences take shape in more meaningful ways than we ever imagined.

We are powerful creators and so much rests on whether we choose to live in awareness. Can you let go of needing to control outcomes and embrace the not knowing? What happens when you un-stuff your day or to-do list?

Bruce Lee believed in flowing; a revelation that unlocked a deeper, more spiritual level of martial arts for him:

“Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”


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