Giving Up Control and Letting Life Flow

Giving Up Control and Letting Life Flow

I knew right from the start that 2015 was going to be an interesting year for me.

Early in 2014 I’d struck out on my own as a freelance writer and started to pursue the development of a location independent lifestyle. Then, after 2014 concluded on a less than spectacular note, I conducted a review of the year, including a section looking ahead to 2015. I stated straight off that everything was going to change, that 2015 would be something different that I’d ever experienced before.

Now, I didn’t know exactly how 2015 would be different, I just intuitively knew that it would. Of course, to be fair, many of my adult years have changed fairly drastically from year to year, so I’m not exactly a stranger to change.

But I wanted to really up the ante with 2015.

So, I did what most anyone would probably do in my situation - I started to make some tentative plans. Plans for travel, plans for writing…even plans for moving away from Chicago for a while, which I had always fairly contentedly referred to as home.

Yet even with all those forward-facing efforts to see what I could do with my life this year, the single biggest move I made was this:

I threw my arms open to the universe, with absolutely no reservations or presumptions, and said “show me what you got!”

Boy, did the universe deliver.

It’s barely a month into the new year and ever since I’ve let control go and opened the doorway to endless possibilities, amazing things have come rushing in from every direction. So many integral aspects of my life on this day, from work to friends to my future direction, would have been completely foreign to me only four or five months ago.

One of the most major developments is my recently accepted position as a production assistant doing events for a global network marketing travel company. I’ve worked on the side in production-oriented roles here and there for years, but this is my first “full-time” one, so to speak, which will keep me globetrotting from Europe to Asia to Australia throughout the year as a part of my work.

In fact, I sit in Hong Kong as I write this. Hence, everyone can expect the “travel” part of my self-described profession as a travel writer to increase dramatically.

In addition to the production work, need I mention the excellent good fortune that the company is in fact a travel company who produces various travel products? Collaboration has already begun in that department as well, and it seems the connection will be full of opportunities for both sides.

The sudden appearance of this new position had me scrambling to rearrange travel plans and visits to old friends, but I’ve still found a way to fit everything in. Some of those old friends I’m thrilled to be reconnecting with after many years, and those connections in and of themselves have created some very interesting possibilities for the more distant future.

Not to mention the new friends. Ahh the new friends…there’s something about spending 16-18 hours a day with a group of folks that quickly turns them into a surrogate family. At the last event we held a surprise party for one of our production posse, and as I looked around at the dead tired but still smiling faces of everyone, I suddenly felt so close to all of them.

We travel across the globe together and work intimately for a week or so, then each fly back to our little respective homes and enjoy our “real worlds” until we meet again. It’s such a fascinating dynamic….but man, have I already had the pleasure to become acquainted with some really good people.

My complete change of course for however long into the future has also drastically altered my writing career. At the beginning of 2015, I was preparing to step up my game in content writing of all sorts. But that’s been shifted along with everything else, for the better I feel.

Moving forward, my content and article writing will solely be in the field of travel, which is terribly convenient as it is not only my field of knowledge but also of interest.

Concurrently, I’ll be using my free time to more throughly explore the world of self-publishing and ebooks. I’ll have the learning experience this spring of self-publishing my first eBook, a self-guided tour of the filming locations for the TV show Lost on the island of Oahu.

So, the biggest lesson in all this?

Stop trying so hard.

I see so many people that are downright desperate to control their lives. From insisting on the exact time when they want love to find them to letting an escalation of commitment keep them in situations that should have been abandoned long ago, it’s unfortunate that many don’t see the paradox here…that this singular need for control is ultimately is what causes the downfall they work so hard to avoid.

One of Buddhism’s most important teachings is the theory of impermanence, whose basic message is this:

Everything changes.

If there’s anything to be learned from my experience, it’s that sometimes you have to let go and let the river of life take you where it will. That doesn’t necessarily being unambitious, apathetic, or lazy. By all means, have dreams and goals you chase after. After all, what would a life be without those?

But being open to those hints life throws at you (or sometimes, downright shoves straight in your face) can open doors that were perhaps never even dreamed of. It seems we’re all so busy with our own agendas that they blind us to the wonders that just might be right in front of us.

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