I recently wrote ‘How To Be An Organised Free Spirit‘, inspired by the peace and serenity a little planning and organisation brings me. Hopefully sharing it will help me to remember the amazing benefits of having some structure to my days.
It’s easy to get stuck in rigid ways of thinking when we start to plan a little too much though. Ever since writing that post life has been showing me the beauty of letting go and trusting the universe.
Before my trip to southeastern Europe I was starting to worry about how I would afford it, as well as going to Portugal in October. I knew I could easily get more work if I put in a little effort, but my heart was yearning for creative expression, rest, and all the things that don’t earn me any immediate money!
I had a choice of whether to follow my mind or heart, so obviously I chose heart! I spent time singing and playing guitar, drawing pictures of monsters, and taking walks in the woods. It felt so good that it was impossible to regret it.
As if by magic, massage bookings and enquiries came out of nowhere, and I even won £30 on the lottery (my Grandma insists on buying us tickets every week!). I’d also been slightly concerned at having nowhere of my own to live for a short while during the summer, but luckily a house-sitting opportunity arose for exactly that time.
Things were never that bad. The worst that could have happened was possibly having to cancel one of my many holidays this year, so choosing to take a step back wasn’t much of a risk. I would never advocate risking anything that you can’t afford to lose, but when the outcome really doesn’t matter, letting go of our need to control everything can be so rewarding.
I’d arrived in Zadar, Croatia, determined only to stay a couple of days. With so many more places further afield to explore, I didn’t want to be stuck in one place. I hadn’t even intended to go to Zadar, it was just a convenient place to fly in to.
The second I stepped off the bus from the airport though, everything changed. The pictures and videos I’d seen online failed to capture the spirit of this beautiful place. As soon as I arrived I knew I needed to stay longer. It wasn’t something big or striking that called me to stay, it was simply the tranquil feeling that came over me as I strolled along the harbour that night.
It was early in the season, before the masses of tourists were to arrive for summer. The weather was warm but not too hot, and the crystal clear water that surrounded the town brought with it a peaceful purity that calmed my soul. I was eager to explore as much of the area as possible, but my heart wanted to stay, so again I listened to it.
As time went on, my expectations and plans were challenged in more direct and harsher ways, and it took me longer to see the beauty. I have a STRONG emotional attachment to food, and if I miss a meal I actually worry that I may starve to death! However, this trip had me in situations that seriously confronted this. I came out the other side of the utter panic to realise that, surprisingly enough, a few days in a row of missing meals and eating only rice crackers, fruit, and whatever other tiny scraps of vegan food I could get my hands on, wasn’t going to kill me!
I feel sooo much stronger for it. I understand this would not be a big deal for most people, but to confront one of my biggest fears was extremely empowering. I also deal very badly with not having enough sleep, and when combined with hunger the result for me was not pretty! However, looking back I am so incredibly grateful for the chance to confront these difficult emotions, because coming out the other side felt amazing!
I let go in so many other ways, made so many new friends, and had adventures that I would never have dreamed of a few weeks ago. With the help of some fantastic people, I threw myself into social situations which felt uncomfortable at first, but I was able to push through to find happiness and connection on the other side. Sacrificing my comfort zone lit up my world, bringing so much vibrancy and joy.
This is the lesson I want to remember. Not the discomfort and anxiety triggered by letting go, but the wonderful aliveness that comes as a result. So next time I am wondering whether to dive head first into something unknown, I hope I will remember the beauty of letting go, and that every time I’ve done it the benefits have far outweighed any temporary suffering it has caused.
When was the last time you let go? Was it easy or did you suffer? Was it worth it?? Let me know in the comments below 🙂