All the ooky-spooky books, websites etc talk about ‘letting go’ and all that jazz and how it improves our lives; all the ancient texts are full of it. The idea being, if we get to that point of absolute surrender, we experience a greater quality of life in every area from relationships to physical health, personal achievement to our ability to work with others. The information appears to be true. Many of us know people who seem serene – who have managed to let go of internal struggles and who have achieved all of those things. The nitty-gritty of how to do that seems to be the issue.
I know I would love to live with that sense of internal peace, but didn’t know how to achieve that state for myself. It’s still a work in progress but here’s the next installment on how I’m heading in that direction. I’m calling it, Open Palm Living.
The idea came while I was watching our three year-old climbing the fence a couple of weeks ago. I have a policy of Open Palm Parenting – in that, we don’t push our boys to achieve things, but we also don’t stand in their way when they are compelled to do them. We never taught Mr Three to climb the fence but the fence was there, the bigger boys climbed it, he watched them, he tried and eventually, over time he was able to do the same. (Sometimes with assistance, which I give in an unflustered and unhurried manner, even if he’s screaming.)
I don’t close my hand around him – as in over-protection, but I also don’t use my hand to push him away either – as in encouraging or enticing him to try things he’s not currently interested in doing. He just does things as he is driven to do them, and achieves – usually before his peers. (All the boys do this.)
The connection is this: I am consciously allowing things and people to come and go in my life as they naturally come and go – as if I have an open palm and they hop on or off as they choose. I’m not trying to hold outcomes in my closed hand: I’m not ruminating over the next conversations I will probably never have with other people; I’m not imagining scenarios which will probably never happen and holding on to what I think I want the outcomes to be. I’m also not pushing people to be convinced of my point of view: I’m working on stating what I have to say, and not reasoning or try to negotiate with them; I’m not pushing events to work according to my schedule - I am not getting my knickers in a knot, as much, when life interferes with my plans. And if I find myself regressing, I imagine my palm is flat and open, and I immediately chill out.
The other part of Open Palm Living is my newly found connection with the sensations in my body. Allowing them to come as they chose and allowing the associated memories and emotions to rise with them. The last two posts were about this – so go there if you haven’t read them already. It’s not always pleasant, but I am more aware of the transience of feelings and have a greater understanding that the rotten sensations will pass – even though they feel eternal at the time.
This doesn’t mean that I have given up on dreams or don’t want to make changes to my life. The difference is I don’t make plans. I just do.
I want my life to be like this, so I act like this. I intend my life to look this way, so I behave as if it is already happening. Karyn now behaves as Karyn of the future. I hold an image of my future, but I’m not caught up in how to make that happen.
It’s not so much that everything gets done when I think it should be done (it does happen, but not according to my pushy-pushy schedule). It’s more I behave like the person I intend to be. Although the winter was a time of learning to let my shadow-side be in an Open Palm way, I’ve been doing the whole she-bang for about 10 days now. It’s working like magic.
I find my fullstops easier when I am talking to people. I have had more fun and spontaneity in my life. Opportunities have arisen that I may not have wanted, but that fit with life at the moment, so I’ll take them. I am far, far less stressed. I have a deep internal knowing that I can handle what ever comes my way.
There will be things I wish to happen in my future, and things I don’t wish to happen. Some of those things could be dreadful. Some could be wonderful. They can come and go as they choose. I am truly, deeply, wonderfully confident that I can deal with them whatever happens.
My ego is largely disengaged, and less panicky. Life is happening. I feel fabulous.