“Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.” Alan Watts
Often times in life we have an intended outcome and then experience the actual outcome. Sometimes the outcome is better than we had hoped for, and sometimes it falls short. Either way, it is a good idea to practice detaching from any sort of outcome.
I want to be very clear that letting go of an outcome is not giving up on a goal or hope. Think about what teenagers go through when applying to college in this hyper competitive environment. I will share my story as an example. My intended outcome in the college application process was to get into an Ivy League school, however the actual outcome was that I did not get into an Ivy League. As a senior at a very high achieving high school, I felt devastated, inadequate and completely distraught that I would not get to rush a sorority, or study in the library at the school that in my mind I had always envisioned attending. The picture of success I had painted in my head was graffitied by one rejection letter. I was so attached to one specific outcome, that I failed to see the reality, that no matter what University I would attend, I would still be able to create success and happiness for myself, and may even thrive more at the college that did accept me.
Turns out that going to UCSB, a school on the beach just a 4 hour drive from home, was very awesome, and probably a better fit for me than going to a University that had freezing winters, 5 hour plane ride from home, and a highly competitive culture. It is too bad I spent Senior year of high school so focused on what I thought “should be” that I missed the poetic nature of the whole experience.
As you can see, had I dropped the original intention of “going to an Ivy League,” and focused on “how do I experience joy in this situation?” I would have spent a lot less time looking for ways outside of myself to be in control and spent more time enjoying my friends, my family, and my last year of high school (which looking back on it, was probably very fun). You may also recognize, that had I dropped the intended goal of going to an Ivy League, I would have lost nothing and gained a lot. I would have maintained the same level of achievement (getting a great education and experiencing life independently), but could have been at peace and enjoyed my life more along the way.
Where in your life are you attached to an outcome? How is that serving you? What if you were to let it go? What if you could trust yourself, and your inner wisdom that you will always be ok? What if struggle wasn’t really struggle and was simply an opportunity to learn more about yourself and ultimately be a better person?
You may want to consider letting go, just once and seeing what happens. You can always go back to the way you were.
If you are interested in learning how to let go and live with intention but not attached to it, please email me about coaching and mind body practices; I love to help!
Visit my website www.relishlifela.com to read more about having a vibrant mind, body and spirit or to learn more about life & wellness coaching. You can also find recipes & advice on whole body wellness.
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