A week before my last public OPERATION SHINE! workshop I had only two people booked and paid for, so I was starting to think I might have to cancel the session. For a few weeks prior to this, I’d been working hard on promotion, through social media, networking events, paid-for advertising, announcements after yoga classes, leaflet drops around the town and to my neighbours. I even asked Dave to pass my flyers to his clients. But all this effort didn’t seem to make any difference. Still not enough bookings to go ahead and only 6 days to go… I wondered if this was the Universe’s way of telling me that I’d got to the end of the line with the public workshops, that I needed to concentrate instead on the inhouse workshops for groups…Or, when my self-doubt was at its worst, whether I was barking up the wrong tree completely and OPERATION SHINE! was not going to continue…Worse still, that I’d made a mistake and OPERATION SHINE! was not part of my life-purpose after all…a thought that left me feeling dumbfounded and sad.
You see for so long I have believed that it is only through hard work and effort that I can achieve what I most desire. This is what I was taught when I was young – and I think that’s what most of us learn. And for the most part I have achieved my life goals, focusing my efforts, working hard and getting to where I want to be, creating, launching and managing new ideas and projects successfully. All this effort over the years has come at some cost, however – imbalance in my life, too much work and not enough play, an over-busy mind, too much planning and not enough spontaneity, being over-controlling for fear of failure, creating stress-related illnesses and exhaustion. Too much effort. Not enough surrender.
But I have learned through my own self-development journey and spiritual path that I can let go more, I can DO less, and BE more, and by so BE-ing, I can actually achieve more. I allow space for the wonder and creativity, the ideas and inspiration when I take time to just BE. I can let the Universe put things into place, if indeed this is what is meant to happen…It’s an amazing idea isn’t it? DO less and ACHIEVE more. Counter-intuitive for most of us, I know! Of course, in the case of my business, I have to let people know about my workshops through the communication means I have available to me – they wouldn’t find out telepathically after all! But what I don’t need to do is get so anxious – about whether the workshop will take place or not, about persuading people to come along, about how I tell people I need to cancel if I have to…I can promote ‘just enough’, let go and see what happens. I can trust. That’s the difficult bit, however. Trusting and letting go…I’m not used to that. But my recent life has shown me that when I have trusted and let go, things have always worked out…usually even better than I expected…
But of course, three weeks ago I forgot all this and with only two people booked I worked too many days and too many hours to make OPERATION SHINE! happen. I worried. I tried not to, because of the above learnings. I tried to be philosophical, but somehow my inner saboteurs kept creeping back to undermine me.
And then, two weeks before the workshop I felt so tired. I remember walking back from town and I could hardly put one foot in front of the other. I had to have a lie down when I got home. This is not usual for me and I suspected I was going to get a cold – or even worse the flu. When I have felt like this in the past I have sometimes managed to head off illness with a good night’s sleep, but not this time. And it was a humdinger of a cold! Started in my chest, then up to my head and nose, then back down to my chest. Lovely! I was out of action over the weekend and for most of the following week, with my worst two days falling on two of the hottest days of the year.
Over the first weekend, however, not wanting to go out or able to move much, I spent a lot of time in our lovely Ikea rocker rereading The Magical Approach – one of the Seth books channelled by Jane Roberts. And lo and behold! this book is all about letting go…making less effort and reminding us that ‘behind the scenes’ so much is going on to support us all in our lives…the magical laws of attraction, of intuition, creativity and divine economy…I’d forgotten what this book was about and it had almost jumped off the shelf at me when I was looking for something to cosy up with. I laughed out loud when I read it again! A perfect reminder. How magical was that? Ha!
Then three days before the workshop, when I was just considering how to cancel and following days of quiet as I looked after the tail end of my cold, I found I had six people booked in and paid for! The workshop went ahead and was a delight.
What I have learned from this situation, is that there is a subtle ‘tension’ for me (and for us all I guess) between action and surrender, effort and letting go. So how will I know next time when to let go and trust the Universe to ‘do it’s thing’? How can I avoid moving from the good-feeling of ‘just enough effort’ into the uncomfortable-feeling of over-efforting based on anxiety and fear, which led to my exhaustion and illness? And there, in my own words, is my answer! I can notice, HOW DOES IT FEEL? Like all situations in my life (and yours I guess) when it feels light, natural, effortless, uplifting, GOOD…carry on, I’m on the right track. As soon as it starts to to feel heavy, tiring, anxiety-led, uncomfortable, BAD, that’s when my body and mind is telling me it’s time to do things differently, time to let go. And I realise that this feeling started in my mind, with the fearful thinking, and was followed by the feelings in my body. Hm. A prime example of how our thoughts affect our bodies, eh? I hope this situation has raised my awareness enough to help me let go sooner next time…Perhaps, remembering what happened this time, I could stop myself and review what I am doing as soon as I start to feel the anxiety creeping in…
I am reminded of the well-known serenity prayer…
Grant me the serentity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference
And I have created my own version for Letting Go, to remind me of the magic that lies behind it all, for me and for you:
Grant me the serenity to know how much to act
The courage to trust and let go
And the wisdom to know when to effort, and when to surrender
Namaste Lovely Ones! X