For overachievers, surrendering downstream may be the hardest thing. Ever.

Rachel Davis Unsplash

I got a call from one of my beautiful clients today and she was trying not to beat herself up for the fact that her life was taking her in a different direction — and, in order to immerse herself in the ways that would best fit her now, she had to push 'pause' on our working together.

There were things she wanted and things she needed to do, forces which occasionally conflicted with each other, but that she was aiming to learn how to find the greatest grace to navigate.

She's similar to so many other female clients.

She's similar to me.

If you were raised in a strict family that expected overachiever kind of straight-A results, if you internalized external responses as validation for your worthiness, if you ever felt pressure from others that you then adopted as an inner norm, then you likely know what I'm talking about.

It used to be that "surrender" to me equaled "weakness."

Instead of resting when the bronchitis I had told me my body was overtaxed, I went ahead and went surfing.

Instead of feeling okay about having to take off two weeks because I caught pneumonia, I felt riddled with guilt the entire time I was trying to heal.

Instead of learning how to let go of the perfectionist tendencies I had, I developed shingles — at the age of 26.

It took me awhile to learn that pushing didn't mean better. 

In fact, what my body and Life were telling me was that pushing was making things worse.

By the time I finally learned how to let go (a practice I continue to come back to, especially in nurturing a toddler), I realized that the false glory of hustle and grit were short-lived satisfactions — if any.

It was time to stop drowning myself in trying to swim upstream.

It was time to let go of the paddles and let myself float, so that I could enjoy the sense of being carried by the water, the way that I did when I was in Italy, floating in Cinque Terre at the age of 21.

I can tell you now that FLOW is so much better than GRIND.

Just think of the way coffee beans sound when they're being ground. It's not smooth. It's not easy. It's gravely. It's a sound you can't take for very long before you just want it to stop.

Flow. 

Flow is the ocean.

Flow is the river.

Flow is a burbling brook.

Flow is the wind rustling in the trees.

Flow is nature.

I just finished writing a book proposal for a well-known yoga teacher who's working on a manuscript about the Goddesses and how we are meant to tap into the power of repose balanced by inspired action — we are not meant to go-go-go or do-do-do.

Embody the vibe of the Goddess.

Realize that when you let go, your greatest dreams have a much better chance of coming through, because your headspace isn't ruling the show anymore.

If it is, then you've only got a limited awareness of what's possible and all the infinite things that need to work out in your favor for the very thing you want to come to fruition.

The Universe IS working in your favor. Always. 

But, only if you'll let It.


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