That works to an extent when you’re content with life occurring in a box. It doesn’t work so well when you step outside of the box.
Because life outside the box is not certain. It is unpredictable, and out of my control. Trying to make it so results in chaos.
The solution? Let Go and go with the Flow.
Which is pretty ironic considering that is the biggest fear when you’re standing in the box.
I’ll share with you how this has played out recently for us.
For the past year, Lee has been putting all of his energies into designing a Tilapia hatchery and getting it off the ground. Six months ago we were working towards kitting out a small system to house our brood stock before we left the country for 2.5 weeks for my sis’s wedding. The goal was to get the site set up, tanks cycled and filled with water, transfer the 200+ fish into the system, and monitor the system for at least a few days before leaving.
As things go, everything took longer than expected, and so with two weeks to go, we still hadn’t started assembling the new system. With 2 days to go, I was raising hell with delivery services for late arrivals, we were snapping at each other and the helping hands, working off an average of 5 hours sleep each night, and saying a few prayers that things would start to go our way. The day before we were leaving town, we encountered a leaky tank and broken pump.
Pressure cooker is an under-statement.
The project came to a halt. It didn’t go as planned. We got on the plane anyway, with the worst case scenario being that the temporary system that the fish-sitters were looking after might fail while we were away, and that the fish might die.
The greatest fear is always death of some sort.
Fast forward 6 months.
The fish didn’t die while we were away. We finished setting up the system when we got back. We were much more relaxed and able to make some adjustments and enhancements that were overlooked when rushing to meet our self-imposed deadline. We’ve moved on with the project and are close to signing a lease for a commercial site.
As time has progressed, plans have changed. We now need less fish than we thought to start the business.
Which means we have more fish than we need, and we’ve had to get rid of some of them.
Our greatest fear 6 months ago: the fish would die, is now the reality out of choice.
The same fish that we were so afraid of losing, and therefore working our tails off to build a system that we thought was crucial to keep them alive, in a timeframe we thought was imperative, have just had their last swim.
Or perhaps it’s the reality check that:
-When you are trying to force something to happen, and meeting resistance, be open to the possibilities.
-When you let go of the outcome, you give space for things unseen to occur.
-When you surrender to your fears, you gain your life back.
[Tweet “-Our greatest fears, may be exactly what will move us forward.”]
This little story isn’t the first time I’ve had to let go. Another similar time was letting go of what my weight was. Without this step, I would’ve stayed in the cycle (the box) of using exercise and food to control my body and get me the desired outcome.
I’ve also had to let go of expectations about money, relationships, where we live. Loads of stuff! If you’re wondering how to know when it’s time to let go, ask yourself, what am I resisting? Whatever it is that feels like you’re trying to push a boulder up a muddy hill, that’s probably it.
PS Letting Go is still a work in progress for me. Today for example, I had a laundry list of things to get done and unforeseen circumstances ended up throwing the list out the window. While hindsight is great, and I’m sure a week from now it won’t even matter (and it doesn’t bc 2 months later I’m re-reading this and I don’t even remember what I was talking about!), in the moment, sometimes it’s tough. I recommend breathing and moving your body to help let go in the moment. Connect with yourself again, and then move on.
Lots of love!