Live and let life: The illusion of control
I love people who can live and let live. Let’s be honest, in Holland we’re not really good at it. Even nature we made subordinate. Almost a century before Dubai created its palm islands, we had already risen an entire province out of the sea. This clearly has its positive sides but we also pay a price. We try to hold on to things (i.e. our work life or intimate relationship) should look like. We live in the illusion that this image (what is basically just a thought that you have picked up somewhere) is the truth. We are even willing to defend this at all costs, which ofcourse creates friction. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but eventually this bubble of control will splash apart.
My sister is married with an Italian and they now have two little boys running around. Heavily waving to uncle Marc that we should dig a hole or have to go to the bathroom. The great thing about my brother in law is that he creates a lot of space for others to be who they are. In the Italian culture, there seems to be more openness to choose how you move around in the world and react to change. The same goes for my two Spanish friends, with whom I went on holidays for the last six years (whether one of us is in a relationship or not).
When they see me meditating, they often think “not for me”, and turn around for another siesta. But at the same time, we are able to discuss, talk and laugh about it openly, without them trying to convince me to do otherwise. Nor I try to convince them. This helps to not take my practice too seriously. Nowadays they’ll listen to me with increased interest. Of course, every culture has got its own challenges but on this area, I look with admiration to the way they seem to be able to live and life.
My own challenge
Finding relaxation in meditation and the integration of it in our daily lives is a big challenge. Discipline is useful at the beginning (even necessary) but after a while, it becomes an obstacle. If meditation is a tool to feel good (which is recognizable for me) then you risk getting overly attached to it. The “goal” is very simple: more relaxation within yourself, look through your identification of thoughts and feelings and finding pleasure in the moment. To achieve this, you must unlearn and see through old habits, instead of learning something new or changing yourself.
Go with the flow
The art is allowing life to follow its course, stop steering it too much and instead go with it. Then you’ll discover that happiness has always been present within yourself but that we have become too busy with controlling, self-improvement or modern day distractions. The process of surrender and letting go, will go differently from person to person and often totally different from the way we expected.
In order to facilitate this process optimally, I have chosen for a personal and broad offer within Beyond Mindfulness. The varying training modules give room for you to step in at the stage that you are present in at the moment and if, when and how you would like to expand from there. It is entirely your own choice if you want to proceed with personal and individual guidance or rather within a group of people (or both). It is my deliberate choice to let you steer from the start untill the end. I will wrap up with a fun and inspiring clip from Kung fu Panda about the illusion of control, enjoy!