But What If It Does Work?
If there's one thing that we excel as entrepreneurs, it's our ability to sense danger from a mile away. Vigilant and responsive, our minds analyze the situation around us and try to anticipate what will fail next. For anyone who's owned a business before, you know this vigilance is necessary to make sure that one can survive any obstacle. This behaviour is practically second-nature for us, reminiscent of the days when our ancestors lived as hunters and gatherers, wary of change. However, what happens when this mindset spreads to other areas of life? What then?
When you spend your life looking for what can go wrong, can you imagine what kind of life that would be? It's one of fear and distrust, worrying about the future rather than truly living in the present. Even with the best of intentions, what you are really doing is judging. Judging yourself, other people, and the experiences you are having based on the information of the past. Rather than allowing yourself to be open to possibility, you are allowing the ego to take over. To hide from uncertainty and possibility, rather than seeing things for what they are or could be: a chance for connection, for play, or for growth.
If you haven't gotten the results you've wanted so far, isn't it more reason to let go of your expectations? Expectations are the narratives holding us back, and as they always say: You need different behaviours for different results. I would go even further to argue the following: You need different narratives for different results because it is our beliefs that drive our behaviours.
Why are beliefs so important but so overlooked? Beliefs are comforting to us; they give us a frame to interpret from what's happening in the world. When someone gets that date or loses that promotion, beliefs help us find meaning in what's happening. However, what few notice (something that I'm working on!) is that beliefs are only useful when they are healthy. If we have adopted an incorrect context for seeing the world, all of the meaning we have gained from experiences will be skewed too. Having happiness and success is dependent on the context we choose for ourselves: Meaning only exists with context.
What does this mean? In the book Power vs. Force, author David R. Hawkins argues that most people stay stuck in life because they are unaware of the context they have adopted. Our problems are only problems depending on a specific context; the same situation can be a problem for one individual, but an opportunity for another person. For example, the ending of a relationship (like any other event), is actually neutral in nature. It only has positive or negative meaning because we give it that meaning. One person can be grateful for the breakup, thankful for all the lessons they have learned. Someone else can be resentful for what happened, seeing the relationship as a waste of time.
Change the context, change your world. Literally.
What startles me the most is how long I've lived in fear because I was completely unaware of the context I clung onto. I held onto this context because it was a way to avoid my problems, to deny my responsibility, to have an excuse for when things went wrong. It was so much easier to blame others than admit my part in this story. Unfortunately, by denying this responsibility, I also denied my power. In this story, everyone else had power but me because I told myself that they were responsible for my feelings. Power returns when you realize that you decide the meaning of the events that have happened to you.
Not only that, when you start looking for what can go wrong in everybody and everything, nothing ever really stands a chance. It's like killing the baby flower before it has a chance to blossom into something magical and amazing. Vigilance, which is attention with judgment, is a form of perfectionism, an exercise of control. And control comes from fear, from protecting yourself from possibility rather than letting things in. You can't grow anything when you're squeezing the seeds of possibility so tightly that they can't grow. For anyone else who's working on control, you'll know first-hand that control kills and destroys that which is uncertain. And if you haven't gotten the message already, the most worthwhile things in this life (love, joy, purpose, etc.) come from the most unexpected of places.
So what do we do now? Rather than asking yourself what can go wrong, ask yourself:
What can go right? What is possible?
What is possible if I just let go, if I could allow things to happen? What could result if I let go of the what and the how, and trusted the process? If we take a step back and distanced ourselves from the outcome, we could appreciate the bigger picture. That maybe, even in this point in our lives, there is still so much knowledge we have yet to know. And that maybe, there is a better context or frame with which to view life; we just have to be open to receive.
Author David R. Hawkins says that "life happen[s] by synchronicity." It has certainly been the case in my life, though I was only aware a year ago. And when I first started noticing, I had dismissed these synchronicities completely; I thought they were just coincidences. Finally, when the events started evolving at such a rapid and consistent rate that I could no longer ignore them, my mind defaulted to fear. My ego self could see the chain of events in my life, how they were literally connected by a thread (a rare event that led into the next one) and it feared for the fragility of life. It wondered how it would be possible to control happiness or success if everything happened by synchronicity; where would free will come into place?
But now, coming from a place of gratitude, I am so thankful for the minute threads that connect me to beautiful people, places, and experiences; life continues to work so intricately, like a master artist who is creating something much bigger than herself. Life sends you what you need (though not necessarily what you want), exactly when you need it. The free will comes from our ability to recognize these threads and to be thankful for them, so that we can make choices that align with what we want to have in life. Synchronicity is made possible by acting in ways that create the space for the magic to happen, and rejecting the things that take us away from possibility and potential.
This ability to surrender, to trust that things will work, has shifted my perception of life. Rather than focusing on control, I focus on presence, noticing what is around me and the lessons I can learn at this point in time. Often times, people or experiences come into our life to teach us a lesson that we need to receive; the more that we resist these lessons, the more that we stay in the patterns that hold us back. After all, if we haven't learned the lesson yet, how can we move onto the next stage of our lives? Lessons are the knowledge we need to move forward.
I became "awake" a year ago, aware of the synchronicities and since then, my life has been reinvented in eight months. People and opportunities have come naturally and much more quickly than in my previous life, often times defying logic explanation. For example, after closing my business of seven years where I felt disconnected from my heart, I received an invite to a business mastermind two days later. It was because of this synchronicity that I met my network of mentors, who introduced me to a women's leadership circle. These women have been key to returning to my feminine energy and has led me to a leadership retreat this summer, so that I can better discover the bridge between science and spirituality. So many wonderful people, especially girlfriends who are balancing entrepreneurship with love, have come into my life at a time where I need them most. I would not have received these opportunities at this time had I not listened to my intuition and let go of my business. Making space is the key to receiving and exploring possibility.
Not only that, my ability to absorb and understand ideas has grown tenfold. Before, my ego used to hold onto stories of how I couldn't read books back-to-back, or read two books simultaneously, for fear that I would lose the knowledge that I needed to know. When I started to let go of these expectations and to read using play, everything changed. Books now feel like I'm having a date with the author, where I get to write down questions and cross out sentences I disagree with, the way I would with someone I was talking to in real life. I feel like I've lived three years instead of eight months because of how much more I notice, and it started with asking the question: But what if it does work?
Where does this leave us now? Get excited about possibility, but what there is to learn from each moment that comes your way. See the similarities that create a safe foundation for connection, for also the differences that play at your edge for growth. Allow yourself to believe that magic is possible, but more importantly, that you deserve to receive it. Let go of those limiting beliefs and know that you are more than your current context; this journey is just the beginning and there is so much more to discover and create.