“I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.”—Anais Nin
For the longest time I have been in a slumber. I have just recently begun delving into myself, hearing my thoughts and trying to accept them, trying to embrace all that I am. I want to go into the ultimate depth, surprise myself with my audacity, shock myself with change.
I long for change, for adventure, for passion. I want to scream out loud, I want to pull someone’s hair, I want to be free from constant control and repression and judgement.
We've got four eyes - so why yearn for one perspective? We've got colours with shades erased when blended We've got four eyes - so why yearn for one perspective? We've got colours, but they disappear when blended
"1. Be Impeccable With Your Word Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.” — Miguel Ruiz
Twenty years ago I was a massive, obsessive controller. I firmly believed that the best way to satisfy my needs and achieve what I wanted in life was by controlling everything and everyone. At home, Father truly knew best! I knew what was best for my children—and didn’t hesitate to let them know.
When my son Brandon was a child, I constantly offered my two cents on almost everything he did, thinking it would help him better traverse life’s many challenges. When he was young, he had no choice but to put up with my intrusions.
In his teens, however, he became very dismissive of me—he didn’t want to hear anymore from me, and he strongly let me know it.
Our bond remained strained until I was literally brought to my knees by a rapid-fire series of traumatic events (concluding with 5 major cancer surgeries). At that point, I no longer had the desire or energy to continue intruding upon his life.
Because I no longer offered him my opinions or advice, Brandon began seeking my input on important challenges he faced as a young adult.
Hence, the very thing I had sought—intimacy—came to me only after I stopped trying to seek it!
The Control/Intimacy Correlation
When we try to change or control others, this behavior almost always creates conflict and resentment, resulting in the loss of intimacy. And the fact that our intentions may be good doesn’t really matter.
For example, when we try to control a loved one by giving unsolicited advice and opinions or making unreasonable demands, it only pushes them away. Who likes being told how to be and act in matters of the heart?
The same is true with respect to our friends. When we try to change them, we are in effect telling them that they are not “good enough,” and that discourages them from opening up and confiding in us.
The Magnet Theory of Intimacy
I like to think of the intimacy dynamic in terms of trying to connect two magnets. If each magnet has one side infused with control and the opposite side with acceptance, placing the two acceptance sides together forges a very strong bond. However, when you place the two control sides together, it causes a forceful separation.
In the same manner, acceptance brings people closer together, and control pushes them apart.
Lose Control to Find Intimacy
When we accept people as they are instead of trying to change them, we make them feel at ease and comfortable with us. They feel that they can trust us.
My best friendships are ones in which we accept one another fully, blemishes and all. That allows us to be open and intimate without fear of criticism or judgment.
The same is true with respect to our loved ones. When we accept them as they are, we allow the love currents to unfold naturally so that they can just relax and be themselves, offering their love and kindness without pressure or expectations.
3 Decontrol Methods that Foster Intimacy1. Focus on peoples’ positive qualities.
Instead of complaining about or trying to change someone else’s annoying habits, focus on their positive qualities. Think about what you like and appreciate about them.
For example, if you have a dear friend who you love, but her idiosyncrasies just drive you nuts, remember why she is a dear friend.
Some time ago I harped so much on a close friend for not having an answering machine at home that he didn’t talk to me for almost three years! Now, I don’t make plans with him where I might need to reach him and simply appreciate him for the dear friend he is.
Attentive listening can be a very healing tool that fosters intimacy. In dealing with challenging issues, many times people simply need to vent or express themselves without receiving feedback.
Unless people specifically ask for your advice or opinion, try listening without “counseling” them; just be caring and empathetic.
I have found this particularly beneficial with my children, where their being able to freely express themselves has enabled them to effectively process their issues and concerns. Many times children (and adults) simply need to get things out of their “system,” and afterward they feel much better.
3. Moderate your expectations of others.
Expecting too much from people fuels controlling actions that lead to disappointment and resentment on both sides.
In your love relationships, lower your expectations of your partner—and of yourself. Don’t look for your partner to fulfill your love needs. That’s not his or her “job.”
Don’t expect him or her to be more affectionate or say “loving” things when he or she is uncomfortable doing so.
Don’t expect too much of yourself, as well, or you may start pressing too hard to make things “better.” That usually results in unhealthy enabling actions.
To reduce love and relationship expectations, ask yourself whether your perceived need or desire is that important in the overall scheme of things. Most of the time, it is not.
I am confident that once you start using these decontrol tools, you will forge much closer bonds with your friends and loved ones, creating the kind of intimacy that builds lasting and fulfilling relationships.
“If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.” -Morris West
In the past I was not known as a happy, wild, and free person. (OK maybe wild, I had my moments…) In stuck phases, peppered with depression, darkness, and hopelessness, I often wondered what it would be like to feel happy, wild and free.
I fantasized about living in Europe, writing in cafes like Hemingway, having wild crazy affairs with sexy men, or even moving to Hawaii and wearing nothing but sarongs and flip flops all day. But in truth, these fantasies were empty.
I knew in my gut that fantasies of escape would not bring authentic happiness or true freedom. Maybe at the onset, but in the end trying to create happiness, wild moments, and freedom outside of myself is only temporary. I’m left with facing whatever is still present within me.
Funny enough, I am most happy and free when attending my yearly meditation retreats. Yeah, I know, sitting in a dark room for hours at a time without moving doesn’t seem like the world’s wildest party.
But, when I relax, let go, juice up my heart, and get concentrated on the guarding point, my meditation practice takes me to unlimited expansion. There is nothing more that I need.
While meditating I am content, sometimes wildly ecstatic, and blissed-out, but most importantly, I am free. I realize then that my inner-crazy chick’s happiness and freedom exists in the simplest things.
When I attune to the simple things that give me joy, my body and spirit ignites! I feel truly alive and wildly happy. I feel free of the heavier burdens, beliefs, and complicated constructs that kept me stuck by focusing only on the “storms” within me.
Here are 10 stupidly simple tips to live happy, wild, and free:1. Write out a short-list of the simple things that give you pleasure.
Keep them in the front of your consciousness and make sure you engage with them at least a few times a week. As you do these things, stay present and mindful of the joy they bring you.
For example, I love eating a fresh juicy nectarine on a summer’s afternoon, and meditating in the morning after a fresh brewed cup of tea, and taking a walk with my husband and window-shopping. What are some of your simple things?
Maybe you like the openness and relaxation you feel after a yoga class or the sweat and wild release of spinning. You may enjoy seeing your dog run happily in circles as you throw balls at the park.
Whatever movement inspires you, do it and observe the happiness and freedom it brings. Also, take a short walk after having a meal. This not only helps with digestion, but also instantly relieves any heavy feelings.
Support your body/mind/spirit with simple meals three times a day. On retreat, we eat out of three small bowls, usually a grain, a soup and a vegetable. Eating light helps us to feel lighter and also increases concentration, digestion, energy levels, and productivity.
As a practice of mindfulness, I put my eating utensil down between each bite and wait to pick it up again until the food is completely swallowed. It takes 20 minutes for our meal to be digested, so I know if I eat slowly for 20 minutes, I will feel completely satisfied without having to eat large portions.
4.Take a cold shower.
Waking up in the morning and taking a cold shower revives and wildly awakens the senses. Here are some benefits of cold showers:
Keeps skin and hair healthy
Increases testosterone and fertility
Increases energy and well-being
5.Talk less, and when you do talk have noble conversation.
When you hang out with your friends and loved ones, learn to love the spaces in the conversation. Listen more to their tone as they share rather than thinking about how you are going to respond.
Pay attention to what happens to your energy when you talk less, and how much happier you feel as you conserve more energy. Plus, you will love the simple intimacy of your relationships as you increase presence and heart-centered listening, freeing yourself of complications and unwanted dramas.
6.Get 10 minutes of sun a day.
With sunscreen, there are benefits to getting sun. Well-documented research shows there is a relationship between low vitamin D levels and poor health, such as frail bones, multiple sclerosis, and prostate cancer. We need vitamin D!
Also, light hitting your skin, not just your eyes, helps reverse seasonal affective disorder. Here comes the sun! Let the sunshine in!
7.Turn off the TV.
Rather than watch TV, use your time more mindfully. Read, walk, meet friends, or join an evening group or class. Use your time to connect to others and yourself. Or jump in and do something different, spontaneous, and wild!
Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist there are so many ways to express creatively. Cook with a loved one, dance in your living room, sing in the car, journal without editing or crossing out, learn a new joke.
Be happy, wild, and free as you express yourself more creatively!
Find the nature that surrounds you—really see it. Observe yourself as you witness nature and appreciate its growth and timing.
If you feel like things are going too slow, too fast, or you aren’t really sure of where you are going, remember there is a natural timing for everything, and all the roads are taking you to the right place at the right time.
Ask yourself, “How can I compare nature’s experience to my life? How am I just like the wild flower that is growing on the path?”
10.Know the simple truth.
With enthusiasm and confidence, state what you know to be true about your authentic self. Ask yourself, “What is true about myself right now in this moment?”
For example, I am enough, I am worthy, I am good, I am loved, I have what I need, or I am a success.
State this affirmation out loud a few times to embody the essence of who you really are in this very moment. Take it in! Believe this and you are free!
Keeping your focus on the simplest things offers an immediate experience of abundant joy. May you embrace simplicity in your daily life filled with lightness, movement, and sunshine!
What are your simple things that bring light to your life?