What could be possible if you set your life free? When I pose that question to others, the responses I hear range from “That would be amazing!” to “I don’t know where to start,” to “That is too scary – I have to be in charge,” to “I don’t even know what that means!”
I admit that it’s not a typical question. Yet it came to me in my meditation not long ago, and it hasn’t let go of me since.
A part of my daily practice is paying attention to what is happening in the connections between me and all of the different parts of my life – my family and home life, my health and wellbeing, the different projects and aspects of my work, my travel and teaching, the many different people with whom I engage, and emerging ideas and possibilities.
Being aware of the connections or the “space in between” is a key component of Transformational Presence. Our most powerful work as leaders, coaches, and people who want to make a difference happens in the space in between things, people, situations, ideas, beliefs, and perspectives.
For me, the idea of “setting your life free” means letting go of trying to “make something happen,” and instead, becoming curious about four things:
- What is really happening – getting underneath my assumptions or what it looks like on the surface
- What wants to happen – what is the message that is trying to get through, the shift that is trying to happen, or the greater potential that is trying to emerge?
- How is that asking me to show up?
- What step is it asking me to take?
Becoming curious opens the possibility for creating something new. The potential, or “what wants to happen,” becomes the leader, and my job is to pay attention, and to trust that the potential will show me each next step.
When this concept of “setting my life free” was first presented in my meditation, I began to envision a diagram of my life. I was at the center of the diagram, and surrounding me were all of the different aspects, people, and circumstances of my life. I sensed lines or connections between me and the people and circumstances. And then I recognized that many of those people and circumstances had their own connections, and therefore, their own “in between” spaces.
As I continued envisioning the matrix, I became aware of the qualities present in the connections. Some felt easy, flowing, exciting, or joyous; others felt stuck, sluggish, anxious, or vulnerable.
When I focused on the energies of the connections instead of focusing on myself or on the other people or situations, I was surprised at how clear everything became. The key was to notice which connections felt clean and pure, and which ones had a feeling of pushing or pulling – a feeling that there was an agenda to make something happen. In some connections, I recognized that the agenda or push-pull feeling was coming from my side; in other connections, it was coming from the other side. And sometimes, it was coming from both sides.
Wherever I found a push-pull energy, my intuitive “instructions” were to untie myself from that agenda, and set the connection free. That would allow the connection to show me (or us) what truly wanted to happen.
And so I began untying. Step by step, I was literally setting the connections in my life free. And in turn, I was setting myself free from the agendas that were getting in the way.
Yet there was still another surprise. As I untied from the push-pull energies, I could feel the connections get clearer, purer, more dynamic, and more vibrant. What actually got “untied” were my attachments and emotional “needs” in the situation – my desire to control or influence the outcome. By “untying,” the connections had been set free from any agenda – mine or anyone else’s. The pure potential waiting to unfold could now show itself.
I came out of the meditation feeling incredibly alive and energized, and that feeling has stayed with me. By setting my life free, I feel an equilibrium and dynamic balance in my life that I have never felt before.
This simple practice has given me a way to step beyond the many “responsibilities” of my life and work that can at times feel heavy, into feeling “response-able.” When I set all of the different parts of my life free, then I become free to simply be with them, sense what wants to happen, pay attention to how that’s asking me to show up, and respond in a way that feels liberating and empowering for all involved. I become “response-able.”
I invite you to envision a diagram of your life. Put yourself at the center, and then surround yourself with all of the many aspects, people and circumstances of your life.
You might want to draw it on paper. Or if your imagination is very strong, you might visualize or sense these different aspects floating all around you as a multi-dimensional, living, breathing matrix of your life. Some parts of the matrix might appear to be still, others might be moving. The advantage of working in your imagination is that nothing is fixed – everything can move. Just like life.
What kinds of connections do you discover in your drawing or in your virtual, multi-dimensional diagram? In which connections do you sense that there are push-pull energies or imposed agendas? What happens if you “untie” yourself from those energies?
Take some time with this practice. Let it work on you. Find out what could be possible if you set your life free.
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- Letting Go to Freedom and New Possibilities
- When You Hold On Tightly
- “Faithfully Letting Go” – Finding the Path from What Has Been to What Could Be