Faith over fear.
Trust over terror.
Or trust over turmoil.
Or trust over tears.
What would it feel like to believe the world is a benevolent place? To trust that everything is working out for the best and will continue to do so? To have faith that it’ll all be OK, rather than to live in fear that it won’t?
How would it feel to let go of our tight grip? To let go of control? To stop trying to force the world to turn in the direction we want it to? To stop trying to manage every last detail of our lives so that we can stay “safe”, or at least feel safe?
How would it feel to look on the bright side rather than the dark side? To always see the glass as more than fall, rather than close to empty? How would it feel to do as we please, to break the “rules”, to feel free?
I asked myself these questions this morning as I swam in the sea, on the first day back from a 10-day holiday in Portugal. Because this morning, I made a decision to trust. To have faith. To relinquish control.
I chose to walk on the beach and swim in the sea – my way of connecting to my soul, spirit, intuition and to God – rather than sit down at my desk first thing to make up for all that time I’d been away. I chose to keep my phone off until after my swim rather than check my email first thing. I chose to believe I had time to invest in my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, even though I’d been away for 10 days, even though my holiday had finished, even though it was time to get back to work.
It wasn’t easy.
My fretful, anxious self who has a tendency to imagine disaster, catastrophe and crisis around every corner wanted to take over. She wanted to sit down to work first thing. She wanted to don her firefighter’s outfit and start putting out fires, most or all of them imagined. She wanted to take control, start micro-managing, start building a wall around herself to feel “safe”.
But I didn’t succumb to the lure of anxiety and adrenaline (a familiar and therefore comforting place for me to be, but one I’m trying to resist). I chose to try to maintain some of the peace, ease and trust I’d found on holiday.
Because this holiday taught me to trust from the very first day.
I was anxious about going away, and for 10 whole days. I was anxious about the money I’d spend and the money I wouldn’t earn over that period. I was anxious about the hole it would leave in my finances. I was anxious about letting go of work for that period. I was anxious about taking a break from promoting my book, my upcoming love retreat (more about that in a moment), my next How to Fall in Love course, my new membership community for single women who would like to be in a relationship, and my next PR workshop. I was worried about taking a 10-day break from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What would I miss? Would I be missed? (I sigh. It’s been so nice to be away from social media for that time. Such a relief.)
In short, I didn’t think I deserved a break. I didn’t think I’d earned it. I didn’t think I could afford it. I didn’t think my various businesses would survive for 10 days without me pushing and promoting and striving and trying and trying and always trying.
But some wonderful things happened in my work life while I was away sunbathing, surfing, paddle boarding and eating lots of Portuguese food, and it began as I got ready to leave.
I was offered a day’s PR and media consulting work, someone emailed to enquire about my PR coaching, I got paid for my Daily Mail article, I took a booking for my love retreat and one of my favourite magazines emailed to say they would be featuring my book as part of a spread on love in the next few months (which I’m terribly excited about).
So I didn’t need to push and strive and struggle and try. I didn’t need to control every last detail or micro-manage. I didn’t need to sit at my desk with my shoulders hunched and my brow furrowed, trying to work it all out, trying to find the answers, trying to make things happen.
And as I gave myself what I needed, my work took care of itself, in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Money came in. Opportunities found their way into my inbox. People put their trust in me. My books sold.
Faith over fear. Trust over terror.
Are you someone who holds on tightly to life? Who feels they need to control every tiny detail? Who can’t let go in case it all goes wrong? Are you someone who finds a feeling of safety from being in control? Are you someone who lives in fear and mistrust? Do you feel like you need to build a fortress around yourself to stay “safe” – perhaps a fortress of money or wealth, a job that’s secure but that puts your soul to sleep (I’ve been there), or a rigid routine? Do you fear change? Do you fear what will happen if you let go?
If you answer yes to these questions, I know how you feel. I know how hard it is to let go, to trust, to believe we’ll be safe if we stop trying to manage everything, to trust that things will work out OK. I also know how amazing it feels when I trust just a little bit or let go of control or release my grip just slightly and things flow.
It feels like I’m gliding through life rather than trudging through life. It feels like I’m swimming in a still sea rather than wading through treacle.
I feel lighter, more free, like I’m flying almost.
I know the world isn’t always a benevolent place. And I know we have to put in the effort to make some things happen (I had been bugging that magazine about my book for months). But it’s also good to let go sometimes, to allow ourselves moments of peace, to experience that sensation of flying. To swim rather than trudge. To relax rather than struggle. To kick back rather than strive. To smile. To trust. To have faith.
As I got back from my swim this morning, I picked up my book of daily meditative readings, The Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie. I knew I’d find something in today’s reading that would speak to me and that would chime with this notion of faith and trust that had formulated on the beach. Sure enough, I found what I was looking for.
“You do not have to work so hard at protecting yourself. You can relax and enjoy life, trusting that you are safe. Go without fear, for you are wrapped in love and protection,” today’s reading said.
If you’d like to have a go at swimming rather than trudging, why not join me for my self-love by the sea retreat in Dorset on the weekend of Nov 17-19?
The decision to host this retreat has taken a lot of trust and faith but I believe in myself, in what I have to offer, in the magic I know I can create amongst a group of like-minded women, and in the power of the sea, the beach, nature, fresh air, long walks, laughter and peace to heal, to restore, to refresh, to offer a new perspective, and to reconnect us to who we were always meant to be. Do get in touch if you’re interested in joining us.
For a flavour of my approach, check out this short video recorded at The Summer of Change Festival at the Canvas Cafe in London in August, where I was leading a workshop on How to Fall in Love. Click here to watch the interview, which was aired on the British talk show, A Different Kind of Woman.
So it’s my first day back at work and I have a lot to do, not least my radio interview, but it’s wonderful to begin with a swim and then a blog. It’s wonderful to invest time in connecting to myself and in writing from the heart.
Faith over fear.
Trust over terror and tears.