Control is one of those delicately balanced things that we need to handle the way we handle fire. Too much control squelches creativity and the ability to move and grow. To little control creates instability and chaos.
This month I’m taking a step forward in my life that has been on my mind for a long time, yet has taken years to summon the courage. As I was getting knee deep into this project, I recognized myself limiting the outcome due to my tendency to control. It’s understandable, the desire to contain things into a safe little package. New steps can be exciting, but also carry a little anxiety. It’s that anxiety that can breed a craving to hold on too tight to expectations, and try to manage every aspect.
If you air on the side needing too much control, you can take a look inside through meditation, and find out what types of unknowns make you feel anxious. Fear of the unknown causes us to try to make everything make sense, and fit into a certain self-designed puzzle. While attention to these details can be important, at a certain point, in order to flourish, any project needs room for the flames to suck up all the oxygen they can, and dance against the nights sky. We wouldn’t want to control this, as it would diminish their potential for spectacular illumination. You never know what other things that you never expected might arise out of letting go of a little bit of control. Sometimes letting go allows for something unique to arise that you could never have anticipated.
If on the other hand, you’re the type of person to find yourself blindsided by unpredicted scenarios, or aimlessly being tossed from one situation to another, then for you, adding an element of control, might be a good idea. We can plan ahead, and remind ourselves of previous pitfalls, in order to navigate the wide open ocean of life with a little bit of clarity and self empowerment. It’s important to remember that we have this ability, if we use our mind for the powerful tool that it is.
In the asana practice, we do a lot of opening up of the joints, but it is very important to gather our muscles around our vulnerable joints for an element of control and support. We are not here to purposelessly just make ourselves more flexible. The combined effort and release of yoga is what moves our stuck energy, and give us freedom while building our strength.
Ultimately, the ability to find the balance between the two ends of the spectrum is super important when it comes to control. Catch yourself, when you are limiting yourself too much, and allow yourself to let go, relax and relinquish a little bit of your energy to trust the flow of life. Likewise, know when you are allowing yourself to lose out because you’re giving your power away and not gathering your energy, resources, and intellect and using it to support your safe and effective passage through time and space.