To let go is not inaction, it is not resignation.
A couple of days ago, Facebook threw up a memory from 7 years ago. It was from a post on a hotel we had stayed at in 2010. The hotel in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, has a weird name – Bans! But the hotel is special to me for a different reason. This is where I learnt a very important lesson in my Life – I learnt the value of letting go and trusting the process of Life.
Here’s an excerpt from my Book, Fall Like A Rose Petal, where I share the anecdote that led to this learning.
In the summer of 2010, I was afflicted with a chronic episode of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). In my case, this auto-immune disease affects my upper back. Standing, sitting, walking, even turning on my side in bed, became a nightmare. For 45 days, I could not even stand up. In those days, an understanding client in Pune paid us a retainer even though I could not physically travel to work with their team. I conducted my meetings with them on Skype and over phone in the days that I was immobile. Thanks to this client we survived that phase.
At the end of May 2010, another client called us for a full-day workshop to Chittoor. Vaani requested the client to send us a good car because of my back condition and also forewarned the client that I may not be able deliver the full workshop on my feet. The client had worked with us in the past and was considerate enough to allow me to sit down and conduct the workshop. In great pain, thanks to the poor condition of the roads, I arrived in Chittoor with Vaani on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
I woke up with acute pain at 3 AM the next morning. I struggled through preparing for the workshop and my bath. At 9.30 AM, I took 30 minutes to walk to the banquet hall of the hotel where we were staying, a distance of hardly a hundred feet from our room, where my session was to be held!
80 managers and senior executives awaited me in the banquet hall. After our client’s Human Resources Head introduced me, I rose with much difficulty, and in great pain, to conduct my workshop. I am a high-energy workshop leader who likes to pump up the audience, provoke their thinking and bring them alive! Despite writhing in pain, I was sure I had to do it again that day. I started cautiously but as the day wore on, I just let go. Barring a 30-minute lunch break, I stood all through the eight hours leading and delivering one of the most transformational, personally for me too, workshops I have ever conducted. To be sure, I healed during those eight hours and have not had another debilitating episode of RA in over 40 months so far!
What happened of my RA? Of my 45-day back problem? How did I stand and deliver a workshop, moving, jumping, singing, dancing and energizing my audience, for eight hours?
The answers to all questions lie in my letting go. I just let the Universe and Life take over. Only when we let go and move on will we see newer horizons. When you let go, you are free, unfettered and are ready to go where you want to and where nobody ever has gone before! Our true work is living, and travelling the journey of Life, moving on and on!
All of us like to believe that we are in control of our lives. That we make our own destinies. We become self-centred and begin to see everything only from one point of view. But Life doesn’t work like that. It has a mind of its own. Always remember, you are made to go through each experience for a reason. When things don’t go your way, you get angry and frustrated. In some time, after much kicking around, you will realize that fighting and resisting Life is futile. Instead, isn’t it far simpler to just let go? And take each day as it comes, accepting Life for what it is?
People often tell me and Vaani that they find it difficult to let go. We believe that letting go is difficult only when you consider it as one of the options in front of you. What if letting go was not an option but an imperative? I have found, repeatedly, Life placing us in contexts where letting go is not an option for us but is the only way forward.
For instance, even as I write this, we are faced with a fresh twist to our tale, yet another inscrutable situation that leaves Vaani and me clueless. That sense of cluelessness gnawing at you from within can be very, very debilitating. As long as I held on to that sense of cluelessness and attempted to look for ways and means to resolve the situation, it made it difficult for me to create value. But yesterday, I decided to, yet again, simply let go. I took my mind off the problem we are confronted with and wrote one more chapter of my next Book, The Happiness Road. I healed through my immersion in my writing. This morning, I am writing this Blogpost. And I am feeling truly liberated.
Letting go and immersing yourself in what you love doing is not inaction, it is not resignation. It is the most sensible thing to do. It involves trusting the process of Life and helps you to be non-frustrated when your efforts don’t yield the results you want and/or when you clearly don’t know what to do.