One of the great lessons that I am working with in myself at the moment is this element of perfectionism. How much it has taken over my life and expresses in control and expectation. Today was a living example of how letting go of the how it should look provides a freedom of flow, which results in beauty and creation unthought of…
Earlier in the week I had been giving this concept much thought… How holding onto things and unwilling to let go ultimately strangles and stunts growth.
I have a rose bush. I love my rose bush when it flowers and so want it to grow big. (As a note, I am not a professional or trained gardener and so don’t know the do’s and don’ts of rose care) The branches and stems had become ineffectively long and so tall, that ultimately they struggled to hold their own weight and would lean over, propped up by the adjacent bush. Long, thin and weak.
One day I read in passing that now was the time to prune your rose bushes to ensure good flowering in the Spring…. I faced my resistance to cutting back my beloved plant and succumbed to trusting the professionals and snipped back the long stems.
New growth was almost instantaneous. Within days and weeks the plant’s health was visibly improved and now the plant is fuller than ever with plenty of fresh leaves and stems for the Spring.
Letting go is necessary for health, strength and new growth.
Letting go is the prerequisite for creation.
This valuable life lesson was reinforced today as I went through an experience of letting go and surrendering to existence and the force of creativity.
I had booked a photoshoot to get some updated pictures of myself and my two daughters. The weather was warming and Spring was anew. I had wanted a sunny day but was advised by the photographer that midday heat was not ideal and that the morning would provide the best conditions.
The morning came and the stress and anxiety of preparations for visual presentation were upon us. It was stressful enough trying to get myself and two girls ready and out the house by 9am on a Saturday morning without being compounded by the attitudes of three Aries, headstrong perfectionists battling their wills.
Needless to say, makeup needed to be reapplied repeatedly after endless bouts of tears and sisterly relationships being put through their paces…. The whole scene reminded me of the two ugly step-sisters bickering and fighting in preparation for the ball in the story of Cinderella.
We were now a good hour late and the dark grey clouds loomed above… not what I had planned! I wondered about throwing in the towel and postponing for another day, but I recalled the last family photoshoot I had arranged, which was a series of door slamming and statements of renouncing membership to the family and me vowing to never repeat the activity again. We had already got so far… there was no turning back now!
By the time we were in the car with Kate once again announcing her obvious adoption status and the initial spots of drizzle falling on the windscreen, I turned to her and said:
“Sometimes there is nothing left to do but to just let go and laugh…”
We joined in giggles at the absurdity of the whole situation.
We arrived at the location with the rain now more than a threat but a reality. I had a choice.
I could hold on with control to my idea about what I believed I wanted with my intended outcomes and turn around and go home and re-arrange for another day (the stress of that idea was too much), or I could let go entirely and surrender to the universal flow of what is in the moment, which is the mother of all creativity and creation.
I opted for the latter.
I let go to the fact that my ‘perfectly’ blow dried hair was now sticking to the sides of my face in what my mom would term “rat-tails” and that my mascara gave me more of a look of a raccoon lost in the forest rather than the manicured mother, who had it all together, I was so adamant to portray.
I couldn’t of been happier.
I opened to the flow of the creator and it flowed through me with a force. We were in the moment. For those blissful moments when time was frozen, we forgot that we were scantily clad in the cold rainy weather of Cape Town. We forgot that we were almost wet to the bone, to the point that I abandoned all my clothes altogether and joined the elements in delight.
Three girls playing in the rain whilst being captured on film in their true natural essence.
Needless to say… I’ve learnt my lesson of how the stress and frustration of forcing a square peg into a round hole and holding onto the “it has to fit” just causes me and my family anxiety and stress…. and when I let go and surrender,then we really dance and shine……