Day 1 of 21 of Bindu Wiles’ 21.5.800 project. I slept 8 hours last night. I woke up feeling more or less refreshed (though still a bit hungover from a weekend without much sleep, no alcohol involved.) I meditated first thing. I weighed myself and noticed I have dropped 3.5 lbs since I stopped having caffeinated coffee, dairy, sugar, refined carbs and wheat, even though I ate dinner really late last night and went to bed on a full stomach. So how do I feel? Hopeful. Satisfied. In control.
In control. That one is sticky and tricky and sneaky. I believe ever-so-strongly in the power of responsibility and personal choice. It’s one of my highest values. And I love the feeling of being in control. Ah, Control . . . she’s a seductress wielding to-do lists and Filofaxes and well-filled-out calendars. She’s an excellent driver and has a laser sharp sense of direction. She’s clear about her desires. She’s decisive. She’s a top-notch negotiator, and her motto is: “Clarity is power.” I love her because she makes me feel safe. She sits next to me as I schedule my days within an inch of my life and tells me how fabulous I am. She whispers in my ear as I organize dates with men who, smiling, uneasily fall into the fold of my agenda. Planning is her religion. She makes me feel safe.
Her sister, Surrender, doesn’t come around as much, but when she does, Control is nowhere to be found. There’s no animosity between the two, they simply understand that both are happier and better able to flourish when the other isn’t around. Surrender wears chiffon and walks like she’s floating. She sings a lot and never knows what time it is. She uses her intuition to make decisions and she giggles with delight when the world pleasantly surprises her eight million times a day. She takes bubble baths. She chooses things based on what feels good. She calls quietly to me to do nothing but watch the steam wind its way out of my teacup. She invites me to allow other perfectly capable people to make decisions. She likes to sit in the passenger’s seat and look out the window as someone else drives. She loves limbo, the grey area, liminal space, and the unknown. When Surrender is visiting I feel a bit wobbly and nauseous. Yet, when she leaves and I think back on our time together, it always seems that everything worked out perfectly and things happened that were so much better than anything I could have planned or even thought up on my own.
I once was upset with a boyfriend who I was berating for never stepping up and planning anything. I felt like I was always suggesting dates, organizing the details, and taking care of logistics. I wanted him to take the reins sometimes. He replied lovingly, “I would gladly take the reins if you would simply let go of them.” Wow. The hydrogen peroxide sting of truth.
I’m an Aries warrior princess and I like to be in control. I’m a natural leader and the CEO of a company 750 strong and growing. I like being in the driver’s seat.This weekend I was in Chicago and my friend Brian, possibly the most chivalrous and highly-capable man on the planet, was showing my cousin and I around the beautiful windy city (named that not because of the weather, but actually because of politics. Who knew?) I have never been to Chicago before and I had no clue where we were headed as he led us to a restaurant he had in mind. As we came to a crosswalk I felt myself leading him to turn left —and he followed! We looked at each other and burst into laughter as I realized that I was taking the reins to direct a man in a city he’s lived in for his entire life and that I’d never been to, to a restaurant I had never been to, nor did I have any clue as to where it was. But I had such a strong instinct to turn left that he’d actually followed my lead, and didn’t realize it until we had walked a few steps in that direction. My homegirl Control strikes again — as we say in my family, “Seldom right, but never in doubt.”
I clearly don’t have this one figured out. I’m an enthusiastic backseat driver and as I look at my calendar for the week ahead, and even the summer ahead, there’s barely time to breathe — and this makes me happy on some level. I’m sheepishly and delightfully aware, though, of how my instinct to control edges out possibilities for magic, wonder, and synchronicity. I have no conclusion other than a wee prayer: May Control be at my side only when absolutely necessary (such as when I’m paying my taxes or driving on a crowded freeway.) May I learn to trust that Surrender has my back just as much as Control, perhaps even more so sometimes. May I have faith in the wisdom of letting go. May I allow someone else to do it sometimes, whatever “it” is. May I Surrender.