I love the Taoist principle of Wu-wei.
By definition, Wu-wei is effortless action that simply flows through us because it’s right, appropriate to its time and place, and serving the purpose of greater harmony and balance. It’s not to be confused with giving up, laziness or passivity – rather Wu-wei is about accepting what is and taking action based on what can be done, rather than resisting the unchangeable stuff. Faith not force.
A Personal Lesson: Accepting, Letting Go, Moving On
We’ve had our wedding venue booked for about 10 months now. We only viewed two venues when we started the planning process and when we found (what we thought was) The One, we basically booked it on the spot with no hesitation, despite the fact it’s definitely right up there cost-wise. We didn’t care (probably because we hadn’t done the budget at that stage and didn’t really think of, oh, the 150 million other things that make up a wedding day!) The place was beautiful and we had our hearts set on the thought of our perfect wedding unfolding right there on those spectacular grounds.
The property “came with” a planner (not optional) who is an amazing person, but for whatever reason, hasn’t been able to give us the service we were promised – at a premium price – and essentially, 10 months later we haven’t progressed our plans to the point we’d like to because she’s been largely uncontactable.
Red flag alert.
And so we ummed.
And we ahhed – for several months.
We made excuses, brushed our concerns aside and we persisted… until we realised that those gut feelings weren’t going away and and as hooked as we were on this beautiful venue, our instincts were telling us we needed to surrender to the fact that things weren’t playing out how they should have been. We needed to let go.
This week, we decided that instead of barreling forward, head-first into the resistance and causing ourselves unnecessary stress, we’d go back to the drawing board. Yep, 8 months out from Our Big Day, we’ve decided to start from scratch and find a venue that feels right for us, which of course is more work initially as we retrace old ground but means that we’ll be a lot happier in the long run. We had to step outside the story a bit to evaluate it from all angles, but the message we were getting loud and clear was that if it didn’t feel right now, it certainly wouldn’t in the weeks before the wedding. Intuition never lies, after all.
I’m going to leave you hanging here and not divulge too many more details (!!), but I can tell you that in the space of 24 hours, several serendipitous things happened and we’re feeling super excited and mega-motivated about the new direction we’re going. The moment we allowed the possibility of change in, it was as if all the energy that had been taken up worrying instantly disappeared, unblocking the dazzling enthusiasm we needed to find a creative solution and forge ahead.
So, What Did We Learn?
Losing Control Can Be a Good Thing
Quite simply, you can’t force things that aren’t meant to be. Control is rooted in fear and I’ve noticed that when we cling to and control things, it’s because we’re afraid of what might happen if we don’t. Control means we’ve attached ourselves to a specific outcome—an outcome we’re sure is right for us, as if we always know best, which unsurprisingly, we don’t. When we step back and let things flow, they do. But better. Way better. Have you ever pushed and pushed and pushed with something, then hit that point where you find yourself saying “Ok, whatever will be, will be” and with a change in course, the result has far exceeded your expectations? I know I have – many times.
To Receive You Need to Release
Sometimes, we become so single-minded in our purpose or so stuck on something we think is The Right Thing For Us that we lose sight of the other doors that are open all around us. To receive, all you have to do is dream up your desired result, visualise it, bless it and believe that it will be yours. Release that thing you’re holding onto. Everything that feels missing is just waiting for a place to go, a space to occupy, a home to hold it. Open up and let it in. Above all else, have faith that what is for you won’t pass you by. The greatest gifts are the ones we least expect.
+ Have you ever let go of forcing something or changed paths in your career/ relationship/ life and it’s worked out for the best? I’d love to hear your story in the comments!
Image: This isn’t happiness