Let Go Of: Forcing It

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.

Taking Action

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

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8 Comments to “Let Go Of: Forcing It”

  1. Rachel, I couldnt agree with you more!

    I am getting married next month and only 3 weeks ago I took my ‘wedding dress’ to be altered. I hadn’t made a big fuss about choosing a dress- it was simple and thought it would do on the day. After going to have a few alterations made, I left the dressmaker feeling sick that the dress just wasnt me. With limited time (and limited budget) I didnt think it would be possible to find something in time. To cut a long story short, I managed to find an AMAZING designer gown second hand, and my super talented dressmaker has been able to customise it to feel like my very own. There was definately a period there where I felt so totally helpless and upset that I had got myself into this situation- but as you said in this article- it worked out a million times better than I could have expected and now I CANT WAIT to wear my wedding dress!!

    I very much believe that everything happens for a reason, and in the end- everything will be ok! Regardless of the final result.

    Keep up the fabulous work =)

  2. Thanks so much for adding another element to this post Megann and for sharing your inspiring story!

    What I love about this is it would have been so easy for you to just settle and think that there was nothing you could do with the dress at such short notice, but you didnt. You turned the problem into an opportunity by trusting that it would all work out how you wanted it to, and I’m so thrilled that it has. Your dream dress sounds amazing!

    So true what you say about everything happening for a reason. I really believe that it’s when we step back and take a look at the big picture that we realise changing course doesn’t have to take us further away from what we want. I love this quote by Napolean Hill: “Opportunity often comes in disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” Truth!

    Wishing you all the very best for your big day, I’m sure it will be beautiful and everything you dreamed of (and more). Would love you to stop back in and tell me ALL about it once you’re a Mrs (yay!) xxx

  3. Oh my gosh – the EXACT same thing happened to my (now) husband and I when we were planning our wedding. We had our hearts set on a place even before we were engaged, but 9 months out from our wedding on a visit we found the enforced wedding planner really vague and some major issues with the upkeep of the property.
    After a month of pulling my hair out, we found and booked another venue which turned out to be a DREAM destination and so much better for us. And later that year we had a perfect day there!!

    You’re right, by letting go you can move on to even better things…

    Good luck with your planning xx

    • Wow, that’s EXACTLY the same as us! Crazy! Your comment has made me so excited Serena – I know this second venue (that should be all confirmed in the next few days) is going to be perfect for us. So happy for you that your wedding was a dream! Thanks a million for your comment xx

  4. High 5 to you girl! I was reading this and a quote I’d heard Oprah say just popped into my head & it’s one of my favs. “Listen for the whispers. It is the Universe’s way to communicate. Fail to listen to the whispers, the noise will get louder. Act now. Fail to listen to the loud noise, that noise with become a catastrophe…Bottom line, don’t forget to listen to the whispers”.
    In so many ways we convince ourselves that things will be ok, that they will work themselves out, but that intutition doesn’t lie. And exactly as you say, when you make the decision to let go, a whole new world awaits. Your wedding day will be a fairy tale xoxo

  5. What an inspiring post! I’m sorry to hear about your wedding problems, but as my favourite saying goes – Everything happens for a reason! And it’s turned out for the best! I haven’t heard of Wu-wei before, so thank you. Going to do a bit of Googling on it now! xo

  6. Thanks for your comment Bree! Yep you’re so right — if we hadn’t have listened to our instincts on this one, we wouldn’t have needed to go out and find THE PERFECT VENUE, that we’ve now found! All about timing and trusting…. Deleriously happy & grateful for things NOT working out previously because now they totally have! xx

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