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Let go of control: how to learn the Art of Surrender

I would like to think I am not a control freak but reality is, I am controlling.

I like to know I am always doing something to achieve my goals, to accomplish tasks to keep things moving. I like to know where everything is, where we are going and how we are going to get there.

But then I got cancer…and all of sudden I couldn’t control anything anymore.

Literally anything…

I was in hospital, I couldn’t help out with my kids after surgery.

I couldn’t be a mum, a wife, a friend that I have always been during my treatment.

I didn’t know if I was going to survive and that my friend throws everything out of the window.

All of sudden I had to deal with so much uncertainty that I didn’t even know if I was going to make over night, another day, another chemotherapy session…

I went down on such a deep whole that it was very hard to climb out of it because while climbing I had to learn how to let go of control. And that was the biggest and most important lesson I had to learn…

We live in a world where we are led to believe we are in control of everything, with our gadgets, with all the things that makes our lives easier, online shopping, everything at one click….

But this time, my life was on the line and there was nothing I could do other than take each day as it came, sometimes take each minute as they came.

Slowly I had to let go of control….of the control I always thought I had.

It taught me to free myself from thinking I had to control everything. It taught me to live each moment to the fullest. It taught me to be grateful and to appreciate each moment.

And all of a sudden, I realised I had missed a load of things in my life that were important, like sitting down and playing with my kids, listening to how creative my daughter is and how grown up my 7 years old boy had become… I had missed to look at my husband with so much love and gratitude as he is the best husband in the world (yes in my opinion he is)

But it wasn’t easy and I still work on it…

Now that I am back into normal life, I sometimes catch myself trying to control everything, feeling upset about something that didn’t go as I had planned.

Then I remind myself where I have been, I remind myself that I am lucky to be here and alive.

I look at my kids and husband and I feel so much love and gratitude that it takes me back to that place of stillness and being happy with living each moment.

Have you tried to let go of control?

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The power of meditation

I started meditating just after I started my chemo treatment. I thought meditating was another trend, another hype that the rich and famous talked about and the rest followed through but I was desperately trying to find ways to help my body and mind to heal. I needed something to help my mind to calm down, to sleep at times.

I started listening to guided meditations to help me sleep during the day but the more books I read about how to achieve physical and mental health, the body and mind connection, the more I read about the benefits of meditation.

I slowly started doing meditations that focussed on the breathe and for me I started learning how to give my mind a break, how to breath and focus on the moment.

I then signed up to the Headspace app and every day I would sit for 10 minutes doing a guided meditation that focussed on stress, calming, gratitude etc. I would sit religiously every day to meditate and most of the time I would feel silly, feel like I wasn’t achieving anything and getting anywhere.

Little I knew that small shifts were being made on my innerself…I started noticing the present moment a lot more by focussing on the feeling of the wind on my skin, listening to the birds chirping.

This was around a year ago…I have been meditating during this whole time…I can say that I did it more often than not most days in the last year.

Today I write you from my holidays…we have been away for a week today and I haven’t been meditating for over a week now. I have noticed that my mind can’t get into the present moment as quickly as when I was meditating daily.

All of a sudden I realised that all the work I have been doing was so worthy. When I can focus on the exact moment, I feel so much joy. I have realized that it is almost as if the ability to do that easily had to be taken away from me so I could value how important it is to meditate, to work on your mind, to exercise your brain muscles so you can fully live the present moment.