I said I’d write more about how the miracle of letting go of what doesn’t work makes room for the universe to offer us what does. What was I thinking? I have no idea how that happens. I only know that, for me at least, it does happen, every single time. The trick—and it is a trick of magical proportions—is to do the letting go part when the time is right. As you too must know, the ego doesn’t like to let go, so we often need to figure out an end run that lets us get by her.
Thanks to ego’s tenacity, I’ve been known to wait way past the right time to let go of a dysfunctional situation. And poor universe has had to jump in early—by kicking me out, often screaming. An example of that unfortunate scenario is when I taught yoga at Dickinson College. It seemed a great gig at first. I loved teaching yoga and I loved that I had thirty-plus students in each of several classes for which I was getting well paid per student. (Okay, well paid for a yoga teacher anyway). And I (that is, my ego) really loved to be teaching at the college level.
It was also true, however, that I (in this case, my heart) didn’t love teaching yoga as much I once had. The extra large classes were also kind of a drag, not conducive to the intimacy and spiritual ambiance I enjoyed creating. Nor, honestly, did I love the Dickinson students, most of whom were taking yoga because it was a cooler, easier gym credit than, say, archery or swimming. After a few years of impersonal classes, overfilled with none-too-interested college kids, I wasn’t having so much fun. And I wasn’t making the difference I’d become a yoga teacher to make. But darned if I was going to let go of the “college teacher” label or the good money. That’s when the universe kicked in and the school cut my salary in half. Oh, well. I sighed and persisted.
It took a second dramatic pay cut, and worse, before I got the message that the real “I” didn’t want to teach at Dickinson any more. There was screaming. But it was only after I finally let go and quit, of course, that Ilana Rubenfeld showed up on the radar screen to blow my mind with her fabulous touch-talk therapy. The moment I saw her use her hands and voice to turn people’s fear back to love, I knew her training was the next thing I had to do. There wouldn’t have been much room to embark on that life-changing adventure had I still been holding Dickinson tight.
Cut to a few weeks ago, when I let go of a web designer/online marketer who’d been holding me back. No, that’s not fair. I was holding me back, because I was holding onto her for fear of not finding anyone else to create my website and the “online presence” the self-publishing book world says you must have. If I hadn’t screwed up my courage to fire Ms. Wrong the day before, it would never have occurred to me one July Friday morning to ask a critical if unlikely question of my book designer, now online-presence-collaborator par excellence, Ms. Shannon Bodie.
As we finished discussing the layout for my book during a routine call that morning, I (in some despair) had the presence of mind—or whatever it was—to ask this: “Shannon, don’t I remember seeing something on your website about you and your husband designing websites?” I knew her husband had another job now, she’d never mentioned anything about web design, and I was at that point looking less for a web designer and more for a social media whiz (or so I thought). As far as I knew, Shannon was neither. But I liked her a lot, she’s very experienced in the world of books and there was a terrifying vacuum. So I gave it a shot.
(To be continued . . . )