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The Art of Allowing and The Zac Brown Band

podcast Apr 21, 2020

Can't listen? Here the transcript:

Hey Dethroners!  I have been spending a lot of time this week thinking about, writing about and talking with people about the art of allowing. Here is what I mean by this: I used to believe that I had to work hard, be a go-getter and make all of my life go the way I wanted, needed it really, or so I thought.  I was completely attached to the idea that the direction of my life had to go exactly the way I wanted it to go and the closest people in my life should live their lives the way I thought they should. 

And I had no idea that I even had this attachment. I thought that was the way you made sure life was good. This was such a blind spot for me. I spent years of my life in a lot of intensity, frustration and control.   Can you relate to this? The awakening for me came when I began to create the concepts of Dethroning Your Inner Critic. Because, we teach what we most need to learn, right? I had to see that the veil between who I thought I needed to be and who I already am, was because I was living with this illusion in my mind, that was made up of all sorts of stories and beliefs that I thought were concrete truths and facts. 

It was years after doing my own work to fully embrace and own all of my Inner Critic’s stories and beliefs, all the parts of myself that I kept hidden for so long, that I was able to recognize that actually letting go of trying to control all of the things I was trying to control, is actually the key to fulfillment and joy in life.  It is such a foreign concept to most people, to realize that all we can do is what we do at this very moment, and life is going to go where it goes.

The practice of allowing is the true understanding that when you're able to allow people, things, and situations to be as they are—without judging them, trying to fix them or wanting to change them—you begin to tap into the immense power of allowing.   

We try to control the direction of our lives to ward off pain.  We try to come up with the right answer, the right solution to get life to work out.  We get stuck with indecisiveness and resist living in the moment, because we are convinced that some part of life or some person in our life should be some other way than exactly the way that it is or they are.  This causes anger, fear, panic, tension, and stress. Then, as a consequence of these emotions, we can also feel tempted to force a decision or an action. But it is at exactly these times—when we are most uncomfortable—that we need to practice the art of allowing.

Sometimes it takes real effort to do nothing and simply be in the experience of an uncomfortable emotion. Especially because most of us want to control, and we feel the need to be in charge of every aspect of our lives, especially at times when we think that our present circumstances might change in a way that we don’t want them to.

But by practicing the art of allowing, we must accept that change is constant and that control is a complete illusion. And when we slow down, relax, and simply observe what is happening in our lives right now, we can also allow ourselves to feel ALL of our feelings, rather than trying to protect ourselves from the uncomfortable ones.

In my Mastering Your Mind program, one of the women in the group said that she had difficulty trusting people and this was making it difficult for her to maintain healthy relationships.  Trust issues are actually a form of trying to control others because we don’t love ourselves.

When we learn to love ourselves by learning to think in a way that fosters self-love, we don’t need to be so fearful of other people hurting us.  We can realize that other people’s behavior is about them, not about us. This is a big part of the art of allowing. When we stop depending on others so we can feel good, we are free.  

The wellbeing that we are searching for cannot exist without really understanding how to practice allowing. Whatever you want to manifest, create or experience in your life will show up in your life as it is meant to.

In other words, we can take actions in this very moment that are in alignment with what we want, but the ability to allow things to happen and materialize, and realize that our attempts to manipulate, dominate or control other people or situations to make them happen, is what causes our suffering. If you have a tendency to be a control freak at times, like I do, this can be incredibly challenging.  

We are taught to believe that life is up to us and we need to “make it happen”.  It is absolutely true that it is the actions that we take that create the life we live.  But the feeling that we have to overwork, run and run, keep up and make everything happen in our life is exhausting, overwhelming and there is never any arrival point.

No matter how hard you work, what you try to fix or all of the changes you want to make, if you don't practice allowing, the true success and fulfillment will always elude you. You will continue to try to manipulate, control or fix the people, things, and situations to make you feel how you want to feel. This is how people maintain a tight grip on careers or relationships that are toxic to them. They don’t have the faith, trust or patience to sit in the discomfort of letting go of what doesn’t serve you, and trusting that letting go is what opens up space for newness to emerge.   

I do a lot of work with couples and what I find over and over in the problems that arise in relationships is that people are blind to the fact that they have not learned to do the necessary work on their inner life and are conditioned to look to their partner for fulfillment, love, and worthiness.

I am working with a couple now and he is the CEO of a very successful investment firm. His wife has been a stay at home mom and has just recently begun to take steps to become a weight loss coach. For many years, they had issues in their relationship that they didn’t address.  He was busy building his very big career, she was busy with all that it takes to raise three children.

The husband was very fulfilled in his career and therefore was blind to how unfulfilled he was in other areas of his life.  The wife was rather unfulfilled in their marriage and frequently voiced her unhappiness but nothing really changed. They, like so many people I work with, were conditioned to let challenges deflate them to the point where they became a much smaller version of themselves in the areas of life that truly matter the most. 

She was stuck in feeling small for much of her life and was holding onto so much resentment for not getting the love, support and validation she craved from him for many years. He was so wrapped up in achievement and accomplishment, he was unaware of how empty their marriage had become. And now, he started feeling threatened because she was pulling away, and was trying desperately to fix and change her behavior. 

It was a vicious cycle where the more he tried to fix her, the more she would become resentful and pull away...and the cycle kept repeating. When they both did the work to come face to face with their inner lack and pain that they had been avoiding for all of their lives, him with his career, money and success, her with approval from others, and making sure her kids fit the societal mold. They did their own work with me to learn to rewire a new way to think that made them feel fulfilled from the inside, with who they already were and the lives they were already leading, and this is when the dynamics of their marriage began to shift.  They didn’t have to change anything on the outside, but rather on the inside.  

So many people have stayed in jobs and careers where they aren’t fulfilled because they believed they had no choice. They lost weight but still felt fatter than ever. Or they looked for other quick fixes to make them feel better, like shopping or drinking, or maybe even having an affair. 

We will never get the feeling that we want in life if we are looking for it from anything or anyone else other than ourselves. There is true freedom in finding contentment right now.  When you are content, you can take actions that are in alignment with your goals, but you don’t have the intensity and attachment that the actions need to produce a specific outcome. You can take the action, and then allow your life to unfold exactly as it is meant to.  This is TRUE freedom. It is action without attachment. It is the marriage of doing and allowing.  

So many people live life in doubt.  We doubt ourselves, we doubt our partners, we doubt where our lives are going, we doubt that we will ever have what we are truly seeking.  Doubt is not having faith, or patience or trust. But those three things are what is essential for your own peace of mind and well-being. We’re not taught to focus on allowing. 

Instead, in our intense, fast-paced, results-oriented culture, we’re taught to have worry and doubt, We’re taught to focus on reaching a future vision in order to feel good. Allowing is contrary to the societal norms and pressures we have been led to believe are normal.

We’re instead taught to solve our problems when we’re feeling most negative about it and then spend our energy mulling it over again and again.  When you learn to intentionally think in a way that generates a different emotion from within yourself, it changes your perspective about the things you think are your problems.  

Thinking in a way that cultivates loving yourself is what changes the trajectory of your life more than anything else you can ever do.  But when you continue to believe that loving yourself exists “out there”, life will continue to feel like it is one big effort.  You can’t live your life from outside. It just doesn’t work.  

A lot of people have concerns when they start to do this work of thinking about what thoughts, feelings, and actions make them feel good, that they will become selfish.  But what Selfishness really is, is-- alignment with self. Your SELF is pure love. When you are selfish enough to care about how you feel, that IS self-love. That is not selfish.  If it matters more to you that you please others, or get the response you are looking for from someone else, or to fulfill your goals to be happy, you will continue to feel that your life satisfaction is elusive.

When you care about yourself, you realize that there is an expert that already lies within you. You don’t need to turn to other people for advice or validation.  You stop being indecisive. You know what you don’t want and you know what you do want, but you stop wanting the things you thought you needed in order to heal the pain inside.  You understand why you are experiencing your problems and suffering in the first place, is because ALL of the problems begin with something inside your mind, and then you are free. You have the power to change how life goes by changing your MIND!

I practice guiding every thought I have towards loving myself. I think, speak and act ON PURPOSE. I create an inner life that is a match for how I want to feel. I catch myself in my Inner Critic’s automatic machinery, the automatic message of “I’m not good enough” and “I don’t have what it takes” and “I need to know more before I can be who I want to be.”  My Inner Critic still speaks. Every day. I just don’t listen to that BS message. I already am enough. I have nothing to prove. I will stay in action, and allow everything in my life to unfold as it is meant to.  To quote one of my favorite songs from the Zac Brown Band, the song Homegrown, “I’ve got everything I need. And nothing that I don’t.” 

If you keep doing your life the way you have always been doing it, and looking for the answers from the same place you’ve been looking, you will remain blind to the superpower that you have when you use your thoughts to change yourself from the inside out.   

When you know how to tap into this fountain of inner love that already exists in your mind, you can create any change you want in your life.  Even the people in your life start acting differently towards you, because you are acting differently towards them. You stop being so reactive, so judgmental, so angry. 

Freeing yourself from negative thinking and interrupting your unhealthy patterns begins with the willingness to tune into your mind and take radical responsibility for the feelings you are feeling.  When you KNOW that your feelings start in your mind, you are able to achieve peace of mind and fulfillment, no matter what is happening in the moment. 

You stop taking on other people’s journeys and try to fix, change or control their behavior.  You realize that when you do that, your pain in that moment is actually greater than theirs. Because what is happening is that you are taking on their relationship with themselves and thinking their behavior is about your relationship with you. 

You are making the manifestation of their pain mean something about your pain. You take their pain upon yourself and then blame them. The way that life is really meant to be, is that you are responsible for your pain and you allow others to be responsible for their own pain.  You realize that you are a powerful person who has the power to choose your focus. 

If you are living misery, continue to practice paying attention to your thoughts that are creating the reality that you are living into.  What are the thoughts that keep you stuck in control and not practicing the art of allowing? When you know that you create your own reality, you can discover that you can either create a life of joy or a life of misery, depending on where you are focusing your mind. 

Most people push against the world around them and get caught up in the confines of what society has taught us--that getting your outer life to match your dreams is what causes fulfillment, which is actually what leads to UNfulfillment.

Your work is to shine a spotlight on what you already have that you want and to do it over and over, until you start to internally feel differently.  You create your life from a different point of view. Does that mean that I stop taking actions and reaching for my dreams? Heck NO! I will always stay in action. And I have already reached my dreams because I have everything I need, and nothing that I don’t.

In order to truly change your life, you need to be willing to think differently from how you feel.

That's why I collected some of my favorite resources and trainings to create an owner's manual for your mind. Want access? Tell us where to send your log-in details! 

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