This summer I did an eight-week Conscious Manifestion course with Eckhart Tolle. It was so inspirational! Eckhart Tolle is the spiritual teacher who wrote The Power of Now and A New Earth. Whenever I read one of his books or listen to him I feel calm, centred and filled with trust in how life works. So when Eckhart Tolle at the end of the course said “Don’t be a control freak” I listened. This article is about letting go of control and how life becomes helpful once you do so.

Before we have experienced the benefits of letting go of control I believe many of us don’t really enjoy it. It feels scary and vulnerable and just like falling into a void where no one will catch us. I used to view letting go of control as something weak, powerless and with zero passion for life. How fun it turns out to be just the opposite.

At the moment I do notice a lot of “control freaking out” around me. Of course I have it in me too and am in no place to judge. I know everyone is doing their best. I was a great control freak myself – hopefully a bit less now!

Yoga and meditation practice and life experiences have taught me a lot about letting go of control. Here are a few thoughts:

  • Letting go of control through physical yoga practice: When I come to my mat I now accept that I don’t know how the practice is going to be. I tune my awareness to how the body feels as I move in and out of postures supported by the breath. I notice how the physical practice helps my mind become calm. Basically, I let go to go deeper within and find stillness. This is powerful as everything we learn on the mat can be transferred to how we live our lives. It was very different at the start of my yoga journey. I got rather frustrated not being able to move exactly how I wanted to. I ended up injuring myself through thinking and striving rather than allowing and letting go.
  • Letting go of control through meditation: This has become my aim during meditation. While meditating I visualise myself standing on the top of a cliff, and then I let myself fall. As best I can I fall without fear in the mind, without resistance in the body, trusting that I am supported and that nothing bad or wrong will happen. This is how I teach myself to let go of control and give full trust to life. I surrender as best I can although I don’t know what I am “falling into”. Of course there are times when this feels easier than others. Sometimes tension and fear keep me back.

The cool part is how the practice of letting go of control in yoga and meditation practice is clearly bringing more ease into my life. Here I am sharing a few recent examples. I love knowing it is interlinked with my practice:

  • This summer, I sold my house and purchased another property and there was so much to organise. Everything happened in one go. I kept telling myself to stay in the moment. I did not prepare a long list of what I needed to do as it would have been too overwhelming. Maybe this was not completely conscious but what happened was that helpful things came to me without me controlling the situation. For example, friends or family would ask “Have you taken care of such and such?” which I hadn’t, and then I would simply do that, just in time. There was no panic. I trusted that all the important things would come to me when they needed to.
  • The actual selling and purchasing of properties were delayed twice. At the time it annoyed me, but I kept telling myself it is okay. It turned out to be extremely lucky as I exchanged and completed just after that the so-called “stamp duty holiday” was introduced. I ended up saving money on the purchase and had the opportunity to spend more on the refurbishment work I wanted to carry out.
  • The refurbishment work in my new home has felt nearly too easy. There have been other obstacles but the work itself has happened in a harmonious way. I have wondered why it hasn’t felt stressful. I realise I have not let my mind go into worry and control. Instead of controlling everything I have given trust to the builders and all the decisions that needed to be made – basically trusting that everything would turn out fine.

To conclude I will share a little word of advice. Several years ago I went to therapy as my marriage was falling apart. There were so many decisions to be made and I felt overwhelmed and super-stressed by the whole situation. The therapist said something really helpful that I often remind myself of: “You don’t need to decide everything now. Let the decision come to you”. I followed her advice and it worked. Things got easier. So let go of control as best you can. Let go and experience something amazing: That once you stop being in total control life will become helpful to you ❤️

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Annette Wiik

My name is Annette. I am a Yoga Academy Certified Teacher (BWY-Accredited School) and started practising Hatha Yoga over 20 years ago. Holding a certificate from Bangor University to teach mindfulness-based courses, I incorporate my knowledge of mindfulness meditation in all my yoga classes. I have two grown-up children.