Notes from a recovering Control-Freak

I’ll be the first to admit that I like having control.  I try to do this through my constant organizing and in my striving toward perfectionism.  Having control of objects gives me the illusion of having control over the intangible.  But if anything spirals you out of control, it is a cancer diagnosis.  With this diagnosis, I lost control of my body to rapidly dividing cancer cells.  I lost control of my time and privacy to medical appointments and health care providers.  And what minute control I thought I had over my future was completely gone.  Recently, I’ve dealt with the issue of control in yoga.  In my practice, the part of me that likes control ensures that my arms are straight, fingers spread, toes in at a 45 degree angle, heels lined up, feet parallel, well, you get the idea.  Fortunately, a very wise yoga instructor shed some light on this for me.  She ever-so-gently nudged me toward relinquishing my control to the energy of each pose.  She reminded me to allow each pose to express itself through me and to let the pose invite me into different variations.  For the short time I’ve been practicing this way, I feel more in sync with and less disconnected from my practice.  This ‘joining together’ is a key element of yoga.  Surrendering my control in yoga has opened a new world to me and I am more in tune with each pose’s energies flowing through me.  Similarly, when we release some control in our daily lives, it allows us to merge with the stream of energy that flows through each of us.  Aligning our efforts with this energy enables us to express our highest selves.   And we are more open to receive.  Whether we discover this energy flow by willingly giving up some control or by having our illusion of control shattered by a life-threatening diagnosis- the love to which this energy opens us is available to us all.