Recently I binge watched the last season of 12 Monkeys and as a result I had this dream of a time paradox I was trying to solve and every time I thought I solved it, it would change and I would try to solve it again. Finally I came to a point where I realized it couldn't be solved and that the only solution was to let go. Yet it was such a hard decision, because letting go went counter to everything telling me I could solve this time paradox. But the longer I kept trying to solve something the harder it was.
So eventually I let go. I stopped trying to solve the time paradox, the problem, and just moved on. And when I did that, the dream ended. The stress went away. The problem was solved.
Something I've noticed in my own magical practice, and in other peoples' practice is that a lot of times magic is used to solve problems. And there's nothing wrong with that, but when we become so focused on solving problems we sometimes forget the power of just letting go. Not every problem needs to be solved or can be solved. And sometimes the best solution is to simply let go.
I told you about my dream, but this last year has been an epic journey of learning to let go for me. I've had to let go of friendships, businesses, and ultimately I've had to let go of my own paradox of being an author but not trusting my writing enough to just pursue it wholeheartedly. You see for a long time I had this belief that I couldn't make it as a writer. I felt like I had to find other ways to support my writing. I never fully acknowledged it, but there it was in the background, with me doing a lot of things I kind of enjoyed, but never being fully engaged.
And I'd tell myself I'll get to my writing. I just have to solve these problems first and make sure I can support the writing. And once those problems are solved, I'll write. But all that problem solving I was trying to do? It was a lot like the dream I shared with you. I'd think I'd solved something, only to have the problem rear its head in a different way. And no matter what I did, I just couldn't get anything to work. It was so frustrating!!!
And eventually circumstances forced me to let go. I let go of the coaching business, the attempts to teach classes, and everything else that I had been telling myself. I let go, went back to work at a job for the first time in 9 years, and in the first few months spent a lot of time doing some soul searching, asking questions such as, "What do I really want to with my life?" and "What brings me to life and makes me happy and fulfilled?"
The conclusion I came to is I just want to write, and so I then started really looking at all those excuses I'd given myself for why I couldn't just write. These were excuses such as, "You can't make a viable living off of writing." and "Your so niched and different with what you write about that it's not viable." And beneath all that... "You won't make it because people want x instead of what you write about." These were obsessions I had and they kept getting in the way of anything I did because nothing I did could address these obsessions. I was fixated on results and you know what happens when you fixate on results? You get stuck. Nothing changes.
Instead of continuing to try to solve these problems head on, I decided to just let go. Let go of the excuses, let go of the reasons why my writing couldn't succeed, and let go of the stupid comparisons I was making...Let go and just write. Letting go worked because there was no reason to continue to struggle against myself, no reason to continue finding reasons not to write.
So now I'm writing as much as I can, when I can. I write everyday on my lunch break at work. I write when I come home, and I write on the weekends. I write and I also publish and now I'm just seeing what happens and taking some of those business skills I learned and applying them to my writing, because for the first time in my life I'm really treating my writing as my career.
And what's the lesson here?
If you keep trying to solve the same problem, but you never get anywhere with it, its time to let go of that problem and see what else is out there. You may just find the solution you really needed when you let go.