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Letting go of control

Author: Suzanne Falter-Barns
Published: Jul 24 2005

Living your joy is more than just the tasks on your to do list. This article teaches you how to open your heart and make a quantum leap in your impact.

One of the most wonderful aspects of living your dream are the unexpected gifts that appear along the way. As many of you know, I have spent the winter writing a two-character musical which my partner and I will soon perform in various locations around the US and Canada. (See below.) what I have gotten from it is something I've known I needed since ... well, forever.

I've learned to open my heart.

Those who've been following my work probably think of me as a pretty open- hearted gal. And I am! Nothing makes me happier than to spread my Joy work and my platform work, send out inspirational messages, and generally buck up creative dreamers. However, there has always been a small chunk of my psyche that couldn't just relax and surrender. Instead, it's been dedicated to trying to manage and control my results and otherwise 'make' something happen.

Why? Because no matter how much I've spoken about the need to surrender to your process and 'not know', I've had trouble following this advice myself. As a psychic told me long ago, I would have all that I dreamt of ... but only when I opened my heart.

For a long time, I had no idea what 'opening my heart' would feel or even look like. I meditated about it and got nothing. I tried spiritual exercise programs, visualizations, drumming, and even acupuncture. Nothing worked.

And yet a decade later, as I dig into the 'big dream' - the one that has always seemed most challenging, most exciting, and most passionate - my heart has opened like a well-oiled door.

What I can feel is a new willingness to simply experiment, to put things out there and see where they go. Not as a test of my self-worth, but simply as an offer that might be accepted or rejected. And here's the beauty part: in my open-hearted state, the result no longer matters. All that does is that I'm listening to the guidance in my heart and taking each step along the way.

When you're open-hearted you no longer need to understand the process; you operate from a gut level of passion and certainty. You know what needs to be done next, and that is truly all that matters. You truly give up the need to be successful, and so open the way to receive all that is meant to come your way. Beautifully, opening your heart is an act of supreme generosity with big pay-offs for you.

It's a paradox, really. For without this openness, you cannot attract the people who are meant to help you spread or receive your work. Without this openness, you can't expand your power to be the greater you. And without it, you certainly can't tap into the full extent of your creative juices.

Part of this I attribute to working with my partner, Ryan Brown, who is 19, wildly optimistic, equally guided, and wonderfully willing to try anything creatively. And part I attribute to my very supportive husband, Larry, who doesn't even fully 'get' this work yet, but who stills sees how extremely happy it makes me ... and so is my emotional rock.

This musical, which I wrote about in Joy Letter 119 ( ), has caused me to muster up my courage and become the thousand per cent authentic version of me. And that, dear friends, is the glorious bi-product of opening your heart. You grow, you reap, and you enjoy.

Here are a few things to ask yourself as you assess just how open your own heart is these days. Take out a journal, and contemplate these questions when you have some quiet time. This is your chance to see how much further you can go with your own dream.

1. Where are you holding back on your dream?

2. What are the sources of your fear?

3. If you had a different life, what would be your primary work every day?

4. What would have to be different in your life at this time to make that happen?

5. Answer honestly: what could you change over the next six months to make your dream work a greater priority.

6. Who's permission are you waiting for to get going?

7. What are your biggest fears about fully surrendering to your dream?

8. What would life be like once you fully surrendered to your dream? (Be specific.)

Suzanne Falter-Barns is an internationally known author and speaker who's work has been featured in Woman's Day, SELF, More, Fitness, and more than 100 radio and TV shows. Pick up her free article, '36 Guaranteed Time Savers' at To reprint this article, please use with this bio box intact. Thanks! ?2005 Suzanne Falter-Barns LLC.

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