Hurray, It's an Illusion

’m getting ready to go on a big trip.  Yesterday morning I made a mega TO DO list. There were 21 items on it. They ranged from quick and simple, requiring no brain power to the lengthy, almost a project, lots of thinking/planning required type stuff.

What is it with lists? Yes, a way not to forget a multitude of details and actions. Especially before a trip. A way to remove thoughts from my head that can be distracting obstacles to creativity. Get it out of your head and on to the page, “they” say.

I’ve decided lists are also the ultimate tool for creating the illusion of control in my not so neat and tidy world. I’m pretty sure we get a dopamine (or some other neurotransmitter) hit when we check off those completed items. And a list with everything checked off is the ultimate, isn’t it?

So yesterday after making the list, the first thing I did was rebel against it and do something else. Then I got a phone call. Then my son needed my attention. Eventually, I hacked my way through the list with lots of distractions and diversions, completing 17 items by the end of the day.

When I didn’t look too hard at the 4 unchecked items, I had a great sense of accomplishment. For the most part, I didn’t take my list or my day or my life too seriously and even had a bit of fun with it. The inside and outside interruptions became amusing after awhile.

Last week I had an insight. With the support of a coach.

It was an insight about control. Actually it was about letting go of control.

What I realized is……

I don’t need to let go. Of control, that is.

Although doesn’t it sound really good? The idea seems like something spiritually wonderful. We might all want to give it a try.  Just let go of control and you will feel so much better.

The thing is, there is nothing to let go of because…..


I never had it. I will never have it.  Any thought, situation, outcome masquerading as in my control is life lining up with what I desire.

Control is an illusion. I got that in a way I had not experienced  before. At the core of my being. Sounding a bit whoo whoo, but that’s how the deeper, rock the way you have always seen your world,  insights show up.

Yes, I can have influence. Sometimes. Maybe. But not control.  Not only do I not have control of situations and outcomes and other people, I don’t even seem to have control of my thoughts. They blow in and out like the wind. I can know not to take them too seriously, but I can’t even control whether I consistently do or do not do that.

I’ve decided this is good news. I can float down the river of life without kicking and screaming and resisting and paddling against the current. I might point my rudder in a certain direction (influence) but I know I may or may not get there. And, whether I get there or not,  the ride will be a wild one.

If I never had control, there is nothing to let go of. Nothing to work on. Nothing to do.

Nothing to do? Nothing to do!  Hey, that means there’s one less item for my list. Hurray!


PS I will be writing for my travel blog over the next two weeks and posting links here. Stay tuned.

gayle nobel