Are You Trying to Control Your Life?

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"Life is constantly moving. And that’s terrifying. Because we can’t control it. We can’t get so fixed on certain ideas or ways of being. Because they may not be relevant for us in a few years—or even just a few weeks."

For accessibility and ease, you can listen to this blog post narrated by Mike:


Life is always moving.

Always changing, always evolving.

In this moment, we’re all creating new skin cells and blood cells. If we weren’t, we’d be dead pretty soon. To be alive is to constantly create.

We pretend life—and creation, in general—is this fixed, one-time thing. Like we create a business and then it’s just done. Or we create a relationship and then it runs itself.

And anyone who’s ever had a relationship fall apart because of neglect can probably tell you—that’s not the case at all.

Life is constantly moving. And that’s terrifying. Because we can’t control it. We can’t get so fixed on certain ideas or ways of being. Because they may not be relevant for us in a few years—or even just a few weeks.

When we fixate our entire identity on what we once believed, we’re actively suppressing the flow of life. We’re trying to turn ourselves into objects. Relics of the past. Stubbornly digging our heels in. For control.

It’s why surrender is one of the most important skills we visionaries can ever adopt. Because surrender, at its core, means to give one’s self over to life itself. To no longer hubristically decide that we can halt life. To refuse to turn ourselves into objects, even if it means not being able to control where life takes us.

I won’t lie—there are many times in my life that I wish I could just halt life. When things are going particularly well, when I grow accustomed to something, when I’m comfortable with a pattern—even a really disempowering one.

Familiarity means control. It’s predictable. And we’re safe when we know what’s coming.

As visionaries—people who’ve been “too much” and “not enough” for many of the spaces in our lives—safety is always a concern. We want to know the rules. We want to know when it is or isn’t okay to be emotional. When it is or isn’t okay to say our honest feelings. When it is or isn’t okay to be silly and goofy and playful.

We crave what’s familiar. What we can predict. What we can control. Because then we can keep it still and ensure our own safety.

But life is anything but still. It’s alive. It’s always moving. And the inherent tension of that movement with our own is what creates growth.

I’ve spent plenty of time in my life trying at all costs to avoid that growth. I knew deep down that something was off, and I wanted to leave my PR business and start off on my own—but I tried to numb it out with alcohol and busyness. Until the tension grew so strong that I ended up vomiting blood.

Or I knew that Garrett’s and my relationship was evolving to something more romantic. But I was scared to face it until the tension built to such a point that I had to tell him how I felt.

I wanted to stop and control life in those—and so many—instances. I couldn’t predict the outcome. I couldn’t control it. I didn’t feel safe.

And yet life was moving all the same. Indifferent to my objections.

Because life is always moving. Always happening. It’s what separates the animate from the inanimate. The alive from the objects. And tells us that we have a genius—an inborn nature or generative power. A life force within us that is solely ours.

Despite our best efforts to stall the process, aging happens, kids grow up, faces wrinkle, stress wears us over time, and intuition gets louder and louder.

Life is happening. And we can choose to flow with it or stubbornly dig our heels in deeper.

When we stop treating life as an object—instead, seeing it as something that’s truly alive—we start to see ourselves as more alive. As dynamic, complex beings that are evolving in every moment.

And absolutes stop holding power over us. We can’t be a “good person” or a “bad person” because we’re changing in every instant. We can’t be reduced to just one or two attributes that society praises because we’re dynamically stepping into parts of ourselves every day.

We aren’t our shame. Or our trauma. Or our experiences. Though all of those things are surely a part of this alive, complex being. And we’re shifting and processing all of it on a daily basis.

We’re alive. Flowing with life. Having tension with the world around us. Noticing moments where our genius collides with others’. And ultimately compels us to grow deeper into who we are.

Living from your genius means living from the place of being alive. Not trying to turn yourself into an object—reduced to just a few attributes which society tells you are most important. Because it’s easier. Because it’s more palatable for others.

No. Living from your genius is something different entirely. It’s acknowledging that who I am today is inherently different from who I was yesterday. I don’t have to hold on to this fixed view of myself. Because I’m never fixed. I’m always evolving. According to the themes of my genius—or Brand Energies.

I’m becoming more sensitive to the nuances of Successful, Aligned, Zany, Free, Unmistakable, and Vulnerable. What those mean to me today is very different from what those meant just a few years ago.

I’ve become more sensitive to them. Because we experience life through our senses. To be alive is to sense life. And the more sensitive I am, the more alive I feel.

When we see life as alive, it’s not about “achieving” or “winning” something. It’s not a linear path. It’s a relationship.

I can’t “win” in my relationship with Garrett. Because it’s not a zero-sum game. And he’s not my competitor. He’s my collaborator. My partner. It’s a relationship.

When we start to see life—and every part of it—as alive, as having its own subjectivity, then we’re no longer trying to win at life. We’re building a relationship together. We’re flowing together.

And we become more alive. From the place of our genius.


Questions for Reflection:

*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:

Are you trying to control your life?

— Do you ever wish things would just stop changing? Do you actively try to stop them from changing? Are you afraid about what might happen when things don’t look the way you expect them to?

— Do you have fixed stories about who you are? Maybe based on experiences, traumas, or beliefs from long ago? Do you sometimes believe you’ll always be a certain way because you were at one time?

— What if life is always moving and changing? What if the key to uncovering your own life force and genius is to recognize and honor the life force in all things? What if seeing everything in your life as alive changes it from a competition to a relationship?

Mike Iamele

Mike Iamele

Mike writes about how artists, entrepreneurs, healers, and visionaries of all kinds can actually build a life around the genius inside of them.

He's CEO of Mike Iamele LLC and Creator of Sacred Branding® and the Sacred Circle.

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