Monday, May 5, 2014

Are You Leaning?

By Barbara Berger

When you start becoming aware that you’re not in control of very much, you will probably discover many things – one of them is that you’re ‘leaning’. (Leaning goes hand in hand with the control game.) Now what do I mean by ‘leaning’? Leaning is when we exert a whole lot of effort to achieve or do something over which we have no control whatsoever. Things happen or they don’t; but when we lean, it’s because we want a specific outcome. We want something to happen or not happen. The problem with leaning is that we’re using so much energy yearning and striving for results and outcomes that are quite beyond our control. For example: You start a project and hope for success. You begin an assignment and hope your boss will like the job you do. You dress up pretty for a nice date and hope the guy will like the way you look. In every case, ‘leaning’ is going on. Why do I say that? Well because there are two parts to each of the above statements. Let’s take a look at what I mean:

1)    You start a project and hope for success. The fact is you’re starting a project. Period. That’s what’s going on. You are going to do this or that to the very best of your ability. And you do. That’s what’s within your control. As for the results of your efforts, well forget about them. Results are way beyond our control. When you worry about results and success, you’re leaning. Which isn’t good for your peace of mind. The wise course is to do the best you can and leave the rest to the universe. Because that’s the way it is anyway. The reality is that it’s beyond your control no matter what you think or do. You have no control over any of it and by thinking you do, you cause yourself so much stress, worry and anguish.

2)    You begin an assignment and hope your boss will like the job you do. Again, if you want to live a happy life, do the best you can and forget the rest. Don’t worry about whether your boss will like what you do or not. Do your utmost and forget it. You have no control over what your boss thinks or doesn’t think; and if you use a lot of energy worrying about the results and hoping for approval, you are leaning and wearing yourself out for nothing!

3)    You dress up pretty for your date and hope the guy will like the way you look. Again, this is like howling at the moon. Dress up as pretty as you can for your own pleasure and leave the rest to the universe. The guy is going to like/love you (or not like/love you) regardless of whether you’re wearing eye makeup and your best dress. So if you want to enjoy your date, stop leaning and leave it to the universe. And remember, there’s always another party going on somewhere in town.

Practice not leaning
All joking aside, is it possible not to lean? And if it is, can we practice not leaning? Yes I think it is possible, and like everything else in life, it’s all about becoming more aware of what we are doing. It’s a process. It’s about waking up and in this case, it’s about learning to let things be. And here again I’d like to point out most emphatically that this has nothing to do with being passive or not caring or not doing your best. You should definitely do your best! You should definitely constantly check your intention and motivation. You should definitely go for the highest you can envision. But once you do your part, let it go. In other words, release the outcome instead of wanting and straining for specific results. Because this is where the struggle grinds you down. You could say it’s a balance act, which involves doing your best and not wanting or caring about the results at the same time. Rather do and let go. Do and let things be. Is this possible? Of course it is! But it does take awareness and practice.

When we act, no matter what we do, we set in motion a chain of events. That’s just the way it is. So if we act with the best possible intention and work for the very best we can envision, what more can we do? We’re not running the show, even if we’d like to think we are. We’re actually just here for the ride, and it can be a very pleasant ride if we’re not so attached to the results.

Success or failure, who cares? It’s more about resting in yourself. She loves me, she loves me not, who cares? It’s more about knowing your own worth and letting her go to find the love of her life (which might be you). My boss likes my work or he doesn’t, who cares? It’s more about showering your brilliance wherever you go and leaving it at that. If you win the prize, fine, if not, who cares? Brilliance is the way of it anyway.
Just as long as you let go, you’ll be fine. It’s the caring and worrying about outcomes that grinds us down.

So keep your intention pure.

Go for the gold and leave it at that.

This is a sure way to bring yourself back to this now moment and live a happy life.

Barbara Berger is the author of the international bestseller The Road to Power – Fast Food for the Soul (published in 30 languages) and The Awakening Human Being – A Guide to the Power of Mind. Her highly acclaimed book, Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life (already published in 14 languages) was just released in the US and the UK. The books can be ordered on For more about Barbara Berger see

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