For the last two weeks I have facilitated courses that have dealt with personal change. Below is a great image of a personal power grid. What I realized while we were discussing this concept was that I was spending a lot of my time preparing for our trip in the ceaseless striving quadrant but trying to tell myself I was in the Mastery quadrant.
There are a few good examples of this. When you are single and you volunteer internationally, usually you can pack up an apartment put your personal possessions in storage and then you are off. For us we have a mortgage, property taxes, home insurance, car insurance, life insurance on all the family and RESPs for the kids; none of which stop just because we aren’t in Canada. So renting the house and at least trying to cover off the mortgage and taxes was important. I have a spreadsheet that shows the deficit we will run in Grenada and it was a manageable figure to repay when we came back. However the past two months have dragged on with no one wanting to rent a furnished house for 10 months. I was now facing a new reality that we would be responsible for all the costs and there would be no rent. After facilitating the course Exploring the Leader in You I realized I was trying to control what other people would do or value and it was causing me stress and anxiety. I went home Thursday night and put a zero in the column for rent and watched the numbers readjust.
You might think I will have felt sick or disheartened about what I saw. In fact the opposite was true, I felt light and free from worry. This was the worst case a scenario and it was OK, it wasn’t what I would prefer but it wasn’t a deal breaker either. Thursday night I felt more relaxed and calm than I had felt in a while. Saturday morning I got a phone call from a woman wanting to rent the house. She came Sunday and said she would take it for a bit less than what was ideal, but a whole lot more than zero. That night we got another call about the house, Monday we got another one! It was as though letting go of trying to control the outcome allowed for people to want the property.
Yesterday I delivered You and Change and realized that while I have let our Canada housing situation go I am still trying to control the outcome of our housing situation in Grenada. It is hard to find the balance between the boys education, not having to drive too far (on the “wrong” side of the road along steep roads that see a wrong turn ending in the ocean) and Brent having something to do to fill his days. There will be no perfect solution. It is going to be a compromise and ultimately it will not be me who decides. Yet I keep trying to! So this week I have to work on letting that go too, and trusting that while it may not be perfect it will work.