The Power Broker Bust (pt 2 of 4)

Somethings I Just Don’t Control

There is an art to controlling what you can, and letting go of the rest.  I call it BEING in your own business.  So much time is wasted focusing on what is not in our control, that we are left fatigued, emotionally depleted, and oftentimes depressed.  It feels helpless to be in a driver’s seat, with no power to move.  It can leave you exhausted.  It is a power broker bust!

I have listed 5 VERY IMPORTANT “NOT MY BUSINESS” reminders later in this article, but first let’ see what you had to say.

You don't always get to drive!
You don't always get to drive!
I asked some of the Goldenzen community if I could repeat some of the comments they made in the recent article “Are You A Control Freak” in today’s article.  They graciously agreed to share their wisdom.  

Here is what they had to say, somewhat “harmonized”:

Robin of Let’s Live Forever: She is not responsible for what food her spouse puts in his mouth!
(It’s tough enough watching our own bellies!)

Davina of Loving Pulse: A self-confessed control freak says what other people’s attitudes are is not her business.

Gloria Chadwick of Zen Coffee: “  You can’t control other people or situations. You’re in charge of your emotions, your actions and reactions.”  (Now she is exceptionally bright due to the Zen + Coffee strategy she adheres to so we would expect as much from her!)                       

The Urban Panther at (you guessed it) The Urban Panther: Admitted to being slightly “catty” about accurate and inaccurate blog posting – however, says she knows it is not her business to insure that others write open and honest blog posts.

ToBeMe at ToBeMe (I forgot to email for his permission, but he and I go way back, so I think I am good here) said, most profoundly I think, that he is not responsible for the decisions his adult children make.  (for those of us that have them, this one is a toughie!)

Barbara Swafford at Blogging Without A Blog (although she seems to have quite a good one!) said: Choices that are made by someone else are not her business. Period.  Unless, they agree to choose together and then it’s a joint venture.

Lance at The Jungle Of Life bravely said “Its not my business to be overly concerned with what others think of me.”  (Maybe a wee bit off concern is okay? :-))

Stacey at Create A Balance shared: “One thing that is not my business is how others take care of their health.” (Again, ours does seem to be a full time job!)

Late Breaking News: Writer Dad, now known as Sean, at Writer Dad arrived on the scene with a comment I just can’t pass up: “If I’m not where I’d like to be, a good place to start looking for reasons why are the last several decisions I made.”  (Ouch! So what is now OUT of my control is a consequence perhaps of what I did with what was in my control!)

Five Additional Totally Out Of My Control, Not my Business and Completely Draining Scenarios:  

 (WARNING: Content may be offensive to some readers- which, by the way, is none of my business!)

1. What the weather is doing.  Why would I allow rain, snow, wind, cold, sun, or other basic weather patterns to affect my mood for the day – when I am powerless to change it?  (Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes are exempt.  You can worry about that. :-))

2. Global economy I can save, spend, invest, work hard or work little and effect my own economic life to degree, but what Wall Street does, and how it affects my world, is out of my control- therefore not my business.

3. If my lover stays true to me– How can I control that?  Tie a string around his ankle?  Make her take a polygraph test every night?  What you can control is how you respond, how secure you are in yourself, how trusting you choose you can be with others.

4. If I get promoted over the next person – I can do my best, offer my all or offer very little, and experience reward based on merit.  But life rarely rewards according to merit – so the outcome is up to someone else, and my power is in what I do from there.

5. If I die.  People get so off balance on this subject.  My dear readers – you can take supplements, run a few miles four times a week, get a lot of good sex for the prostrate, eat organic, and meditate hours a day – and still die. You don’t control it, so it’s not your business.  This particular fear is the source of much of today’s behaviors, that paradoxically, shorten one’s life through obsessive worry and stress.

The more you let go, the more power you have.  It seems so simple that it appears on surface irresponsible.  But in reality, detachment from outcome is the most powerful tool in your toolbox – and that is your business!

In our next post let’s look at HOW and WHEN do you let go?  Do you have strategies for chillin’ out and “letting it go” that have worked for you that you care to share with a VERY ATTENTIVE audience?  We are listening! 

In the Grace of the Moment,


PS.  THANK YOU SO MUCH to the t photograpers whose talents bless us with such good imagery of verbal communication:  – Alatriste (child in the drivers seat)


24 Comments Add yours

  1. Davina says:

    Hi Harmony. Thanks for the link to Loving Pulse. This is true, but oh so tricky. I understand this principle, but weirdly, this is real hazy for me right now.

    I need a metaphor. Would you say it is like being given a gift, but not being attached to what is in the box? That way you’ll appreciate what is inside more when you open it? And in that sense, I guess you’d be less likely to react and more likely to respond.

  2. Thanks for including me in your list and for the link love.

    “The more you let go, the more power you have.” This is a hard lesson to learn (for me it came w/ age) but it creates a calming oasis once you reach that critical Ah-Ha moment.

  3. Robin says:

    Hi Harmony – thanks for the link!

    Trying to “control” does come from the ego, doesn’t it. When we try to change something about other people, it’s often because are trying to make ourselves more comfortable in some way – it’s not really to do with the other person.

    But I digress… I reckon nothing beats living in the present, following intuition and letting go of the blocks to living fully. I think focussing on our own path, and also being unattached to outcomes are great ways of aiding this!

  4. goldenzen says:


    I am myself being very sorely tested on one of the areas that is not my business…what loved ones think of me. Believe you me, I want to make it my business, to react, to justify, to beg, to ???? But that need is my ego need. From a higher conscious point of view, I have nothing to defend if I am not holding onto an image or an idea that I want others to think or see when they see me.

    What would the image be anyway? One person wants you one way…another person prefers something else.

    It’s like….when Ginger REALLY wants to go for a walkie and I tell her we are going and she dances and pants and wags and yawns etc…

    Then the phone rings, and nothing goes as we planned.
    And she waits, and nose butts me and licks my hand and finally…curls up alongside me and says I am content and goes to sleep.

    Her business was to have fun and enjoy life…if that means she does it walking, she goes walking. If it means surrender and another nice warm nap, she can do that too.

    My job in life is simple happiness. Awareness. Peace. I make that my full time job. It has nothing to do with the outside, and everything to do with my surrender to the Now. And Now is always changing.

    Gratefully your friend,

  5. goldenzen says:

    Welcome back! YES. Age is a blessing. Such a wonder to see life from a different perspective and understand there is very little that means all that much, but what does, is worth cherishing.

  6. goldenzen says:

    You said it sister. You said it. Your first paragraph is what I am working on personally – see my response to Davina. Thanks!

  7. Hi Harmony- This is a powerful statement “The more you let go, the more power you have.” All we need to do is remember to do that.

    P.S. Thank you for the link love.

  8. Lance says:

    Harmony, this post is really making me think this morning. Think about what really is out of my control, and why I can’t just let go of some of these things. Interestingly, I just had a conversation with someone two days ago about the weather, and how we’re both affected because it wasn’t bright and sunny. What a bad way to look at it. I can choose to start the day with a positive outlook, irregardless of what is in the sky! That seems like an easy one (we’ll see if it is…).

    I like Gloria’s response about not being able to control other people or situations (it must be the combo of zen and coffee). How often I have tried…and how often I have come away frustrated because I couldn’t control. This one rings very true, and again, another one I can really work on.

    It can be hard to let go. It’s hard because it feels like we’re giving up control. But, is it something we really control anyway? Often times not, as you’ve shown us here…

  9. Harmony, I love what you said: “The more you let go, the more power you have.” When you let go and detach yourself from expected outcomes or what you think you want, or how you think something should happen, you completely open yourself to receiving… to having what you want. And more often than not, something really wonderful happens, something that you never even imagined in the first place. This is where your “power” comes into the picture because by letting go of control, you allow yourself to be open, to let things happen for the highest good.

    Thanks for the link to Zen Coffee.

  10. Beth says:

    Trying to control things is “power over” and letting go and living in the moment is “power to.”

    Gloria Chadwick, I agree–being open is a really powerful and sometimes quite frightening experience.

  11. Hi Beth. I like your “power to.” Being open, to me, isn’t a frightening experience; it’s a wonderfully exciting and exhilarating experience — like the raw, wild power of a thunderstorm or sitting peacefully by a gently-flowing waterfall. Both are quite energizing!

  12. Simon says:

    Hi Harmony – Thanks for the lovely comment you left on my blog! And thanks for this very useful series of posts…

    The big ‘not my business’ thing I’m working on at the moment is about other people being polite and thoughtful. I’m testing myself on it all the time. Yesterday, someone tried to push in the front of the queue at the local shop. Today, someone hit me with their trolley at the supermarket. There was no apology for this. Both incidents made me very angry. And yet… I wasn’t really short of time yesterday and my leg didn’t hurt so much today. The only thing that gave me a small amount of suffering was my own anger, so why did I do that to myself?

    My anger was based on the belief that other people should be polite and considerate of others. But why should they be? Even *I* am not polite and considerate of others all the time, so why should I expect it of other people? As you say, it is none of my business how these people behave…

  13. Davina says:

    Hi Harmony. Thanks for your “Gingerly” answer to my question. 🙂

  14. Beth says:

    After reading Simon’s post, I have a question. When does bad behavior become our business?

    How bad does it have to be?

  15. Ari Koinuma says:

    Here’s a big one I can’t control:

    Whether you like me or not.

    Or whether anyone likes me or not.

    I can try to be a nice person — sure. But still, I’m assuming that what is “nice” to me is nice to you, and that you’ll like me if I am nice to you. Lots of assumptions there.

    I wrote more on that, here:

    It was a scary realization, but now I’m at peace — one less thing to worry about!


  16. Evelyn Lim says:

    Robin’s comments are so funny that I burst out laughing! It’s obvious that most of us are sane enough to just focus on the things that we can control. Thanks for featuring this post!

  17. goldenzen says:

    Sorry everyone I am so late in getting back to your comments! I have been out with Clients all day and took time to wash President Clinton with Larry King tonight.
    Lots to say about that…but I digress…

    ^/> Barbara – so funny isnt it how the laws that actually govern the universe seem so odd to the mind. LET GO – HAVE MORE! Thanks for being here.

    ^/> Lance – Your musings and thoughts mirror mine too. Even too think differently, or grow in our consciousness means letting go…of what we know and default into and trusting that a new way that seems very unfamiliar will benefit us. Thanks for being so open!

    ^/> Gloria, YES that is it actually. Once we do figure that out, that the unexpected chaos is sure to bring us something better (although often different), letting go becomes preferable. 🙂

    ^/> Beth, wow. Power over or Power to…that is really good. You should post on that! 🙂 PS. Being open in relationships is sometimes very scary for me. Being open to God…ah, that is a breath of fresh air. 🙂

    ^/> Simon – you just always have rich stuff to share. Well..I have to face that about me all the time too. Do I always use the turn signal on the car, or stop for pedestrians waiting to cross? I try, but I mess up. So do others. Is it moral to be polite? Well, some of us think it is showing respect, but if I am hung up on it, am I being anymore respectful to myself than that person was to me?

    ^/> Davina – it is Golden Zen after all. 🙂

    ^/> Beth – this is going to be a post for me in the near future. I have some thoughts to share that may prove very controversial but I think a very good discussion will follow. Thank you for asking the question…and stay tuned! 🙂

    ^/> Ari – thanks for sharing that. Everyone likes something different anyway, so by pleasing one, we dissapoint someone else…and whose to say their opinion about me has anything to do with my own reality in the first place? Thanks for coming by again. Good to see you.

    ^/> Evelyn- Well, I don’t know about that. If I read the headlines of any newspaper, or listen to the talk in the grocery line – it sure sounds like a lot of folks are focused on what they cannot control. Maybe they don’t recognize it though. Good to see you always!

    Thank you for today’s great discussion everyone.
    I look forward to hearing what tomorrow’s readers have to say.

  18. goldenzen says:

    PS Barbara and Beth: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE LINKS! I got link loved!

  19. Rita says:


    Are control and power the same things? I’m not sure. Control is something you can try to take for yourself, whereas power is the attempt to control others – wiith or without their wills.

    I guess that I seek to control that which I can over myself, with the understanding that mitigating factors will occasionally get in the way.

    But power? I see power as “other-oriented.” I do not now, nor do I see myself ever wanting power over others.

    As Lord Acton said, “Power corrupts…absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Maybe I’m missing the point, but that is what I can offer, based on my understanding of the complexities that you addressed.


  20. mergingpoint says:

    What a wonderful and daring post!

    Basically one loves to be called as good and doesnot want to get into the bad books of others. This division strays the individual from Truth. One need not be rude but can be firm. That is the subtle way of shifting gears and going smooth in our inner road.

    As far as nature is concerned, it has nothing to do with control, but just acceptance and adapting that works the way.

    As a form in any situation, i prefer to apply the logical mind to find a solution and then beyond that just surrender to existence.

  21. Liara Covert says:

    I love the image of the child in the driver’s seat. Just imagine what kind of life you would lead if you permitted your inner child to shape the direction of your life choices. Many people are not yet on that wavelength, and doing so might be their greatest fear. Yet, getting there is a very rewarding journey.

    One related story was offered in a recent episode of Ghost Whisperer. A college student gave up work on a horror film project because her grades in Economic major were falling. And yet, for a large part of her life, she was living the life she thought other people wanted her to lead, not allowing her inner child to exert more influence on her choices. her dream, she finally realized, was to be a film director. She was initially oblivious to the signs. She eventually made a very positive life change, with a bit of a prompting from a ghost. Imagine how your life would change if you became aware of your greatest fears and faced them systematically.

  22. goldenzen says:

    ^/> mergingpoint: thanks! “Accepting and adapting” works in a mulittude of tough spots. When it’s time to make a change, that too is a NOW initiative. I think people sometimes confuse NOW with WHIMP or doing nothing. It’s how you DO that effects the outcome.

    ^/> I loved that photo too. And you offer a great slant on the subject. Thank you Liara. Good to see you.

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