In light of all the negative news and challenges so many have been facing lately, I think we could all use more uplifting stories and experiences in our lives. So instead of answering a question this week, I wanted to share a profound swinging experience I recently had (no, not that kind of swinging, this is a PG story!). It happened in the middle of a one-day workshop I attended. On our lunch break, I ventured outside and noticed a rather rickety wooden swing attached by ropes to a study tree branch that seemed to be calling my name. So I answered. As I sat down, I recalled how much I loved to swing as a child – getting as much height as I could muster and then jumping off into my dad’s arms. How fearless and trusting I was then! I thought to myself, can I take the leaps of faith that felt liberating as a child but now as an adult often come with the added weight of self-doubt? How can we be fearless and trusting during these times of uncertainty?
These thoughts were swirling around in my head as I began pumping my legs, driven by a desire to get the high I remembered achieving as a girl. I swung my legs harder and faster adding effort from my upper body to pick up more momentum. I felt like I just had to get higher and go faster but the exertion it was requiring became exhausting rather than exhilarating. I realized how hard I was pushing myself and missed the comforting feeling of being pushed by my dad. And then all of a sudden, I heard my inner wisdom say to me, “Just surrender and allow yourself to be gently pushed. Trust.”
If there is one thing I have learned about intuition, it’s that to be more in tune requires actually listening whenever something even remotely sounds like our inner voice. So I decided to pay attention. How did I know this was my inner guidance speaking to me? Because it felt clear, reassuring, and unwavering. Instead of sounding like a thought that I had CREATED in my mind, it was a thought that suddenly APPEARED like an epiphany or a moment of crystal clear clarity.
So I listened just as I had when the swing beckoned me over. I closed my eyes, took a very deep breath, and surrendered. I completely stopped moving and allowed myself to gently be pushed. And what happened was miraculous. For about ten minutes, I went back and forth on the swing without any effort on my part at all. I basked in the feeling of the breeze on my face, in the sounds of the birds conversing with each other, and in the experience of doing nothing. And all I had to do to receive this was to take a leap of faith by listening, trusting, and surrendering to my experience rather than trying to control it. Hmmm…maybe this is something that is helpful to remember during times of uncertainty.
As I relaxed into this most blissful swinging experience, another lesson appeared. It dawned on me how much we allow ourselves to be pushed by our egos, our expectations, other people, and society in general. This kind of pushing feels like pressure and force – and often pushes us into situations that we don’t really even want. But there is another way to be gently pushed and that is by tuning into our own inner guidance which is gentle, fluid and in support of our truest desires. A push from our intuition feels similar to being gently pushed on a swing. If you get quiet enough to hear yourself, you will find a well of support, guidance, and freedom – just like the kind I discovered on that old wooden swing.
Now you may be thinking, “Christine has clearly gone coo-coo, swings don’t swing by themselves.” Well, I choose to believe that miraculous things often happen in very simple and unexpected ways which ups my chances of having these kinds of experiences. If that’s coo-coo, sign me up.
Are you open to stop white-knuckling your way through it under the illusion of control and surrender to miracles? Are you willing to listen to your own inner voice rather than being pushed by the expectations of others? If the answer is yes, then listen, trust, take a leap of faith and enjoy the ride. And if you haven’t been swinging in a while, I HIGHLY recommend it!
Christine Hassler supports individuals in discovering the answers to the questions: “Who Am I, What do I want, and How do I get it?” She is a Life Coach with a counseling emphasis specializing in relationships, career, finances, self-identity, personal and spiritual growth. Her expertise is centered on the twenty and early thirty something years of life.
Christine has authored two books: Twenty-Something, Twenty-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman’s Guide to Balance and Direction and The Twenty-Something Manifesto. As a professional speaker, Christine leads seminars and workshops to audiences around the country. She has spoken to over 10,000 college students as well as to conferences and corporations about generational diversity. Christine has appeared as an expert on The Today Show, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, E!, Style and PBS, as well as various local television and radio shows, speaking about life issues and “Expectation Hangovers®” – a phenomenon she identified and trademarked.
Christine is the spokesperson for Zync from American Express and the key resource for their Quarterlife Program, which empowers young people to take control of their finances. She also created a life balance curriculum for the Leadership Institute and is a member of Northwestern University’s Council of 100. Beginning this fall, Christine will serve on the faculty of the University of Santa Monica.
Christine grew up in Dallas, graduated cum laude from Northwestern University and received her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of Santa Monica.