Let Go of Control: How to Make a Difference | The BridgeMaker

Let Go of Control: How to Make a Difference

By on Feb 01, 2012

It’s worth waiting for the thing that is worthy of us. – Suzanne Grenager

Article written by Susanne Grenager, author of Bare Naked at the Reality Dance

Editor’s note: Scroll down to learn how you can win a free copy of Susanne Grenager’s book Bare Naked at the Reality Dance. Reading by email? Click here to visit the site to participate.

Years ago I wrote and, with great trepidation, mailed a much-labored-over book proposal to a renowned New York book editor. I had met her quite unexpectedly over the coffee urn at a wedding brunch, where she’d expressed interest in my work. I was sure that what seemed like a wildly serendipitous cup of Joe moment spelled imminent publication of the book I’d long felt destined to write.

Getting a top editor’s attention without being over-the-top famous or, better yet, infamous, is a rare and beautiful thing. So I rejoiced when the prominent woman liked my words.

Her surprising offer to help me find the literary agent she insisted I bring to her table, assured me I was the blessed one. But after several months pursuing agents, I walked away. And boy I am I’m glad I did!

Why did I walk away? And why I am glad?

I walked away because I was letting the process of trying and failing to find an agent sicken and disempower me. As much as I thought I wanted a deal, I simply couldn’t stand the trepidation and rejection it was taking to get it.

Even then I knew it made zero sense—and was out of integrity—to kill myself with distress over a book I was calling Relax, Trust, Love. .

I am glad because that proposal, I learned only years later, was for a book far less significant and inspiring than the one I was really supposed to write.

We cannot give what we do not have.

A decade intervened between the proposal for Relax, Trust, Love (eerily akin to Eat Pray Love, which came later) and the writing for the very different book I just published—no agent or New York House involved. And in the interim, I got to do the deep personal work required to make me better able to relax, trust and love myself, in the face of the ups and downs of the author path.

Most critically, the inspired—and I trust, inspiring—words I began writing in 2004 would almost certainly not have come through the women I’d have been if I’d been out basking in the success (or home nursing the failure) of an earlier book.

To write the book I was meant to write, I had to strip down and step up to face my gods and demons, bravely and quietly, for as long as it took.

We cannot give what we do not have.

I want to inspire us all to relax, trust and love our dear selves—so we can make the singular difference we, and the world, are dying for us to make.

To do that for you, I first had to do that for me. If Bare Naked at the Reality Dance sells well, terrific. If it doesn’t, at least I’ll know I was willing to wait till I could do what I’m here to do, without selling myself or my wellbeing short.

The Giveaway

Share in Comments below what your heart is calling you to do. What is your plan to make a difference – write a book, make a movie, raise a family, etc.? You can also share a quote that speaks to the power you have to make a difference. Reading by email? Just click here to visit the site so you can leave a comment, too!

You can enter until midnight Central Standard Time on Sunday, February 5.

Update: The winners for this giveaway have been chosen. Subscribe to The BridgeMaker to receive twice-weekly emails to learn about future giveaways!
The winners:

Suzanne Selby Grenager is the author of Bare Naked at the Reality Dance, a real-time look at the guts it takes to strip down, step up and make the difference we’re all born and dying to make. A former Philadelphia Inquirer columnist, published in Yoga Journal, Suzanne was an early Kripalu Yoga teacher and leader and is certified in the body-mind-spirit Rubenfeld Synergy Method. She hopes you’ll enjoy audio clips and PDF downloads of Bare Naked at www.suzannegrenager.com.

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  • Kimmie Gibbons

    I want to change the world by letting go of “attachments” to my thoughts and by surrendering to all that IS. I believe the most powerful thing I can do to elicit change is to look and reside within.

  • Suzanne, thank you for sharing your book, and story. Also, it’s generous of you to offer two books instead of one. I know the winners will be enriched by your words.

  • I am touched by the beautiful comments readers left in response to my guest post. I hugely appreciate your support for me and “Bare Naked at the Reality Dance,” my wild and woolly account of what it takes to strip down and step up to our particular greatness. I am especially moved by what many of you shared about your desires to make a difference in our struggling world: to tackle poverty, teach kids, encourage others — and to love and live from the inside out, daring to do what’s ours to do. I am thrilled to have inspired that. Alex invited me back soon, for another post and book giveaway. See you then!