What We Do When We’ve Done Everything We Can and Feel We Should Do More (Chris Eldredge, Pat Steir)

When we’ve worked hard taking care of something or making a project happen, we often still feel there is more we should do… a state that keeps us restless and worried, which does no good at all.

Our friend Chris Eldredge, who is a psychotherapist, told us of a practice he has found useful for gently letting things go… happen…find their way. That is to say: “I do my part, now I release this to grace.”

We take it to mean: To do the best we know how to do. That is all we can do and is enough.  We release our expectation of the results and stop trying to control the situation, knowing there is a great deal more at work than just what we do or see. It’s not all up to us.

That’s where grace comes in. We think of the last line of the W.S. Merwin poem we published yesterday: “…bowing not knowing to what.”

It works no matter what your idea of grace may be. We find this practice makes for a gentler, more fluid and less stressful way of approaching things.

We’ve found it so helpful we’ve made a sign and taped it in view, as a reminder.

Sally Schneider


It reminds us of something artist Pat Steir said about her waterfall paintings:

The spiritual in my art is giving up control. My paintings are based on what I can do, and what I can do is not controlled.

So I give up control, and that’s the spiritual aspect of the work—taking what comes and relinquishing control.

Pat Steir / Levy Gorvy Gallery

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