The Gentle Freedom of Being a Nincompoop
By Allan Hardman
And so I gave up. I let go of the whole crazy idea

Have you ever thought about it? About how good and relaxed it would feel to not have to maintain any fronts for anybody... to be able to totally and completely be yourself all of the time? There was a time when we were little kids that we must have felt like that. Times when we were so absorbed in ourselves that we were totally unaware of observers, of judgments, of "shoulds." As an adult, I have rarely enjoyed the privilege of such states-- that is, until I discovered the Gentle Freedom of Being a Nincompoop! I used to spend a great deal of energy in my life being Somebody. (And not getting much return for my investment!). I posed and I postured, looking good, to attract what I thought I needed. I had a Somebody for any occasion. I used my vast intellect to understand everything, and to predict every outcome-- both for myself and for everyone around me, especially in my relationships. I had all of the answers. And then one day I discovered that the way I knew someone was feeling was not how they were feeling.

And then another day something turned out differently than I predicted and I couldn't control it. The more I paid attention, the more I realized that my control was only an illusion, some small safe comfort to me in a dangerously unpredictable world, and my keen awareness of other peoples' realities was a mere figment of my imagination. I felt like such a Nincompoop! I came to realize that I actually didn't know how to figure anything out, I really didn't know what people were feeling, and I wasn't actually controlling the outcome of anything or anybody! And so I gave up. I let go of the whole crazy idea.

I figured that somebody must be doing it, even if I wasn't, because it kept on happening without me, so I turned it over to whoever it was. (And then I took it back, turned it over, took it back, turned, took, turned, took, turned). As time went by, I discovered that being a total Nincompoop wasn't so bad. I didn't have to get anything perfect anymore, I didn't have to know how to get relationships to come out the way I wanted, I didn't have to know exactly what other people were thinking or needing. "I am such a Nincompoop about some things!" What freedom! No more posing and posturing. No more Perfect Answers. No more managing and manipulating to control the outcome. Just a shrug of the shoulders, and turning it over to whoever is really doing it anyway. And taking it back, the turning it over, taking it back, turning it over, etc.

It turns out that I am a Nincompoop about knowing how to turn it over Perfectly. Ahh, what freedom, what a simple gentle freedom. Care to join me?




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Allan Hardman is an author and expert on personal and spiritual transformation, relationships, emotional healing-- and a Toltec Master in the lineage of don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements.™ Allan teaches in Sonoma County, CA, and from “The House of the Eagles,” his winter home in Chacala, Nayarít, Mexico. He guides Journeys of the Spirit to sacred sites in Mexico, and hosts wellness vacations in Chacala. He is the author of The Everything Toltec Wisdom Book, and co-author of two books with Deepak Chopra, Caroline Myss, Dr. Andrew Weil, Prince Charles, and others. Visit Allan’s extensive website at, and TACO, his online spiritual membership community.