We cannot breathe. We are breathed. At best, we may gain control of our breath for a brief moment but, ultimately, it is beyond our sphere of influence. It comes and goes according to its own rhythm, and when it ceases, it is rarely because we have stopped it; in that precise moment, it has chosen to leave us, not us it.
So why do we imagine we can live our lives? It's a vestige of the more male-oriented, control-focused society in which we live.
May I suggest a more radical alternative? That we allow life to live us: that we surrender the illusion of control and, instead, move into the flow of life.
Consider this: did you choose the moment of your conception? Your birth? Did you know who your partner/s in life would be, when and where you would meet them? Or did it happen, almost as if by chance? Has your career followed the path you 'knew' it would? Do you live in the house and area you 'knew' you would? If you have children, did you control the moment of conception?! I know I have to answer 'No' to all those questions.
Life is more like a river that carries us than a building we must construct. It requires a soft hand on the rudder to feel into the ebbs and flows of the River of Life, so that we may notice the perfect place to stop and pause, as much as the right moment to launch forth into the rapids.
I sometimes think we get in the way of our lives with our obsession to make things/events/people be the way we want them to be. When we surrender control and begin to feel into life, with our hearts, with our intuition, then we are giving our Life centre stage, freeing it of the costume we think it must wear and allowing it to shine through us in all its glory.
Trying so hard may be trying too hard. Getting what we think we want may not be as enriching as getting what Life is seeking to give us.
We could try softening our need to control the rudder, and trusting that Life will indeed guide us, seamlessly, effortlessly, gently, every single time. Just as our breath breathes us, breath at a time... breath at a time... breath at a time.