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May 8, 2023

What to Do When Plans Change

I shouldn’t be writing this to you. I should be leading a retreat in Yosemite, CA. Instead, I’m in New Jersey. (Not a joke.)

I should be preparing for a summer road trip through the northwest — Portland, Yellowstone, Montana, but instead… I’m in… New Jersey. (Still not a joke)

They say when you make plans, God laughs. Maybe I didn’t get the message in 2020, but it’s loud and clear now.

In short, I tore the meniscus on my left knee. How? It’s incredibly ironic. It happened while I was sitting down … wait for it… to meditate!

(Don’t let anyone tell you meditation isn’t as hardcore as kickboxing.)

While I was devastated at first, life offers another opportunity to surrender and Trust its timing.

I’m reminded of the David Whyte quote I’m using to guide my year — “The Life you can plan is too small for you to Live.”

The most unexpected events have the potential to be the most transformative. 

The difference between bad timing and perfect timing is our perception.

We don’t know what’s best for us. As we allow the roller coaster of life to unfold, it has the capacity to bring insight. We open to receive the wisdom of the things we don’t know that we don’t know.

When we stop planning and trust the unfolding, we sense that life is working for the highest good. However, that may not always mean our highest good. Other people and factors are at play. Something “negative” happening to us may be because it will create something positive for someone else.

For example, not going on this retreat allowed space for someone to come who may be a facilitator in the future. Who knows what kind of ripple that will cause in her and others’ lives. It’s not our job to know. It’s our job to surrender.

How can you loosen your grip on how you think life should go? 

It’s tough, and yes, foolish not to make plans. Goals and visions offer direction. The point is not to be attached or live for the future.

When our plans get shattered, it can be a beautiful reminder to be grateful for this moment.

My acupuncturist asked me, “Why might the universe be giving you a sign to slow down?”

Slowing and appreciating the little things I am. Appreciating the ease of my fingers as I type, the strength and miracle of my right leg as it accounts for added weight, the ability to drive and still be somewhat mobile. My life has shifted from then to now — fully surrendered to the healing process.

It’s uncomfortable not to have a plan, but remember, “What can you plan is too small for you to live.”

There is a higher plan for you. Mooji says, “The one who brought you here is taking care of you.” Trust it. However insane the curriculum might seem.

Because really, what other choice do we have?

As my friend Erik wisely put it, “You either surrender, or you suffer.”

Sulking over what could have been, or what should be is draining. Sure we can feel the sadness, anger, or whatever emotions passes through, but we don’t stay there. We stop swimming upstream, and allow the current to guide us forward.

For today, I invite you to let go of your thoughts of that vacation in six months. Take a full breath, enjoy that sip of water, look at something green outside your window.

It’s all unfolding just so perfectly.

Will you choose to see it?

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