The Best Laid Plans …. Uh-Oh!
You’ve heard “Man plans, God laughs”? or “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”? Life rarely goes smoothly according to our plans. Stuff happens. Could that “stuff happening” be just what we need to continue our journey with more conscious awareness no matter the destination?
In this month’s musings I wanted to explore just that using my own story and discoveries along the way. My hope is that it will brighten your light to guide you on your journey.
This is a perfect time of year to look back at the year gone by and to plan going forward. Nothing wrong with a good plan, starting with a clear vision of what you want and need. Even better to look 5 years ahead and then break down how you are going to get there right down to your monthly and weekly goals. I like doing this and need to do this, because structure is the only thing that holds my commitment to my personal and business world together. And of course my commitment to living my Life Purpose no matter what, my passion for what I do and excitement about my life in general goes a long way too! But without good planning all of this zest will have no legs to stand on to move forward.
So what happens when your momentum for the coming year comes to a halt and sends you on a major detour? Here’s my story this year.
What if all the envisioning, goal setting and careful planning goes out the window in one day?
In early December, I started my yearly intention setting and was beginning to plug in some real plans to meet my vision for the coming year (as I revisited my 5 year plan). I love deep Winter and the celebration of the Solstice to mark the return of the light. Such a good time to go inward to create clarity and focus for the coming year. Oh, yes, Christmas happens at this time too. My least favorite holiday, but I was even prepared for the chaos and ready to surrender my values to just jump in and have fun with family and friends. Then I could get back to the serious work of my planning and to the quiet moments to just “be”. HA HA!
It happened on a Sunday early in December. My Sister, who I live with, fell down the stairs and broke her back, coccyx and wrist accompanied by many contusions. (She is recovering nicely, by the way.) My life became that of a full time caregiver – drug dispenser, chauffer to appointments, cook, shopper, wrapper, dog walker and more.
Although I lost my personal footing and business focus, I am grateful that I was able to do this for my Sister. Funny thing is, this is a familiar pattern in my life. To give you the idea of what I mean, here are some snippets from the past::
- Get out of debt by xx date: Whamo! Big unexpected expenses derailed my plans for 2 years
- Leave my profession of 30 years, take 6 months to 1 year off; use hand analysis to help me find my next path. Had it all worked out. Blam! My marriage blew up within 2 weeks of leaving my secure job.
- And there are several more. I am sure you could add to my list based on your Whamos, Blams, and OH NOs
- This latest detour is relatively minor based on past unplanned for events.
Am I a little hesitant to believe that I can have what I want and all will go smoothly according to plan? You betcha! Big impediment or small, here 6 things I have learned:
- Everything happens for a reason and everything is a random event. (This is one of three Axioms of Soul Psychology coined by Richard Unger, the founder of our International Institute of Hand Analysis). We can’t predict what our future holds – at least I can’t. So how do you reconcile the “no coincidences” and everything is random paradox? My belief is that when we face a detour, there is meaning and opportunity to face ourselves and to learn. There is always a message. Mostly it’s about our response and attitude as we face the unexpected.
- I can not be present, kind and compassionate for another unless I take care of myself. When this first happened, I was disoriented, exhausted and worried that I would not be able to handle this turn of events and that my livelihood would suffer. Once I created a daily routine for myself – mind, body and spirit, that I could fit in between my care-giving duties, I am able to serve with ease and kindness. I had already figured this out when life was simpler. Last year I declared not one word for the year (as I usually do), but a phrase. It was 2 hours every day. It is now part of my DNA to find pieces of time during the day to total 2 hrs to feed my body, mind and spirit. So, 15 minutes for me, 2 hrs for my Sister, 45 minutes for me, 4 hrs for my Sister.
- I had to ask for help and be very specific about what I needed. This is not a strong suit of mine. I realized early on that I could not do this alone. I also knew that family and friends wanted to help as much as they could. But they needed to know exactly how. Enrolling them in specific tasks like bringing specific foods, taking her to the doctors and being very firm – no, I need you to spend the night so I can get some rest.
- Nothing is more precious then being in the present moment …. By being here and not worrying about why me, why now, why again has allowed peace and pleasure in being fully present for my Sister, the rest of my family and for my self at the same time. And I am confident that I will slowly re-enter my life rhythm and work even more prepared for the next detour.
- I gotta give myself credit. I’m pretty good at this caregiver role mainly because I am committed to 1–4.
- And, finally – I re-captured a passion I have. I always loved cooking but life is just too busy to relax into it. Now that I have been the chief cook – I am having fun with the sensuality and creativity of cooking. I’m putting this on my 2 hours a day list from now on!
We all are tested. I was when my marriage fell apart and my debt wasn’t going away, and when I was sidetracked from going to the next level of my business by someone else’s needs.
The best laid plans sometimes have to take a backseat so that we can learn more about ourselves and our relationships and about how we respond when “God laughs”. I just looked at the list of 6 “discoveries” and realize that all the things that I did to manage the present circumstances are ways I want to and need to be in my life and business when it gets fully back on track.
I wish you health, joy and presence in the New Year whether you are on track or detoured by the unexpected.