Altered state

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I had a thought about today’s post, and then I changed my mind. Lots of things changed, actually. The day I thought I was going to have isn’t the one that seems to lay ahead. The way things are going, there’s a good chance the day I start out having won’t be the day I end up with. Things are in flux, and I need to be adaptable. I need to let go of the ideas I had about what I thought was coming, so I can be fully engaged and responsive for what actually shows up.

I see that today, because I have to. When is it not true, though? 

You’ve heard me go on about expectations before (and before), but days like today appears to be, are ever so helpful reminders. Despite our attachment to making plans, building strategies, and controlling every moving part of life that we think we can, we never know what’s coming. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make plans, but it does mean you should know they’re just an idea.

Plans gone awry aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, in retrospect, we see that the way they went was actually better, or some kind of meaning appears in hindsight – even if we struggled with frustration in the moment. Our plans aren’t always perfect, though we may love them regardless.

That seat on the strugglebus is the issue, though, because you bought it for yourself. Clinging to expectations instead of accepting what’s actually happening causes most of our suffering. We get stuck in resistance, wrapped up in the story we were writing, instead of the one we’re actually living.

“Acceptance” in this sense isn’t an invitation to always abide the status quo, however. If you don’t like something about your life, community, or world, then set about doing the work to bring meaningful change to it. If you really want that change to stick, though, you need to be real and clear about where you’re starting.

No matter what the day ahead brings for you, use your breath to stay present in it. Make a gentle effort to connect to the thoughts and emotions that arise when you check in with where you truly are in any given moment. It may not be where you thought you were going, or where you’d prefer to be, but if relinquish that strugglebus ticket, there might be more in it for you than…well, than you’d expected.

One thought on “Altered state

  1. Pingback: “No-Fail” Friday: Flexible plans | MindfulMBA

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