“No-Fail” Friday: Flexible plans

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Have anything specific lined up for the weekend? I’m betting yes. A few plans here and there, at least, whether they be work, play, or a little of both. Either way, you probably have an idea of what lies ahead. This week, we were all about finding the balance between plans and expectations, though, and learning to “ride the wave” when things don’t pan out as your agenda says they should.

Sometimes, the only thing getting in the way of you appreciating what the moment has to offer is you. Letting go of what you had in mind so you can appreciate what is will open a lot of doors to good times you didn’t even realize were there.

As we look ahead to this weekend’s “no-fail” mindfulness challenge, we’re going to also take a flash from the past. You’ve seen this challenge before, but it’s perfect for us right now as well. Even if you’ve done this one with us before, take a fresh look. Who knows what you’ll find if you let go of your expectations of what’s waiting for you there.

At some point in the flow of your weekend, you’re probably going to be either disappointed or irritated by something not going as expected. Might be something big that you’ve been waiting for ages to come through, or it might just be the glacial pace of the line at Starbucks. Somehow, somewhere, the frustration will find you. You might normally not even notice it, but this weekend, you will, because you’re being mindful, and paying attention.

Now, you know that getting annoyed isn’t the issue, right? We can’t control the emotions that arise in us, but we can notice them for what they are, and make choices about how to respond. Like anything that happens in life, it’s never about the thing itself. It is entirely about what we do with it.

When the irritation rises, and you’re about to mumble under your breath just loud enough for a certain someone to hear, or plenty loud enough for them to hear, or you’re poised to walk away from something with a one-finger salute as your goodbye wave, do one thing first. Take a breath. Just one. More if you want, but one is a great start. Make it a good one, and then when you’re finished, decide. Make your next move intentional, so at least if it is a moment of speaking your whole mind out loud, it’s one you’re still proud of tomorrow.

For what it’s worth, you might also want to think about the other side of the unexpected. Pleasant surprises, happy accidents, and downright miraculous “coincidences” can catch you off-guard, but only if you’re paying attention…and of course, not too annoyed to notice. ;-)

Photo credit: Matthew Henry 

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