Roll with it

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Sometimes things don’t turn out as we imagined or hoped for.  This doesn’t mean that a situation is not good, just different from the version that played in our heads. Too often, not getting our way translates to disappointment or hurt instead of having it simply be an opportunity to experience something as is, without judgement. After all, if life unfolded exactly as we wished, it would make for an incredibly boring existence.

It is not difficult to see how the need to control our lives helps us guard against hardships.  What could very well be an act of self-preservation has become deeply rooted in every aspect of our society.  Its evidence can be found in creams that guarantee wrinkles from setting in, pills that help us avoid our feelings, regimens and air bags that keep danger at bay, and websites that promise to find our soulmates.  In reality, nothing is fool-proof.  This should in no way stop us from intending and planning the kind of life we want.  However, it is equally important to know how to release the kung-fu grip we have on those expectations and learn to roll with it.  Any woman who planned for the birth of her child knows this well.  We can plan and hope and prepare, but when it is time, we must simply accept what is happening and do our best with whatever comes at us.  Typically, the most impactful experiences in life are the ones that unfold despite our efforts because in those moments we are challenged to bring our best selves forth.  It is easy to be present and prepared and centered when we puppeteer a situation, but our ability to adjust, our ability to find grace in response to any given experience is when we see our spirit shine.

Last weekend I hoped to create a memorable day for my family as we set out to find our Christmas tree.  I made us a pancake brunch and we left shortly after 11am for Horton’s Magic Hill where a tractor ride, bonfire, and festivities awaited us. We scoured the fields singing “Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, oh where are you hiding…”  My girls chose a beautiful tree and not surprisingly, a very special one that had an abandoned nest perfectly placed near the top branches. We enjoyed a hot apple cider near the bonfire and took leave in early afternoon. We must have gone through a time warp, a worm hole, a mini Bermuda triangle that temporarily moved north… It was an extraordinarily long drive home. I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that the ride back took five times as long as it normally would have. This was not part of my grand plan for a fun day.  I had to be at a Christmas party at four and I was in charge of food and drinks.  As time got away from me and four o’clock approached, my lack of control over the situation ate away at all the peace I had felt earlier that morning.  I didn’t want to disappoint my friends by being late and was so worried about letting them down that I failed to see how I was already letting my loved ones down by dissipating all the joy felt earlier. Even when I finally did make it to the Christmas party, it took some effort to relax and actually be present.  I kept wondering at how the day could have gone better.

Things took an unexpected turn, a different ending, that’s all.  So instead of going home and decorating our tree while singing carols and finishing the day off with hot chocolate and holiday cheer, we hurled the tree in the house and raced out muddy and dishevelled. I had no control over the delay that derailed my day, but then again, I had not counted on having extremely grateful kids that made the best of their time and didn’t complain once -and I certainly hadn’t planned to find my new favourite ornament nestled within tree branches.  Each time I look at it I wonder if its architect had ever pictured this nest tucked among gold stars and twinkle lights.  I bet that talented mama bird hadn’t planned for her beautifully crafted nest to gift another mama with much heartfelt gratitude.

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Doing what’s right

follow your heart

Do what is right for you and by you.

Every day spent making unhealthy decisions and every moment that is love-impoverished will build on frustration and dissatisfaction.

When we keep our heart’s voices loud and strong, our personal truths do not get lost.

When we listen to every one else’s voice but our own, our every thought becomes tainted by that disowned, muddled truth and our hearts grow increasingly heavier. What used to be easy and clear soon becomes difficult to know.  We grow more unsure, more fearful and rigid.  This can go on indefinitely.  Nothing we do in this state can bring us a sense of well-being because we are not well when we are out of touch with what is important to us. At some point, each of us has to decide that it is not ok to live with this lack of clarity, this immense burden and feeling of dissatisfaction.   What you know to be true for you, without data, proof, or rationale is your sacred truth. Choose to listen to it carefully and know that nothing comes to you that you are not able to handle.

We can look to loved ones to create a supportive, loving space for us but no one, not a single person owes us recognition, love, joy or anything else for that matter.  Others are in our life’s peripheral only to mirror things back, to offer a reflection that is different from our own that may cause us to pause and adjust our choices.  There are a million possibilities, an infinite number of ways to do things but none will be better for you than your own way.  Go back to what you know is right for you.

Keep your head up and keep your heart strong knowing that even in this very moment, you have all that you need.  Truly.  All the necessary resources to change your  life are in very close range and you can choose to be a receptive conduit.  We all hold courage and strength, some have it in plain sight while others have it hidden away quietly awaiting to be summoned.  A warrior proves himself when needed.

You could do the job the hard way and wait, and wait, and wait-or you could take advantage of what’s there and make the changes that will open your heart and your world wide open.  Let every step you take lead you that much closer to who you want to be.  ♥