How to Navigate Life’s Curveballs & Surrender to a Plan Greater Than Your Own
Have you ever had that moment of terror where you feel like your whole life is over, and then you open your eyes and you realize it was just a dream? Ah, sweet relief!
But have you ever felt like your life is like that dream, except that no matter how many times you pinch yourself, you don’t wake up?
Yeah, me too.
Similar to a dream, life can be totally unpredictable and filled with moments of terror you wish you could escape.
Maybe you’ve said, “Life isn’t working out the way I planned. Why is this happening? This must be a bad dream!”
Only this time, it’s not a dream. But maybe it’s not “bad” either.
THERE’S ALWAYS ANOTHER WAY TO LOOK AT LIFE AFTER YOUR HEART STOPS POUNDING
Just like a dream, when that moment of “why me?” happens, we can open our eyes to a new way of seeing. We can realize that life is actually on our side and things are working out the way they should.
Let the initial panic wear off, allow your heart and mind to settle, and then take this in….
Life, by its very nature, is uncontrollable and offers surprises at every turn.
It’s not in our best interest to try to control our lives. We can create routines and maintain healthy habits, but eventually, life will throw us a curveball that we didn’t have scheduled in our planner.
With the right support, tools, and mindset shifts, life’s surprises can become a lot more manageable.
THE INTERESTING PHENOMENON YOU TOO MAY HAVE MISSED
Life has its own design, its own plans, and when I accept it, I find the ride to be a lot more enjoyable. I get to decide that life’s plan is even better than what I thought was going to happen.
I try to remember that I don’t know the bigger picture of my life, this planet, or the universe. Yet somehow, we think that if the plans in our heads don’t work out something has gone wrong.
MAYBE SUFFERING IS OPTIONAL
If you read no further, know this… there is a plan for your life, a higher plan happening for you if you decide to perceive it that way. Instead of fighting against the fact that plans change, choose to see your circumstances differently.
Let’s decide right now to accept any reality instead of worrying, stressing, and wishing things were different. And let’s choose to trust that we will make it through okay.
MY BIGGEST CURVEBALL
It was 5:30 a.m. on my 38th birthday. My husband and I had planned a weekend of our usual hiking adventures and maybe some wine! We decided years before that we loved our relationship and just wanted to be one of those happy, childless couples that travel the world.
I had been feeling a little off for a few weeks and chalked it up to my grandmother’s passing and a dental procedure where I took a lot of colloidal silver to avoid antibiotics.
To rule out pregnancy, I decided to take a quick test that morning. I expected to see a “not pregnant”, then I planned to go for my morning run around Lady Bird Lake.
But then, life showed up as life often does with a curveball.
In a moment, I looked down, then looked again, then picked up the test and stared at what I assumed was a broken piece of plastic. The word “pregnant” staring back at me (not even just an extra line!). My head began spinning. It was like one of those cyclone rides at the amusement park where your whole body is pressed against the wall and the music is so loud you feel like you’re going to pass out.
This is not what I planned!
I KNOW I’M SUPPOSED TO TRUST LIFE’S PLAN BUT THIS DOESN’T COUNT, RIGHT?
We’ve established that I know that life doesn’t go by my plan. There is always a plan greater than my own.
I intellectually understood that. I preached it to my clients. But in that moment, I didn’t want the lesson.
When I coach my clients, I often say that they have to let go of their fears, trust life, and have faith. Most of the time they say, “But how do I do that? I’m trying, but I can’t.” I suddenly felt that same struggle in a new way.
In this new circumstance that I did not believe was part of my plan, I found myself complaining and lamenting about how my life was being ripped out from under me. I cried about all the “changed” life plans. I was playing the victim and acting like life had done me wrong. I was unwilling or unable to see the possibility beyond what I thought should have been happening.
ONE STEP AT A TIME
At first, I just noticed my “life is unfair” thoughts. I consciously observed that they were unhelpful thoughts and not in alignment with my core values to trust and surrender to life, but I didn’t try to change them yet.
Instead, I started to accept the situation. We were having a baby. Then I decided to change my thoughts at some point in the future.
START WITH THE FACTS
The fact was that I was in a situation I thought wasn’t part of my plan, and we were having a baby. The situation was not changing, so my choices were to continue thinking about all the negatives or to decide to make it mean something else. To open my eyes and wake up to the new reality. And that is what I did. Little by little!
For months, my thoughts and actions teetered between complete distress and overwhelm, complaining and lamenting to trying to pick names, and talking about the fun of having a baby. This interim period went on for months. There’s no exact timing to this.
Finally, between my decision to have faith in a better plan, my awareness of the thoughts that were contrary to that decision, and installing different thoughts in alignment with the decision to trust life, it all gave way to moments of grace.
WHEN GRACES STEPS IN & EVERYTHING SHIFTS
I practiced this daily until the switch flipped! This can be called a miracle, a quantum shift, or grace. It’s that moment when your conscious decision becomes something you actually feel in your body as your truth. Where you really believe it. That’s what happened to me. I went from wanting to feel happy about having a baby to actually feeling it in my soul.
WAITING FOR THE LIGHT SWITCH MOMENT.
What I love and hate about the “flip switch” moment is that it cannot be predicted.
We must allow it to happen. This usually means taking it out of our heads and placing it into our hearts.
It doesn’t come with conscious reasoning, it comes with a divine tap that we feel without a rational explanation.
My baby boy is now 14 months old. His name is Jack Thunder, and I love this human more than I could ever express into words. I thank God (or the Universe, whatever resonates with you) every single day for overriding me and my perfect life plan for the plan that was best for me in this lifetime.
I know a child is a bit different than some curveballs you might experience, but I submit that the process I share here is crucial to living a life of peace and happiness, and it can be applied to any situation.
MAKE YOUR LIFE & YOUR HAPPINESS YOUR TOP PRIORITIES
I hope that whatever struggle you are having in life that you can find the courage to stop fighting it and decide that your life and your happiness are your top priorities. That you will lean on faith and trust life, knowing that everything is working out for your greatest good.
I had no idea what it looked or felt like to be a mom, but I had faith.
It will be the same for you if you open your heart to it.
Finally, I’d like to leave you with a step by step process that I use with myself and my clients to navigate life’s curveballs and surrender!
GET OUT OF YOUR STRUGGLE & BACK INTO YOUR ONE BEAUTIFUL RUN AT THIS HUMAN LIFE
STEP 1: Notice that you are fighting with life. You are fighting with reality, and you will lose that fight 100% of the time.
Ask yourself: Do I want to continue fighting with life? If you’re not ready to put down the gloves, that’s okay, come back later. But if you realize the futility of your fight and you are unwilling to give up your peace any longer, move onto Step 2.
STEP 2: Decide that you want to trust life and that you believe its plan has always been the plan; you just didn’t know it yet. Decide that you are willing to surrender even though you don’t know “how” because you trust that this situation is for your greatest good and it will turn out exactly as it’s supposed to… even better than your original plan.
STEP 3: Commitment. Time. Faith. This step is an incessant awareness of your thoughts and feelings throughout the day. Notice when you are complaining, playing the victim story out loud or in your mind, or marinating in all the what if it all goes wrongs. If you’re driving along and thinking about all the negatives that might come along with the situation, then you stop, drop the story, and move to Step 4.
STEP 4: Roll in a new story. Stop arguing for limitation, lack, and bad luck. Just drop it. This situation is your reality and you have the power to choose if you want to replay the “this shouldn’t be” and “if only.” Instead, play with some new what-ifs…
What do you want to make this mean? What could go right? What possibilities are around the corner? What’s the benefit of you being in this situation? What if you chose this path before you even incarnated and this is your Soul’s choice? What if the future is so different from the past that you can’t even imagine how great?
Step 4 is about choosing new thoughts that are positive and in alignment with how you want to feel.
STEP 5: Repeat, repeat, repeat. Little by little, day by day you will notice the angst creeping in, and you will decide you don’t want to argue with reality because it’s robbing you of happiness. You will decide to trust life once again, and you will choose new thoughts about the possibilities.
STEP 6: It is out of your control, and it will be an instant shift in your perception and feeling! That shift may come in an hour or even months later. If you follow these steps with conviction, you will bring yourself to peace and joy around your new situation.
SUMMARY: MY INNER VOICE KNOWS WHAT’S BEST FOR ME
There’s a lesson in A Course in Miracles that says, “I do not perceive my own best interests.”
I love this lesson.
It makes me realize that in my limited perception of the world, I could never know enough to actually know what’s in my best interest. But my inner and higher self does.
My inner voice, if I am willing to listen, always has my best interest at heart. I can trust her implicitly, even when I feel like I’ve been handed an unwanted experience.
When I open to that experience, knowing it is for my happiness, I start finding that happiness.
When I close, shut down, and demand a return, I stay stuck.
So let’s do ourselves a favor by trusting that our inner guidance is there for us and always has been; that life is and always has worked out exactly as it should have.
Now smile because life is about to get so good.