I saw the below image on a friend’s social media page, and instantly fell in love. Laughing, of course, I saved the picture and made a mental note to write about this. Why? Because the picture could not have come at a better time!
I am a planning freak! I have sticky notes everywhere, with quotes, to-do items, and mental vomiting of all kind that I saw worthy of writing down. And these notes that I write are never simple reminders, like “do laundry” or “buy more beer because…life.” They’re existential plans that someone could read and think that I drop acid at least twice a day with the type of in-depth shit I think and clearly make space for in my life. And it’s all because existential life planning is literally something I truly think about hard! As a writer, I place the most pressure on myself to keep writing. There is a reputation I’ve created for myself with the kind of topics I choose to write about, and it’s all coming from my personal life experience. I enjoy writing about love, fear, passion, and purpose in life. I also enjoy writing about the wisdom I gain from unexpected moments, like that one time in yoga class. I draw inspiration from so many things and people, and then I sit down and let the words find themselves. But as much as that process rests on what I can only devise as magic, it also requires some actual work from yours truly. And that’s where I easily fall into the rabbit hole of my own worst second-guessing. No one will like this. You have to try harder. Quit drinking beer and start actually working towards your writing goals. So I write notes and quotes on my mirror and fridge, and I tell my cat what I think and pretend like he listens. And it’s all because there is a deep-rooted fear in me that my path as a writer is this trench I have to manually dig every single day.
As a yoga teacher, I hit the same wall, almost daily. How do I start my own business? How do I manifest my own space? These thoughts come in of their own accord. They fester and multiply violently, until I am drowning in the pool of them. It’s not until I consciously realize that I am drowning, that I can actually save myself.
You can, too.
The reason why I shared that image above is for two reasons: 1) I like to think of the Universe as this super chill chick who is part sarcastic, part really deep common sense and confidence that all will work out just fine (you know, kind of like me….); and 2) because it’s the holy grail of reminders.
In those overwhelming moments of too many crappy thoughts all at once, hit the pause button like you hit the snooze button on a Monday morning. Realize, consciously, that you are too deep in the wrong section of your brain. Imagine that your current mental state is that really trippy part of Youtube at 3am. And get the hell out. I’ve learned that the first step in saving yourself from this freakish planning and consequent worry is to realize that you are overthinking. It’s also realizing that you are afraid. We’re all too scared to fail (which is actually something else), but we’re also scared that we’re running out of time – time to pay off loans and debt, time to buy a house or start a business, time to fall in love and have a family. And in all of that fear and worry and overthinking, we scramble with our pen and sticky notes to make a plan. And we make it like a bomb shelter, always preparing for a catastrophe.
It may sound like I’m coming off as a hypocrite, considering that I openly confessed at the beginning of this post that I plan to the T. But as all of my posts are, this is a reminder to myself just as much as it is for you reading. There are moments in the unfolding of our path in life where the super chill Universe chick takes the lead and shows us where we’re meant to go. Those steps revealed are not the ones we’ve directly paved ourselves. And there is a HUGE leap of faith there, to walk those steps knowing that we had no hand in creating them piece by piece. I believe those steps were placed there to be uncovered, whether with a joyful smile or with a tearful surrender. A lesson learned or a moment celebrated. Neither are wrong nor better than the other.
When I think of all of my plans in the mentality of that image above, a new perspective opens up. Could I save more money to open up my new space? Absolutely. Could I write more without scheduling it in and making it feel like a painful obligation? For sure. But I don’t need to put myself down because my plan doesn’t pan out perfectly on paper. Those gaps in finances or time or resources or motivation are often the biggest gift. In those spaces is where faith lives – a belief that what we cannot manifest ourselves will eventually (key word!) be filled in by the Universe who plans it all.
Now can we sit back and allow that to happen? As always, we have a choice. How wickedly smooth of the Universe to make life just that simple – that all you really need for wholesome balance and pure happiness is just that little bit of divine surrender…