If you have been following my Hunting Happiness column since Hurricane Irma passing you know that I was inspired to write ‘5 Sutras to weather any storm’ based on my experiences and observations throughout and after the storm. Storms can come in many forms in our lives and there are universal truths that we can live by, not only survive but thrive through any life storm, be it physical, emotional, or mental.
So far we have covered the first two sutras: True Power comes from within and Boarding up your energy field like boarding up windows.
The third sutra in our series of 5 Sutras to weather any storm is Planning is futile compared to alignment and flow.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with making a plan when preparing for a storm. As we were all anticipating the onset of the recent hurricane we set about our planning. Some people planned for evacuation. Some stayed and stocked up on water and non-perishable food, and boarded up and secured their homes. These plans are absolutely essential in preparing to weather a storm; but, let’s face it, there is only so much planning that one can do effectively when preparing for something that is not predictable. Even when tracking an oncoming hurricane, the possible outcome resides somewhere in the path of a ‘projected cone’ which leaves us playing a guessing game. The truth is that we can plan for days but we won’t necessarily know if we have laid the best plans until we are face to face with the ultimate action of the storm we are facing.
From a mindful living or spiritual perspective there must come a point where we make our plans but then surrender the outcome to a force that’s beyond our control; this is where what I call ‘alignment and flow’ come into play.
Alignment is a term that I use to describe that state of mind that is in tune with our internal guidance system. I get myself into alignment by a daily practice of prayer, meditation, contemplation, and personal development. When I am aligned, centered, and tuned in I find that I live in the ‘flow’ of life. The flow is when we are able to navigate intuitively with ease and grace.
For example: for days after Irma left us there were incredibly long lines of cars, waiting hours and hours to refill their gas stores. We sat down and made a plan to get up extremely early, be the first in line, beat the crowds and get our gas. Unfortunately, it seemed a lot of other people had made that same plan. The next morning we ended up sitting in a queue for hours only to be turned away when the gas supply had run dry. We came home feeling defeated and depressed. I immediately turned to my go to ways to feel better and align with a my state of joy, happiness, and relief. I meditated, prayed, listened to some inspiring music and surrendered my planning to a wisdom beyond my own.
The very next morning I received a text from a friend who informed me that the next town over had ample gas stations open and there were absolutely no lines!
When I made it a priority to align myself with feelings of joy and happiness I allowed the flow of the universe to take me to a possibility that I hadn’t even considered with all my ‘planning’.
Likewise, sometimes we lay the best plans for our lives and with the best of intentions too. But life sometimes takes the most unexpected of turns and our planning is for naught. It’s then that we need to release our attachment to the outcome that we planned for and to tune in, listen to our intuition, and open ourselves up to creative possibilities for solutions that our plans didn’t encompass.
We all have our own unique ways to tune in and get aligned. For some it’s prayer and meditation. For some it’s yoga or some other physical movement. Maybe it’s listening to music, dancing, painting, or some other creative outlet. What is the most effective way you get yourself out of the chaos of planning gone awry and center yourself into a space of moving with more ease and grace during uncertain times? There isn’t a right or wrong way and it’s pretty fun to find your way into the zen-zone.