Things don’t always happen as we plan them. Nothing is guaranteed. Anything can happen at any given moment. All things we say every time the unexpected happens, yet we still call it the unexpected.
Yesterday started out as a good day. I had sessions with clients I enjoy very much. I worked on and made progress with an issue I’ve been having. I had a great evening session with a client that is just fun to be around. I had plans of exactly what I would accomplish when my session with her was complete. Mother Nature had other plans.
At the tail end of our session we heard water. Sure enough, water coming down the wall behind the TV, the walls of the storage room and into the training area. At that point, my head was still on the next thing I needed to get done per the plans I made earlier that morning. As I walked my client out, my intentions were to figure out the mess and get right back to executing my plan. Little did I know the things that were to come.
I couldn’t move all the furniture by myself so I called Scott to see when he would be home. In the meantime, my client that had just left called to tell me that she was driving through waves like Lake Michigan and to warn me to stay home. I was still focused on moving past this storm and inconvenience to get things done that had to be done. Then I finally reached Scott who told me he was on his way home, but, couldn’t see anything on the expressway. I was watching out the window at the same time and watched a mini van almost disappear in the water that had accumulated in the street behind us. Within a few minutes of that, the water started creeping up my yard. You couldn’t get in and out of my sub or even the areas surrounding it. Scott ended up having to park miles away and walk home. It took him over 3 hours to get home.
I did what I could to move what I could on my own and I tried to stop the water from coming in. There just wasn’t much I could do. After the storm stopped, people were wading around the neighborhood in disbelief of what had just happened. Two things I never thought I would see in my neighborhood; people floating in boats and a rat swimming upstream. What in the world? Needless to say, the things on my to-do list just weren’t going to happen. Yet, I still had a plan for Tuesday.
Tuesday morning looking outside, the water was gone. Things appeared normal. I had an important meeting to create the prototype for my new product on the schedule. Then my mom called to tell me that her office is a complete loss. Everything is ruined. My material for my prototypes were there. Meeting was obviously canceled as well as any other plans I may have thought were important that day. I was going to help with the office.
When I left my house I had no idea how deeply I was about to be affected. Now, I realize that this wasn’t a hurricane or a tornado that devastated and killed 100s of people, but, I have really never experienced anything quite like this. I’m not even sure I can put it into words. What I’ve seen on the news in other places was right here in my own backyard. Cars scattered the streets that had floated around in the night. House after house after house with much of their belongings out on their front lawns. People in shock. All kinds of things in places they didn’t belong because the current of the water just last night moved everything around. I finally let go of my death grip on plans and outcomes.
I took Sydney for a walk later that evening after I had been helping at the office and I couldn’t believe how many neighborhoods were hit so badly. Drywall. Carpeting. Furniture. Mattresses. All things I guess to be expected, but, what really hit me as I was walking was all the photos. Boxes and albums and frames. Years and years of memories. So sad.
We were lucky. We only had water come in. Our drains did not back up. I really don’t know how or why because the majority of our neighborhood did. Things were wet and needed to be steam cleaned. I had to cancel over a week of client sessions to get it cleaned and dried out. I’ve got to order new materials for my product. It’s nothing compared to what other people have had to deal with.
So, my point for telling you about this. I thought I was doing a great job of living in the moment. I have made huge changes in my life over the past several years. I have even changed the way I train people. I used to write new programs for each of my clients to follow every six weeks. I had slowly realized that how I was really training and what was really working was showing up and finding out exactly how the client was showing up that day and using my intuition to put them through the right workout for them that day. I personally deal with a chronic illness and for most of my life I have been trying to force myself to follow a workout schedule I know will get results. Following those plans made me shut my gut off. Eventually, my body wasn’t doing what I expected anymore and I had no choice to get back in touch with my gut and listen to it. I had to start waking up every day and deciding from how I felt what was right for me that day. Sometimes a workout wasn’t right and it was extremely hard for me to come to that conclusion and go for a leisurely walk instead.
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t lose my mind. I don’t think we all need to throw out planning of all kinds. I just think that following things rigidly shuts down our ability to tap into our own intuition. In fact, I was so focused on what I needed to accomplish, that it took me until Tuesday morning, driving through my neighborhood to let go. Lesser things get in our way every day all day long. This causes stress and stress really shuts down intuition. We all make decisions all day every day. How can we be making the right ones if we are so laser focused and not able to check in with our real selves?
I just think we all need to loosen our grips. Things can change in an instant. You can’t sit around and wait for things to happen to mess it all up, but, you can’t let the unexpected throw you too far off. A few of the things that have helped me over the past several years (because, seriously, in the past, I would probably still be trying to make a decision of what to do at this point) have been prayer, meditation, gratitude journaling and EFT (aka tapping). How about you? Do you have a daily practice?