A few weeks ago, I took my children to school in the morning and I thought this will be a quiet day and I can write and really get a lot done. At about 8:50 the nurse from school called . I was in a meeting so I missed the call. I called her back within the hour and it turned out my younger daughter had a stomachache, but she had gone back to class. As the morning moved on and I didn’t hear again from the nurse, I breathed into the moment and thought now I can have some peace today. Then at 11:00am I started getting texts from my older daughter that her head hurt and she was nauseated and dizzy. The texts continued until I met her at school and gave her some food and headache medication. By 1:30 that afternoon I was back home again. My younger daughter had an after-school activity but I needed to check on her because she was not well earlier. Sure enough, when I picked her up her stomach hurt too much to go to the after-school activity. At 4:00pm my older daughter arrived home with more symptoms. That day I had worked less than I had in a really long time.
Years ago I would have agonized so much because of how that day, for which I had so much hope, turned out. I would have told myself the story that “this should not be happening” or whined that “my day was ruined.” I would have continuously tried to get back to the day I had planned. Then one day I read the following quote.
I took a deep breath in and asked myself, what was I achieving by hanging on to plans that had gone awry? It caused me so much pain to resist what was happening. It was like punching a brick wall; I could never break the brick but I would sure injure myself. Likewise, I cannot change reality by insisting it should be different.
So these days I just try to let go when the unexpected happens. Sometimes I even say to myself “of course, this was always the plan” and smile. I use whatever mantra works in the moment to help me let go of what might have been so I have room to embrace whatever I am experiencing. Sometimes I even say out loud, “my heart is open to this moment.” It doesn’t change the fact that I am unhappy when my children are suffering, but when I’m not resisting I am not in so much pain. I find I’m also more present for my children and others around me. I accept that there is nowhere else to be but where I am and nothing else to do but care for the ones in front of me. Everything else will have to wait until circumstances are ripe to move forward. I even realize that MAYBE this is what I was meant to do that day. And I feel strong and focused with my realization that being in this moment is my best contribution to the world and to others around me.
So the next time your plans go awry at work or with your children, try the mantra, “of course, this was always the plan” to let go of attachment and expectations with a smile or use the mantra “my heart is open to this moment.” See if letting go gives you strength and direction when you need it most.
And don’t forget the moment always will pass and MAYBE before you know it you’ll have time and space again to get back to your plans! Just Maybe!