Life doesn't always give us what we want, but it sure gives us what we need. It's funny how that happens. Sometimes, we're so sure about how things are supposed to play out that we fight, kicking and screaming, any deviation of the plan that comes our way. Oddly enough, the more we resist, the more it persists and the harder we make it on ourselves. It's like trying to swim upstream against a strong current. Our arms and legs move furiously, but we get nowhere. We end up completely exhausted and out of breath.
While I truly believe that the choices we make and even the thoughts we think all matter greatly and affect the outcome of our existence, I also believe there is also another force at work and our role is actually more of a co-creator in our own lives. We all have unique gifts to offer the world, and certain passions that lie inside of us wanting to get out. This is our soul's work. Our calling. It's what makes us feel totally alive. The universe wants and needs us to do this work. In our daily lives, we're constantly given signs to try to lead us to our higher self, enabling us to leave a positive impact on the world.
But, here's the thing. We don't always pay attention to the clues because we think we already have it all figured out! And even if we do kind of sort of have it figured out, sometimes the plan changes and evolves, whether we want it to or not. I know this firsthand. About five years ago when my firstborn daughter was just 6 months old, I made a major life decision. I followed my heart, quit my "safe" job working for somebody else in the high-tech industry, cashed out my family's savings and started my own company. It was a gutsy move, but I believed in myself and in the freedom it would give me to be balance both family and career. Things took off big time and the business exploded. We received many awards and recognition, including national press coverage and a feature in the New York Times. I created a lot of new jobs in our community during a time when unemployment was at its peak. I thought, "Wow, this is it!"
And while this business success was a huge part of my journey, a few years after starting the company, the universe let me know that it had other plans for me. The recession finally caught up with my business sector and new government regulations made it more difficult to get deals done. 2012 was a tough year. Despite my best effort, I could not continue to generate as big of numbers as done in previous years. As much as I resisted it, I was eventually forced to lay off a large part of my staff, which was heartbreaking because I cared for their well-being. I felt like it was somehow my fault for not turning things around and getting the business back on track. On top of that, the timing was horrible. I was pregnant with my second daughter at the time and was hoping for a relaxing maternity leave. Instead, I felt stress and worry creeping in. My world was unraveling. Everything seemed to be going wrong. While deep down I knew it was all happening for a reason, it was an uncertain time of my life.
But, alas, as soon as I quit resisting, things started to fall into place in a beautiful way! The restructuring of the business was a huge blessing in disguise. After downsizing and revamping, we quickly became profitable again. With a smaller company size, a huge weight was lifted as I had less people to manage and much more attainable revenue goals. As stress and pressure downsized, I actually regained much freedom to spend more time with my family on a flexible schedule, which was a motivating factor in starting the business in the first place. I even gained more time to devote to my yoga practice and other self-care. And best of all, while all of this shifting was going on, I finally listened to the voice inside encouraging me to pursue my love of writing. I've since poured much passion into my blogs and upcoming book. I've been blessed to connect with many wonderful readers and have even started one-on-one coaching with some looking for guidance. This has been some of my most rewarding work of all. As new opportunities continue to blossom, I can see that I was being guided all along!
So, the moral of the story: When things seem to be crashing all around you and everything seems to be going wrong, take these four tips to heart:
Don't panic. It's hard not to in the moment, but know that you are being guided. The universe has a plan for you. Pay attention for the signs. Let go of your own preconceived notion of how your life is supposed to pan out and ease into the flow. Get out of your head and learn to listen to your heart and soul speaking.
Don't be afraid to crumple up the plan and start anew. Vision and planning are great. Essential, even. But write the plan in pencil instead of permanent marker. You never know when you are going to need that eraser and to get working on plan B, C, D or E.
Keep smiling. Life and time are precious. Don't waste your moments. If the big picture is feeling imperfect, then find the perfection in the little things. For me, I had a sweet new baby girl to focus my love and attention on while things were being restructured in my business and life. I was not about to let anything rob me of those precious moments! The same can be applied to any time in anybody's life. Take joy in the sunrise or sunset, in the bloom of a fresh flower, of a cool breeze running past your neck, the smile or embrace of a loved one. Find the joy, which exists all around us.
Look for the silver lining. Tough times build some serious character. They make you more resilient and you bounce back even stronger and wiser. Just tell yourself "this is not how the story is meant to end" and keep pushing through.
Remember, the universe has your back. Instead of trying to control the outcome, just enjoy the journey. Pay attention to where you are being guided to!
Are you looking for more inspiration or do you have your own story of being guided to follow your passion? Let's connect on my Facebook page - I always love to hear from you! You can also sign up for my free Dawnsense email list with blogs, videos, and other goodies to help you live your most inspired life!
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