February 18, 2015

Why Ditching your Life Plan could be the Best Thing You Ever do.

feather hand let go

It’s 2015, and today I’m sitting in a coffee shop on a Tuesday afternoon, having spent my morning teaching a six am yoga class, getting the kids off to school, going for a run, making some work-related phone calls and assisting a class during the lunch hour.

Later today, after I’ve done a bit more work, mostly likely from right here in this very chair, surrounded by the smoky smells and flavors of roasting beans, or perhaps perched at a barstool near the corner windows of my flat overlooking the busy city street, I’ll head back to the yoga studio for my own practice then catch up with a friend over dinner and a glass of wine.

Not exactly a killer weekday, is it?

Granted, they’re not all like this, but I get at least one “choose your own (ad)venture” day a week, and I absolutely savor them.

This was not my life a few years ago. Actually, to be honest, this was not the life I envisioned for myself, ever.

It’s so much better.

A few months ago I chatted with a man in his early twenties while we were waiting for some mutual friends. As we discussed work, he began to describe the most detailed ten year plan I’ve ever heard. Seriously.

He had it outlined, to the month, when he’d leave his current job. About when he would like to get married. Have kids. Go back to school, change careers.

That kid had plans. He was going places. His path was inked out. Printed and framed. Certain.

And me? I just smiled.

Because if there is one thing I have learned in the last several decades, it’s to make your plans in pencil, because as it turns out that while you might have your own itinerary, the universe usually has an alternative agenda.

Most of the time, that plan actually plays out as one of the following unsatisfactory scenarios:

  1. Everything happens more or less exactly as you wanted. Somehow, you make it work, regardless of the compromises, damages, and casualties along the way. You still aren’t happy.
  2. Nothing goes to plan. Nobody followed your directions. Everything is a mess. You aren’t happy.
  3. A few things go to plan. You wing the rest. You can’t decide if you are happy or not (or if it’s okay to be happy) because—this was not the plan—and plans are supposed to be good.

Sound about right?  Rather a sort of melancholy (albeit shared) truth, isn’t it?

Let’s go back to the beginning, the sitting and working in a coffee shop in the middle of the day part of this lesson. How did this reality become mine?

With one very simple concept—I let go.

How did my life get this happy and full and flexible and fun and unpredictably lovely?

I let go.

How did I discover the person who was hiding way deep inside me and invited her out to play?

I let go.

How did I start manifesting everything I never knew I wanted?

I let go.

How did I find a way to follow my purpose and chart my path around big ideas instead of small details?

I let go.

How did I find my way right here?

I let go.

I let go of expectations, of timelines, of attachments to how things should, would and must be and who I should, would and must be. In that space I found me. I found breath. I found peace. I found joy.

My journey continues, always. I’m not done. It’s not perfect. I am not without fault. But everyday, again and again, as the hours zip by, I remind myself to just let go.



What to Let Go of to Get What We Want.


Author: Michelle Sweezey

Editor: Renée Picard 

Image: Rosa majalis at Flickr 

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