Sometimes life flows effortlessly and easily and we feel content with everything working out exactly as we’d like it to, and other times things don’t go as planned– they sometimes even seem to go OPPOSITE from what we’d desire. Some of us are more adept to going with the flow, but others of us really enjoy “cruise directing”– trying to control the outcomes of all experiences. No matter where we fall, we ALL experience events in our lives going differently than we had hoped, planned or thought. So how exactly do we find the space to let go, allow and EMBRACE things as they are, even when it isn’t what we have “planned”? Better yet, how do we learn to ENJOY and maintain PEACE within ourselves during these moments just the way we do when things are going “our way”?
Here are 4 ways to Let Go and Enjoy Life even when things don’t go as planned:
- Breathe. You are alive. Your breath is moving through you with out you making plans about it. We have a lot to learn from our breath. If you stopped breathing, I assure you nothing else would matter. So when you find yourself frustrated because things are not going as you’d like them to, bring yourself back to your breath. Take a breath in through your nose for a count of 4 and then release out of your mouth slowly for a count of 8. (As you blow out, feel free to utilize a shhhh sound as if you are a balloon releasing it’s air, vocalize a deep, low opening tone. Make sure that you fully release all air, so much so that your breath in is buoyant and easy.) Use this practice to “reset” your natural breath flow. As you breathe out, see your frustration leaving your body– whatever that may look like to you. (I see all of my heavy, negative energies leaving the body as a dark cloud that dissipates as it enters the atmosphere, feel free to create your own visualization that feels good.) When you breathe in, breathe in the feelings of love, life, and blessings– whatever that looks like to you. (Oftentimes I visualize gold, or pink light entering into my being– right into my heart space– filled with love.) Continue to focus on your breath to bring yourself back to center. Don’t strain or put pressure on yourself to breathe a certain way, that is not the purpose of this exercise. Instead, use the counting method to slow, “reset” and let it go once you feel a natural, easy flow of breath through your body. Enjoy being alive. Enjoy the way your body breathes itself, whether or not you think about, plan or control it.
- Don’t Resist. Resisting the “negative” feelings only exasperates them. Instead, allow them to be there. Allow yourself to feel them. It is natural. It is human. It is normal to experience frustration, disappointment, discouragement. Allow these things to FLOW through. Don’t dwell in these spaces, but allow them to run their course. If we allow them to run through, they simply run out. If we avoid or try to change or suppress them, they get “bottled up” only to bubble up during the next opportunity– but this time, stronger. So allow whatever you are feeling to flow through. Give it time to run it’s course, and focus on your breathing instead of the sensations it may be causing in your body.
- Practice Gratitude. This step falls perfectly behind the last, because as we allow the feelings we have to flow through, we can then begin to shift them through gratitude. One of the absolute quickest and easiest ways to shift your energy, is to be grateful. Even when things go differently than we’d hoped, there is always something to be grateful for, always. You can start simple; being grateful for your breath, your body, your loved ones, your eyes, ears, nose, all of your sensations. Then, your clothing, shoes, living circumstances– being alive, the whole world available to you to wander if you please… As you begin to look for things to be grateful for, more will show up. I find when I do this, it is hard to stop finding MORE to be grateful for. And instead of feeling sorry for myself, I begin to see how absolutely blessed I am simply to exist. Talk about an easy and immediate paradigm shift. I have even learned to be grateful for whatever is happening– even when my ego-self (the judgmental, personalized self) perceives it as “bad”. For I have learned that the things I thought were “bad” always ended up supporting my absolute highest good! (Refer to my previous post “The Negatives ARE Positive” for more.) Shift your attitude to gratitude and watch things shift right before your eyes.
- Surrender and Accept. The last step is to surrender your preference to have things be any different than they are, and then to accept them AS THEY ARE. Once you have shifted into gratitude, this step becomes a lot easier. You can always choose this step at any time, but often I find that it can be difficult to let go and to accept things when I still believe they are “bad”. This step works through realizing that whatever the experience is, you can CHOOSE to be just fine with it. That is where we find peace: in TRUSTING the process of life. The Universe gives us exactly what we need to learn, grow, and evolve into peaceful, loving beings– and sometimes that means having troublesome events take place in order for us to practice trust, gratitude, opening our minds and hearts and letting go of our own beliefs and preferences. The only time things seem “bad” is when we have chosen to perceive them as such. If we can surrender that perception, and accept what life is offering us, instead, we shift ourselves into peace. Peace is the ability to be completely content, no matter what is going on in the “outside” world. We CAN be happy no matter what if we simply choose to surrender our resistance to ALLOWING ourselves to be happy because our perception sees something as “bad” or “wrong”. Surrender your perceptual judgment, and accept what IS, and you will find yourself back in the space of peace and enjoyment– ready for the next adventure life is taking you on.
- BONUS– Don’t Take Life So Seriously. Humor and light heartedness are such incredible tools for enjoying life– no matter what happens. When you are able to laugh at life and take everything with a light heart, things become lighter. Although we must honor all of our emotional experiences, when we are able to laugh we open up a brand new perspective, just like we do with gratitude. Finding space to laugh and see your ego drama for what it is will transform your experiences from “bad” to fun. For example– I needed to make extra income FAST and found myself with a job helping with some landscaping. For a while I was so upset and “hated” doing the work– it seemed gruesome and awful from the lens I was seeing it through. One day I was talking to my brother about it and immense laughter and joy overcame me, “I’ve been throwing a fit about making the extra income that I need. That is so funny! I have been so upset about making more money and being able to help this person when they needed it!!!” I found the humor in my egos drama– realizing that even though it wasn’t the work I “wanted” it was the income I needed and it came at the exact perfect time! I was able to shift from frustration to gratitude for being able to help this family friend AND make the income I needed. Doing the work became enjoyable as I played in the mud and dug up weeds– my inner child LOVED it. The moral of the story is: Find the space to find the fun in life, whatever it may bring your way. 😀
Life is really an adventure. The “ups and downs” can be seen as fun twists and turns instead of grueling, painful changes to our original plan. Trust Your Highest Journey. Trust that all things in life are created for your highest evolution, joy and peace, and then allow yourself to experience them that way. Next time you find yourself feeling down due to a shift in your plans, practice these four steps and I assure you that you will begin to see the changes in your life as gifts, not disappointments!
Do you have any tips or tricks on how you like to cope with things changing or going differently than you’d hoped? Leave comments below and join in! This process is super helpful during pregnancy, labor/birth and parenting experiences. If you or someone you know is looking for more guidance on how to successfully and joyfully navigate the parenthood journey (pre-conception through parenthood), please visit http://www.birthpurpose.com to learn more and get in touch with me for coaching sessions and full-service doula care in Denver, Co and BEYOND! And don’t forget to subscribe here https://birthpurpose.wordpress.com/contact/ to get updates and fun tips, tricks, meditations and more!