At least that’s what my grandmother used to say to me, and its something I’ve had to remind myself over and over again the past year. How many times have we tried to plan or control an outcome, only to have things go sideways? Plans cancelled and interrupted, coffee spills on a new shirt, broken hearts, hurt feelings, flat tires and who knows what else always seem to happen. So clearly, we can’t control what happens around us or to us, so what can we control?
Ourselves. That’s it. Plain and simple.
The only thing we can control is our response to things going sideways. Do you catch yourself saying “ this ALWAYS happens to me!” or “ I swear I’m jinxed” or any variation on the above? Well, that’s your inside voice doing you no favors my friend. That’s something the Yoga Sutras refer to as attachment: attachment to the outcome of things. I’m not one for believing that every negative thing happens to use because we somehow call it in, but I do believe that we can train our brains to respond to “negative” occurrences and reframe them in a different light. We can retrain our brains to be actively, compassionately, non-attached.
Here are some examples:
- You get stuck in traffic – listen to a podcast or an audio book or maybe practice your pranayama ( breathwork). Use the unexpected wait time and transform it into something else, or just give yourself the gift of space.
- A trip abroad gets cancelled – plan a staycation, visit friends locally, or maybe find that time you never had before to volunteer. Service is always a great way to change our very privileged outlook on things and remind ourselves to be grateful for what we do have. Be thankful with any outcome.
- That man, woman, job, car ( etc.) you wanted is just out of reach… instead of thinking something is wrong with you maybe flip the script and remind yourself “ what is meant for me, cannot miss me” (quote credit to a great friend and teacher, Elizabeth Di Alto). Be unattached to the person or role, and be compassionate with yourself.
- Reframe the “ I HAVE TO DOS…” to “ I GET TO DOS” a simple switch of verbiage reminds our brains to find joy in even the smallest things. Be actively joyful.
And lastly, remember, miracles come when you least expect it, sometimes in the most surprising circumstances. After all, if my mom didn’t get a flat tire picking me up from school, she wouldn’t have met my now Dad, and we wouldn’t have been blessed with my amazing, brilliant, funny ( I can keep going) sister. So maybe, just maybe, a miracle, the Universe’s better plan for you, will come your way too.