Do You Plan?

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”—John Lennon

I love that quote because it is so true, so human. Many of us have been, or are, planners to one extent or another—myself included. From an early age (at least in Western cultures), we are conditioned to believe we can somehow shape our future by making lists and detailed plans. When these plans do not work out, we may feel we have failed somehow, but it doesn’t stop us from making a new plan. “Practice makes perfect.” We think that if we keep reshaping our plans, they will eventually work out exactly as we wanted. Well, sometimes yes, sometimes no.

In truth, we are trying to control something beyond our control. The design for your life was put in place at the soul level before you were born. Your soul and Spirit came up with a flexible vision for your life that self-adjusts on its own without any directed effort from you as an incarnated human. There is a natural flow to all our lives, to our collective life, on this planet, and only when we accept and surrender to that do we begin to flow too. Letting go of over-planning is part of that.

The only “plan” that really works is a simple one that just aligns you with your soul’s guidance. “Let go and let God,” as the saying goes. Life has its own wisdom, which often is a mystery to us—until we allow everything to unfold as is without trying to force it. Then the mysteries and magic begin to reveal themselves. Synchronicity arises; miracles occur. Small pieces of the cosmic grand puzzle become visible. And the more you let go, the more you see.

Of course, you will never see it all because that is the nature of infinity. However, when you realize you are part of that infinite flow yourself, no matter what you do or don’t do, then trust begins to guide you. We don’t need to plan every detail (or harbor regrets). Life is just happening on its own, and with a greater openness, complexity, and wonder than we could create alone. Perhaps this is the most powerful lesson we will learn in our lifetimes: Trust that all is well, whatever it may look like. Over time, this truth is revealed, again and again.

Something greater is at play in your life and mine, in all of life. No matter how you or I think things should occur, they will follow their own course—the course of the soul’s design and God’s. You may only see the absolute perfection of that at the end of this lifetime, but if you release your hold on mental to-do lists and the need for certainty, then you begin to experience every single moment as perfect just the way it is. Those “other plans” will fall away, and you will be left with the wondrous life you were always meant to live.

Half Full, Half Empty, or…?

Most of us are familiar with the saying “Is the glass half full or half empty?”, which points out how perspective affects our experience of life. In other words, do you count your blessings or tally up your grievances? Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Do you feel life is a gift or a burden, joy or tragedy? On any given day, you may feel one of these extremes and then extrapolate to a world view that sets you up for future experiences. You may keep an inner tally sheet of the “good” and “bad.” It seems to be a human tendency to divide up life events in this way. Yet life is made up of many emotions, many experiences. None of them permanent. What if the greater wisdom is to be inclusive of it all?

I grew up seeing the “half empty, half full” view played out in aspects of my parents’ personalities. My dad noticed poison ivy and quickly acted to get rid of it. My mother noticed lilacs in bloom and picked a bouquet for the house. Still, neither one of them embodied only one of these behaviors or life views. They both were so much more. So are we all. What if either/or options like full/empty limit us and keep us from seeing the complete spectrum of possible experiences in our lives? What if the glass of life is always full, and it is only human perception that polarizes it into half and half? Or what if it is always empty, in a receptive state, just waiting for our visions and potential to fill it?

More and more, these days I remind myself of this wisdom. It is very easy to fall into gloom and doom if I focus too much on world events. Even the weather extremes that are now occurring with climate change can trigger fears about the future. Where is the human race headed? Apocalypse or utopia? Heaven or hell? But once again these are polarized views, each one excluding the other. The longer I live, the more I learn to shift into neutral as much as possible, which is the soul’s vision of life. The soul has no opinions; it is just experiencing. We incarnated in human form to experience, to see and feel all of life’s variations and wonders without limitation. Judgment about good or bad stalls us in one viewpoint, which translates to one experience. Is it possible to let go of those opposites and live in neutrality, which includes everything?

Neutrality doesn’t mean boring sameness. It means an open heart and mind. It means inclusivity—of events and people and every single detail of daily life. Nature gives us the best example of this. There is an overall harmony to the natural world: trees, plants, birds, animals, insects, stones, soil, fungi all living intertwined and connected lives. Of course, birth and death take place, but in the natural flow of life on Earth, not artificially imposed or manipulated. Perhaps this is our greatest lesson, we humans: to flow, not try to control. Because in truth, we can’t control, anything. At a deeper level, all is unfolding as part of a greater universal tapestry of being and light.

So if we are meant to flow and not control, why not relax into accepting all of life as a gift of infinite possibilities? Which is the soul’s view. The soul sees glasses stretched to the horizon, in a rainbow of colors, all of them both empty and full. All of them perfect as is. This is a bit like what Buddhists call “the middle way,” between attachment and aversion, form and emptiness. You walk life’s path inclusive of every experience that unfolds before you, without categorizing or judging. Just being fully present. In this is peace, which my life has continuously guided me towards. And it was within me all along.