I remember getting laid off from a job some years ago. It was just before Christmas and I was not a happy camper. At the time I remember being hurt, frustrated, and a bit shocked. I remember Chris was traveling for work in Turkey at the time and communicating with the time difference was complicated. The fact of the matter is that I wanted out, yet I had not walked away on my own. When things do not go the way that we plan, we fight back, get down on ourselves, and often wonder “why me?”
Yet, with hindsight we can often see the world with different eyes. Hindsight might take a few years, a few months, and sometimes with the smaller things just a few days. What matters is that we are able to reflect and see that where we end up is often so much better than where we were and that we learn, grow, and change as a result of these events in life. For me it was a job. For some it might be a marriage or friendship. For others maybe it is a health challenge.
I often think how we act and react in the world determines what our experience will be. I will give you an example. When I got laid off and had a few months of severance I could have relaxed and just kicked back. Instead I started this blog, I looked for jobs, and after three months landed a great one. Looking back though, yes I was successful in my endeavor, but the caveat was I did not take that time as downtime to explore and cherish that quiet time as much as I should have at the time. I was worried I would not find a job, that our income would be lacking, you know the list of things we tell ourselves.
I recently wrote about the book: “The Gratitude Diaries” by Janice Kaplan. She writes about a job she herself lost and what her friend shared with her after the fact:
“’Your leaving was the best thing that could have happened, don’t you think?’ Walter asked. I looked at him in surprise, so he continued. ‘It didn’t make you happy at the time, but you would have been miserable staying there while he went off in all the wrong directions.’ Sometimes the simplest comment gives a new perspective.” Page 252
Kaplan is so right. Sometimes the smallest and largest things blow our life apart, and we are never the same, but often we are better for it. We just have to remember that sometimes life gets blown apart so it can be made even better.
Yesterday morning I had this strong intuition to be open. I went to bed late and set my alarm to wake up early so I could go for a run. When my alarm went off the last thing I wanted to do was to strap on my running shoes. When 6 am rolled around somehow I was awake enough for my brain to start to think about things. When the brain starts going through items of the day it is hard to stop it, and hard to then roll over and go back for a small snooze.
So I got up.
As I slowly dressed for my run, I kept trying to talk myself out of it. “Don’t go. You will be too tired later. You did not get much sleep last night. Stay here, get some work done. Be slow.” The thing is I was mostly dressed and by then when you basically only have to put on your running shoes, why turn back? I went and it felt great. As I was running I had such a strong sense of urgency that I needed to be “open.” While I have hindsight to look back on, there was not some amazing revelation from my day, but there was a freeness I felt. Uninhibited.
I tried some new foods today. I got to know some work colleagues more. I did not go about my normal routine. I was open for what happened, and I seized the opportunities. I still have no idea why I had that strong intuition, but know that it will stay strong with me. I will think about it so that whatever opportunity comes before me today I will look at it differently. It is freeing really. Say yes to life. Be open to the opportunities. Jump on the adventures. In tiny, small, and big ways.
Hopefully you and I can both be more open today, tomorrow, and the day after that.
Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Hope you had a relaxing, sun-filled weekend. We had some sun and some rain. The rainy day was good as it meant I got caught up on other things.
I was thinking this weekend about how we often do not know what is happening next. We patiently wait for things to shift, to progress and move forward, but it usually never happens on our own timeframe. Maybe it is because the person we are supposed to meet has to be in a specific place in their life, or we cannot move to our next job until the person in that position moves on to their next role. We do not see this until we are able to look back. Hindsight.
“When life sends you on a different route, it’s natural to wish things had happened as you planned. But maybe the route you’re on now is even better. Maybe the scenery is prettier on a side road, or you’ll learn things you couldn’t have on the busy highway. Maybe who you’re meeting and what you’re experiencing will ultimately bring you closer to true happiness.” Page 54
Sometimes we do not always know what good can come from following our intuition. Or, we do not completely understand why we have made the decisions we have, but as we move forward we see more clearly that it was the right decision. Over time, good things show up to us and we see more clearly the intuition we heard was directing us to take the right steps.