Unplanning

I am a planner, born and raised. I have used spreadsheets to determine what car to purchase, to organize party details and to plot a vacation itinerary. I like to know what my weekend will look like ahead of time, and if things change I tend towards grumpiness. As I have mentioned before, when it comes to spiritual matters, making sure you aren’t overly attached to your plan is a great help to your sanity. Because try as you might, these things have their own sense of timing.

That said, when you start to get the feeling that there is a Leap on your horizon, the sooner you mobilize the better. This might not look how you’d expect, however!

In my experience, things start off very nebulous. I had the vague feeling that change was coming for over a year before I got an inkling about just what that change might be. But I knew it would likely require me to make a Leap, because that is just how life works. At least for me. So I started to lay the very root of my foundation:

  • Accept and Embrace Change – If you are looking to make changes: to live more authentically, to add joy to your life, what-have-you; you are going to have to accept that your Leap will require actual change. It might seem obvious that change means change, but humans are deeply resistant to change and have an amazing capability to turn a blind eye when faced with something scary. The longer you spend with the idea that change is coming and it’s necessary for your goals, the more willing you will be to face the scary bits when they come. Change is a fact of life that is best surrendered to and embraced. It will make your pathway smoother and reduce stress.
  • Dream and Incubate – Dream about what this impending change might look like. Fantasize about it. Ground it in reality and maybe some fun research, but let your imagination go crazy. Listen to your heart and your soul and let them spin you a deeply sensory portrayal of your dream. Invest your hopes in it. Cradle it, nurture it, protect it. Be flexible, too. It’s OK to let it evolve, or to have a few different variations on a theme. This not only helps you keep your energy and inspiration going, but it lets Spirit know that you are serious and that you are ready for It to meet you half way. I’m not big on the Law of Attraction working in isolation – you can’t just dream and wait – but there is some truth to it when used in combination with more practical strategies!
  • Squirrel Medicine – Taking a Leap often leads to an interruption in the status quo, and a period where you develop a new normal and settle in. That can mean you have an interruption in income at the very time when you are running into unusual (and possibly higher than normal) expenses. Start squirreling away as much money as you can, as soon as you feel that a change is in your future. Look at your lifestyle and trim the fat where you can. Look at your expenses, are there some you can reduce in other ways, like paying off a car or credit card? You might even consider adjusting your retirement savings to have more cash in hand for a while (consult a professional). By the time that Leap comes, those funds will definitely come in handy.

For me, part of accepting change was talking about my feeling that something was coming with my support network. Not only were they able to empathize with the feeling, they were able to encourage my pursuit of the mystery of it, and weren’t surprised by things when they started to take shape. My dreams were a bit scattered and meandered over time, but I knew that I wanted to do work that aligned more closely with my values, I wanted to live in a rural environment that put me closer to real wilderness, and I wanted to create a deeply satisfying home life. (Two down, one still in progress!) Having a bit of a nest egg saved allowed me to pay off my car (eliminating that expense entirely), cover moving expenses, and pay my share of the bills while I looked for work, while not having to use credit cards or borrow from my retirement account.

These aren’t the whole picture, of course. Once things started to reveal their form and the pace accelerated, different tools were called into action. We’ll talk more about those next time!

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One thought on “Unplanning

  1. Pingback: Practical Preparations | Listening. Leaping. Living.

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