Relinquishing the Planner

Relinquishing the Planner

“If you are open to new possibilities in your life, then that alone will give you access to those possibilities – readiness is all.” ~ Deepak Chopra.

Remembering to trust and embrace the present moment.
Remembering to trust and embrace your Self.

I was driving home from a great day of skiing and decided to stop off at a grocery store to pick up two bags of food. As I parked my car, my mind began wondering how I was going to take my skis and bags out of the car, free my hands to shut the trunk, and go to my apartment in one trip instead of two. I thought and planned and wondered and even stressed a bit! Oh, the stress of two trips to my apartment! How abhorring!

I got to the trunk of my car, and within moments I had everything neatly in my hands, the trunk closed, and was comfortably walking towards the front door of the building. I knew exactly what to do when the moment came, and it was nothing like I had planned.

Sound familiar?

There are certain things we need to plan for, and yet how much planning is unnecessary and getting in the way of being present. How much is our planning a distraction from really being in the moment?

A good sign that planning is really a disservice to you is if it is repetitive. So much of our worrying thoughts of needing to get something done reoccur numerous times in a day, in an hour or within minutes. Do we really need to think about it more than once? Hello Monkey Mind, I got it the first time! And yet, it goes on multiple times. Planning often loses its purpose of being a useful tool and turns into a useless distraction.

What is our mind really afraid of? You being fully present. Why? Because when you are fully present your mind is quiet, and it doesn’t like that. It wants you to be engaged in what I call mental doing. Mental doing leads to physical doing which is where our conditioned mind (aka ego) and society see us earning our value, self-worth and success. So, your mind is very much invested in keeping you distracted in endless planning for the future, for who would you be if you weren’t doing? Your mind cannot comprehend this; society devalues simpy being. It is intangible and seen as unproductive.

Here are some steps to take towards being more present:

1. Become more aware of your thoughts, in this case, planning thoughts; thoughts that feel stressful, like work! Imagine carrying around with you a little flash light and when the thought appears, shine your light on it and say playfully, “I see you!” Do not analyse or judge the thought. Simply notice it the same way you notice a cloud in the sky. Allow your light to be sunshine in the distance. That sunshine is You! You are the light of awareness that surrounds the thought, not the thought itself.

2. Take a few long and slow deep breaths, in through the nose out of the mouth, to help you deepen your connection with that inner awareness. Allow yourself to relax into your body.

3. Ask yourself if you really need to plan at the moment. In other words, ask yourself Is this thought really the Truth? This is your opportunity to listen to your intuition, to your heart.

4. If the answer is No, then whether it is your children or a creative project, engage by being fully present, and trust you will know what to do when the time comes, and trust you will know when that time comes!

Relinquishing the planner is relinquishing control. It is being willing to embrace not knowing, something the ego has a hard time with. To relinquish planning you are trusting that you will know what to do when the time comes, in the same way I knew exactly how to unpack and carry my skis and groceries. You move moment to moment, having greater faith that you can respond to life out of present moment awareness instead of future planning. As you move moment to moment you are more available to life and life is more available to you. It is only by being present that the intelligence of life can really move through you, supporting you in the most practical of ways.

With endless planning we often feel alone in making it through life. Endless thinking separates us from the intelligent life force within that is much deeper than thought. In surrendering to the moment, we realize we were never alone in the first place and we open to life showing us exactly what we need to do. We surrender to the now and, in turn, to our Self.

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Related Reading:

Don’t Decide, Discover
Discovering Life Through Uncertainty

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