You will not believe what just happened to me. My rental car was supposed to be an SUV with enough room for all of our luggage. Instead they gave me a smart car!
Really? No, not really, lol.
Your life is a story. It has many chapters, with many scenes. The actors interact in either boring predictable ways, endlessly stuck in the rut that has become the reflection of your life, or they are continually discovering, experiencing and expanding your perspective.
Of course, no matter what, you are always the star of your story.
Are you a victim, hopelessly riding the waves of fate, or are you consciously exploring all that life has to offer.
Both ways can have bumps. Let’s politely call them unexpected challenges. Sometimes these challenges seem small, sometimes big, or dramatic. They can be annoying and inconvenient, or they can change our life overnight.
So here is the real question. If you are creating your life, I mean really being the creator of your life, why would you ever create challenges? Isn’t every bump on your path in life just a reminder that you are not really a creator after all?
Well here is your answer.
You Did Create It
You didn’t ask for the speeding ticket, or the broken leg, or losing your job.
You asked for something simple and innocent. It may not have even been put into words in your mind, or ever spoken out loud.
It was simply an unspoken desire. Maybe something like, “Isn’t there more to life than running around, working my butt off, just to scrape by and pay the bills? I wish I had more time to spend on things that matter to me.”
And presto! That rocket of desire shot forth in all directions, and was reflected back to you.
Then, you got a speeding ticket. A gentle reminder to slow down.
You didn’t hear it.
Then, you fell and broke your leg. Now you’re moving slower, but recovering as quickly as you can. Still running around, just now on crutches.
You heard it, but ignored it. Your brow furrows and you press forward.
Oh, and then you lost your job. Now you have plenty of time because you are not working. What do you do with it? You spend it looking for another job.
But what good is time, if you don’t have any money? You still have to pay the bills right?
Now be careful here. Don’t miss the point of this story.
The point of this story is…
Every Story In Your Life Has A Point
Let’s look at some examples to see how this works. Maybe the point of the story is to:
Wake you up and get some energy moving in your life. It’s really hard to turn a boat that isn’t moving.
Get you to lift up your head from the path you are following and look at other options that are a better fit. Maybe you are following your path, not because you want to, but because you don’t see any other options. Maybe when you started this path, it was the only option. That doesn’t mean it still is.
Create a proportionate response or escalation of force. Life will always nudge before it shoves. It will always whisper before it yells. If you pay attention, escalation is unnecessary. It’s only when we resist the very change we desire, perhaps because it doesn’t look the way we imagined it, or requires us to let go of something or someone we don’t want to let go of yet, that life escalates until our desire can no longer be ignored.
Question your assumptions. Your assumptions bypass your ability to choose. They create singular paths, blind to alternative potentials. Open your eyes! Open your mind! Question EVERYTHING!
Meet new people. Expand your network of friends, co-workers, lovers etc. This doesn’t mean quantity over quality. It means that opportunities often come to us through other people. If you open yourself to meeting new people, you also open yourself to new opportunities.
Help you get really clear about what you don’t want. Believe it or not this can be really useful. It’s hard to make choices if you don’t see a real difference between them. Maybe that summer internship helped you realized that accounting is definitely not for you.
Gain a new perspective. Walk a mile in another man’s shoes, see yourself through the eyes of your enemy, or better yet travel abroad and discover that not everyone lives the same way you do.
Give you the excuse you are looking for. “I would have come to the party, but my boss asked me to work late.”
Get attention from others. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Drama anyone?
Add spice and variety to your life. A boring life is, well… boring.
Make a really good story you can tell your friends. “You will never believe what happened to me yesterday ….”
Don’t lose sight of the forest through the trees.
Don’t become distracted or focused on the challenges.
Allow yourself to become aware of how they are serving you.
Being the creator of your life is not like ordering your dinner off the menu. Life is not a series of predefined chunks to be digested in the order of your choosing.
It is a series of experiences continually moving you toward the fulfillment of your desire, and it rarely takes you in a straight line. Sometimes the fastest or easiest way to get from where you are in life to where you want to be, is to gently veer left, or unexpectedly take a sharp right turn down a dark alley.
It also rarely takes you where you wanted to go.
Here Is A Story For You
You want to eat pizza, and out of all the pizza places you’ve tried in town, you remember that Pizza Joe’s has the best pepperoni pizza. So you get in your car and put Pizza Joe’s in the GPS.
Now let’s imagine that this is one of those new automated driving cars, where you just sit back and the car drives itself. The difference is that once you push the go button on the GPS, you lose all control of the car.
The car starts driving, and it’s headed to Pizza Joe’s just as planned. Suddenly it takes an unexpected left turn, and starts heading to the local park. Some kids are playing basketball and lose the ball. It rolls in front of the car and the car swerves, causing it to crash into a fire hydrant. You get out of the car, sprayed by water, and now soaking wet as a police car pulls up behind you.
At this point, you are quite reasonably angry at the fire hydrant, the basketball, the car, and of course yourself for wanting pizza in the first place. Without thinking you express a bit too much of that anger to the officer behind you and well…. You spend the night behind bars.
You get out of jail the next morning, stumble across the road to the bus stop. You look at the sign with the bus schedule, and in the reflection notice the bright neon pizza in the window of the shop down the road.
What the hell, you think to yourself. At least I’ll get a pizza. You arrive only to find out that they are fresh out of pepperoni, but they have some peppered salami that they can put on the pizza instead. At this point you don’t care. “Sure, go for it, you say.”
One bite was all it took. With the first bite, Pizza Joe’s was eclipsed by the sheer awesomeness of this pizza. You would never look at a pepperoni pizza the same again.
Your Stories Are Serving You
This is an only slightly exaggerated work of unbridled long winded fiction, and, while mildly entertaining, it illustrates the point.
So let’s recap. You had a desire and a plan to achieve it. After several unexpected and seemingly unrelated events, over which you had no control, you miraculously arrived at a place you never knew of, much later than you thought, which had a solution to your desire, that was far better than anything you imagined.
Your stories are serving you, whether you are aware of them or not. It is the life you are creating, consciously or not. But when you become aware of the stories in you life, your perspective and therefore your experience of them changes.
When you become aware of the stories, you get the “point” more quickly and easily. Your stories become less unexpected and more coincidental. With awareness, you may not see where your story is taking you, but you will notice that it IS taking you there.
By that, I mean that you will notice that you are moving, even though you probably won’t see where or how you are going to get there. Your experiences, however unexpected or unintentional they may be, are definitely moving you in the direction of the fulfillment of your desire. You will begin to get “glimpses” of where you are going, or what potentials are being created for you.
When you you realize that life is taking you where you want go, you are able to relax and enjoy the ride. When you realize that your stories are serving you, and you stop trying so hard, you actually decreases your resistance to receiving the experiences you want .
Going with flow or being in the flow, is where your life is created around you effortlessly. In the flow, the right person, place, time or circumstance, simply appears.
I’m not saying that you don’t do anything. You don’t just sit on the couch and expect someone to call you and offer you the opportunity of your dreams.
What I’m saying is that your actions become effortless.
The saying, “if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life,” comes to mind.
Rather than trying to plan a path toward your desire and then efforting to get there, follow your inspiration. Inspired action is always effortless, always joyful.
Whereas, just like Newton’s third law of motion that states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, efforting literally creates the resistance you trying to overcome.
So what is inspired action?
What do you do that makes you lose track of time?
What does your “gut” tell you to do?
What is that fleeting unexpected thought that brought a brief moment of excitement with it (before your mind jumped in and told you 10 different reasons why you couldn’t do it)?
What would you do if you didn’t care about what anyone else would think or say?
What action or choice would give you a sense of relief?
Creating the life of your dreams is all about decreasing your resistance to receiving it. Once you realize that the stories in your life are there to serve you, your stress levels go down, your anticipation and excitement go up.
Most importantly, you begin trusting what you are creating for yourself, and participate in your stories through inspired action rather than feeling like a victim to them.
Living in the flow is all about allowing your stories to serve you, the creator of your life.