Being flexible - both physically and emotionally - is something that I’ve struggled with over the years. In fact, it’s no coincidence that my first book is titled Learning to Bend. I know that flexibility is something that not only benefits our bodies, but it also assists us in our everyday lives. The more fluid we can be in how we react to situations, the easier we can adapt to the multiple changes we encounter. Still, it is difficult to let go of control and trust in the situation, especially when we know that the outcome is out of our hands.
For instance, like many people traveling on the east coast these past few days, our Sunday evening flight was delayed, delayed, delayed, and then cancelled. There’s nothing like sitting at the end of the terminal, repeatedly getting notices on your phone telling you that the flight won’t be taking off until a later time... and then the announcement comes over the loudspeaker directing all passengers to retrieve their luggage before lining up at the Frontier counter to “rebook” their travel plans.
Instant chaos erupts as everyone flees out of the terminal to baggage claim and then back to the ticket counter. People are glued to phones, frantically searching for alternate routes to return home. You can hear the conversations with loved ones in different states, frustrations rising, and anger beginning to surface.
A perfect situation to check my adaptability.
With the upcoming holidays, winter weather, and life in general, we never know when we will be tested with an unanticipated change of plans. Sometimes the costs are low and it’s not that big of a deal. But other times the stakes are high, and we are forced to deal with a Plan B that is anything but desirable. That’s when we have to pause, dig deep, and take a huge breath as we recalculate the situation.
I won’t lie. I like to know what’s happening and when it is happening. Yet, I’ve also come to learn that some pleasant surprises can occur when things do not go as planned. Several years ago, we were unexpectedly “stranded” in Los Angeles for two days. What started as a nightmare - our luggage was in Phoenix, and we were dressed in ski clothing in Southern California - ended up being totally fun as it gave us an unplanned opportunity to see my cousin and his family. I definitely learned a lot from that experience.
Twists and turns in our daily lives can be expected. But what is difficult to calculate is how we will react to these roadblocks. For me, it is just one more reminder of the need to relinquish control - which in reality, is a joke because how much can we really control? Instead I’m trying to focus on allowing what is to occur and then to do my best to accept the outcome. But this can be tough. And to be honest, I’m not really that good at this surrender stuff. I know that sometimes what actually happens is even better than I could have ever have imagined. But releasing control requires trust, the exact thing that I’m lacking when I try so hard to manipulate the outcome. Yet, like everyone, I am a work in progress. And so I will continue to try.
It is my hope that your December will be filled with beautiful and unexpected surprises and that you are able to let go, allow, and then enjoy the possibilities that present themselves.