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  • michelle m. davis

The Simple Equation

I just figured it out. It has become crystal clear. Yesterday in yoga I had an “aha moment.” What always seemed like a complicated calculus formula miraculously reduced to a simple equation:

Trying to control yourself and your environment does not equal achieving your end goal.

For most of my life I’ve been diligently trying to manage the world around me, working meticulously to ensure that every detail was how I thought it should be. I’d wake up in the middle of the night, contemplating various scenarios as to what would work best. But, it didn’t stop there. I’d also anticipate what could “go wrong” and then begin devising possible solutions to remedy what may go awry. And this controlling tendency didn’t end with me. No, I reluctantly admit that obsessive behavior unintentionally trickled into the lives of my husband, my children, and no doubt, others close to me. If I could make things a certain way, then all would be good, everyone would be happy, we’d all be safe, right?

Well, I learned that the Universe doesn’t exactly follow my philosophy. In fact, the Universe had been trying to show me another way, forever, often through difficult lessons. But, only recently have I begun to pay attention.

We make lists, we chart things out, we plan ferociously, but often things don’t work out like we imagined. Why won’t honest hard work + good intentions = our desired results?

Perhaps there are two misconceptions with this question. The first is our interpretation of “honest hard work + good intentions.” When I hear this I immediately envision a hamster furiously running on a wheel… racing faster and faster, yet going no where. I’ve been there… haven’t you? We put our head to the grindstone and just do and do and do. But then when we look up, nothing’s changed and we really haven’t gotten anywhere. Maybe that’s because what we perceive as necessary in order to get where we want to be is inaccurate. What if “more” and “harder” weren’t required? What if we tried to surrender, accept, and love? Might that get us further?

The second misconception rests on the end product, what we think that we want. We teach our children to be goal oriented, we tell employees to reach for high levels of success, and we set lofty personal objectives, hoping to improve as individuals. While that behavior is good in many ways, there is a limiting element. When we determine “xyz” as our end goal, are we selling ourselves short? Could there be more? Might we reach further? Is there something else out there that would better meet our needs? Here’s where being open to unknown possibilities comes into play. If our plans are so concrete, forged in stone, then we may be missing the exact thing that we’ve been waiting for our entire lives.

Now I’m not saying to scrap your game plan, live a life making “moment by moment” decisions. That’s certainly not who I am or will ever be. But, maybe try to allow possibilities into your life.  Have an idea of what you want, but be open to something more. If we accept the fact that we don’t always know what we need, then we are better able to detour from our perfectly planned course, allowing unanticipated opportunities into our lives to help us grow, learn, and flourish.

It is through these unexpected diversions that we often find our passions, our purpose, and ourselves.

May 2019 provide you with many astonishing avenues to explore those unforeseen paths!


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