I don’t want to work in five-year plans, and I don’t like to plan ahead. However, I do want to vote on the direction I’m flowing in. How, then, do I plan when life is a series of unfolding cycles?
The stuck places
I’m watching myself hit a small blockage (usually learning something technical), putting it off for a few days until I decide enough is enough and manage to figure it out. Then I am joyous at all the things I complete because I learned that one little step. It would help if I could figure out how to push through that stuck place faster.
The unfolding part
Every time I start to plan ahead I resist having to put myself in a mood to do it at a specific point in time. I have some projects I’d like to do, but I’m content to let them get done whenever they do. Meanwhile, I get to complete and share exactly what resonates with me at this particular time. I’m not caught up in something I decided I would do this week or this month. That’s allowing my life to unfold and I really like living this way.
Look for the cycles
However, life is a series of cycles, always beginning and ending. When you identify the cycle you are in, you can learn to paddle along with the flow in the direction it is carrying you. For instance, I went though a cycle of learning to podcast. There was equipment to choose, software to learn and techniques to figure out. I let in unfold. Once I had mastered it, I looked for balance. Just how many podcasts do I want to deliver so I have time to learn something else? This podcast learning cycle has moved into a less demanding cycle of choosing topics, writing outlines, recording and editing. Now I can move on to the video learning cycle. Become aware of your place in a cycle. Then use the natural flow to carry you forward.
A cycle runs its course
I had no idea how long it would take me to be at ease with podcasts. I certainly have no idea how long it will take me to learn videos—to date, I have made exactly one! It is helpful if you recognize the beginning of a cycle and lay the foundation well, like looking at tutorials and learning the basic skills and making decisions about the purpose of what you are doing. Then just let the flow of the cycle carry you to completion.
Ignore the seasons
I used to plan around the seasons. I wanted to have a new offering in January because people were ready to start something new then. I wanted to have something to offer in September when people thought about going back to school and would buckle down to something for a few months. But that’s an artificial cycle. Learn to tune into your own personal cycle, your readiness to move forward, or stay still, or contemplate, or plan. When you learn to recognize your personal cycles you can honor them and flow with them and be more productive because of them.
I don’t plan, I unfold
If something doesn’t get done by a certain time, then whatever time it is completed is perfect. If something doesn’t get done at all, then that’s as it should be too. I do notice the response I get. I do make choices to do more of what is working and less of what is not. But there’s no hurry, just a choice in the moment, a letting go, or an embracing. A give and take that comes with simply going along with the flow of life.
To Sing a Deeper Song consider: