There is no way I can make plans the way I used to. I used to schedule telecourses and plan book deadlines. I used to set goals for the number of clients I wanted to coach. I had a yearly plan. I had a quarterly plan. I had my whole year mapped out. Planning in that much detail now feels foreign to me. It feels pressured. It even feels restrictive. I want to learn not to make plans. I want to simply let life unfold.
I’m semi-retired so I have had time to develop a life style that is more organic. The mere idea of setting some goals to finish the book I am now working on is painful. How can I rush discovery? How can I hurry understanding? The book I am working on is a journey of discovery for me. I have to let it unfold. There is no pressure. There is no deadline. There is only time to gain understanding and formulate my theories. You cannot hurry the absorption of new ideas..
Let go of restriction
If I fill up my schedule with self-imposed deadlines, there is no room for spontaneity. Nearly every day I have an insight that I feel compelled to write about in order to absorb it into my own life. However, that insight and urge to explore it doesn’t come at a specific time each day. Discovery cannot be hurried. Writing cannot be completed any faster than it is organically finished. There are restrictions in schedules. There are limitations in too much planning. Try simply labeling a day with one action: Production, Writing, Technical, Community Building and see how that makes you feel. Then spend the whole day with one goal – to take steps in that major area.
But what if that’s not what is calling to you on that day? I can’t be technical when I have inspired words bubbling up. I can’t write when there is nothing at the moment that calls to me to explore. Be prepared to flow with your inspiration. Check in each morning and see what you feel like doing. Then give it your all. Gibran says. “Work is love made visible.” Love what you do and it will touch the hearts of others.
Choose valued qualities and let life unfold.
I have chosen several qualities that I want to express every day of my life.
“Unfolding” is my first major quality. It allows me to be in the present moment and not pend time planning ahead or worrying about what might happen. I can be present with my passion. Unfolding allows me to simply jot down a phrase that inspires me and act on it in the muse of the moment or be content with the recording of the phrase and turn it into a meaningful article when I am ready. I act on my passion, not the clock.
“Awareness” is my second guiding quality. Awareness allows me to be present in the moment and it affects how I respond and react to other people. Awareness allows me to notice the world around me and increases my ability to be inspired by a small gesture, a few words or the birds outside my window. Awareness allows me to listen to my own heart, to follow my own passion, and to be patient with my own journey.
“Mindfulness” to me is slightly different from awareness. I mindfully take a conscious action. That means eating, walking, talking, meditating mindfully. Awareness is about watching what shows up around you and mindfulness is about consciously applying yourself to the moment.
“Simplicity” is a quality that makes me conscious of my consumption, my footprint on the planet and even the core concept of my work. Simplicity allows me to appreciate what comes my way and helps me relinquish striving and goal setting. Simplicity builds trust. The answers that show up are basic and right on.
What qualities will guide you?
You get the idea. Chose qualities that keeps you present in the moment and allows you to appropriately respond to each circumstance. When you make certain your responses are aligned with the qualities you value, your life experience becomes peaceful and serene. You move through your days like a gentle stream flowing cheerfully on its way. You easily move around rocks, tumble down hillsides, and pool into silence. Along the way, you will nourish and nurture those you come in contact with as you clear a distinctive path for yourself.
The only plans you need to make are what qualities you will cultivate in every moment.