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A Life According To Plan




"Don't chase after peoples approval.

Don't depend on your plans.

Don't make decisions;

Let decisions make themselves.

Receive what you have been given

And know that it is always enough."


Chuang-tzu



If you have lived long enough, you have probably noticed that nothing goes according to plan. That no matter how much we try to control what happens in our life, it has this funny way of unfolding exactly the way it wants to (despite our best efforts to the contrary). In fact, it can seem that the more we try to control the direction of our life, the more it veers off into unexpected waters, often leaving us feeling frustrated and unsettled. If we are fortunate, there comes a time when we learn not to depend on our plans going the way we think they should; and instead we see that everything is going to unfold the way it's suppose to unfold. In other words, we learn to ride the horse in the direction it's going.


This doesn't mean that we don't make plans or have goals, it just means that we hold them very lightly, because no matter how much planning we do, life just may go in a direction we never could have planned for. When we look back and remember those times that event's took an unexpected turn (no matter how disorienting it may have been at first), we will probably see that everything had a way of turning out for our highest good, in ways we could have never imagined. For instance, perhaps we thought we would be doing the same work until we retired, only to end up losing that job and then 'finding' a much more fulfilling way to make our living. Or perhaps we are on vacation, headed to a highly recommended restaurant, only to take a 'wrong' turn that leads us to a new place to eat that we enjoy even more.


If we are paying attention, the Tao (the Universal Flow), is always unfolding our lives in the way that teaches us maximum trust and flexibility; inviting us to let go of our rigid plans so that something even better can unfold. This kind of trust in the Universal Intelligence that's actually doing everything anyway, leads us to endless delight in the miraculous way that everything perfectly unfolds. If you are holding on tightly to the way you think your plans should work out, then you will likely end up depressed and continually disappointed in the way things happen, but if you are willing to trust and let go, you just might end up supremely delighted in the way things naturally work out in your favor. For the rest of this week, you might try holding your plans very lightly, and when things don't seem to go the way you thought they would; take a breath, drop your expectations and look for the blessings that come from what actually happened. You might find that the Tao knows what you need way better than you could ever know for yourself.

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