This week is all about letting go, and staying open to what life has up it’s sleeve, otherwise known as the art of enjoying your adventures.
That’s right, Sweetheart, step four of seducing your life is all about enjoyment. What a great homework assignment, right? You get to just relax and go out there and enjoy all your hard work prepping for your weekly adventures. Watch it all happen just like you planned… eh, maybe not.
Hate to break it to you, but it’s not always going to work out like that. Committing to really enjoying your life is harder than it initially seems. If you went out on your weekend adventure, (and I know you did, right?) maybe you experienced this already, or if you haven’t yet, know that eventually you will: you will be disappointed or feel like your adventure failed, otherwise known as “Shit did not turn out as I expected.”
When everything is going swell, or just as planned, it’s easy to stay open and surrender – to enjoy the deliciousness rolling into you. It’s when it does not go as plan that we tend to stop enjoying and stop playing in our lives. We get discouraged. We get disappointed. We even give up.
The thing is, no one gets what they want the very first try. It’s going to be a process. Your adventures and goals are going to go awry. You will have snafus and, ahem, what shall I call them? You will have “unexpected results.”
They key is to plan adventures with an open mind and a sense of humor. Expect to be delighted or at least amused at whatever shows up. Detach from expecting one certain outcome, not because you can’t have it or because it won’t eventually happen for you, but because it’s easier and more enjoyable when you don’t need it too.
How do we do this? Know that what you want is on it’s way to you. You just don’t get to control the timing of it, the where or the when. And by constricting around, getting tight and controlling about it, you are actually pushing it farther away from you, and having a sucky time in the meantime while waiting for it. It’s lose-lose.
Think about it. Do you know someone who can’t be happy unless one very specific thing happens. A girlfriend who is very controlling and a perfectionist. A night out isn’t a success to her unless the hottest guy at the bar or club or scene hits on her. She can’t be happy unless she weighs less than 115 pounds. She is never satisfied with the way her party turned out even if everyone else is thrilled.
These people are not fun to be around. They are not lighthearted, or joyful. Even when they get what they want, they still aren’t very happy or satisfied. This kind of energy is deeply unpleasant to be around, and the same is true for Life. Life doesn’t want to be around someone who is controlling and contracting around a desire — who isn’t playful and fun and happy, ie. willing to be delighted. It looks for people who are open to being delighted by it.
The more you stay open to whatever is happening right in front of you the more creative you can be and the faster it will happen for you. And as a big bonus, you get to have fun while doing it. You get to find beauty and joy in the process of getting what you want, not just in the having of it. That’s kind of a big deal.
So your job is to enjoy your adventures (and your life) regardless of how it all pans out. However, the moment shit goes sideways we often shut down. The moment it doesn’t look like how we imagined it would be we close ourselves off from life.
You plan a picnic, and the sprinkler’s unexpectedly go off, or there’s a torrential downpour out of nowhere, or the a runaway dog tromps muddy paw prints thru the middle of your picnic. He ruins your beautiful blanket. He steals the sandwiches and there is now lemonade everywhere.
It would be mighty tempting to consider all of this a fail. Your adventure didn’t pay off, it didn’t go as planned and it is “ruined.” It’s tempting to pout or feel hurt by this. You may be disappointed or thinks it’s not worth the effort. However if you do this, it’s game over for you. No more choices. End of story.
But what if you did something different? What if you stayed open to whatever is happening? If you can do that you’re still in the game. You still have choices. You can still play and have fun. You can get a better ending.
If you don’t get in a huff and shut down, you and your bestie might have a fantastic story about how the sprinklers came on at your picnic, a shared memory of your misadventures that you get to bond and laugh over every time you get together.
If you stay open that torrential rainstorm and don’t give up on play and fun, it might mean you and your date breathlessly run to the car and in-between laughing and trying to catch your breath, you share your first kiss, right there by the car, in the rain, soaking wet. And that’s the story of your first kiss — shared breathlessly, romantically in the rain.
What if the owner of the unruly dog is a hunky shirtless very fit jogger, who happens to be tall dark and handsome apologizing profusely and wanting to make it up to you? Or what if the owner is just the person you’ve been wanting to meet to get your career started? She is the incredible publisher or agent or business owner you’ve been needing to meet? Now you have the perfect way to finagle a meeting: guilt.
If you shut down, you’ll miss all that. And all of that? that’s where the magic is. Magic often first shows up as misadventure before it turns into the true beauty. Cinderella’s hard work and beautiful dress is shredded and life looks pretty damn grim, before her Fairy Godmother can show up. That’s how magic is. Imagine if she had given up and sent the Fairy Godmother away because she was busy pouting.
So how do we put all this being open and surrendering to what is happening in practice? By letting go of our attachments to one desired outcome and staying open. One easy way is to admit that when you have an attachment.
Before you go out on an adventure, a date you’ve planned for yourself, or anything. Take 10 minutes to connect with yourself. If you need something to happen to be happy, admit it to yourself. Sometimes just knowing and being aware is enough to give yourself a little wiggle room and to have a sense of humor about whatever happens.
Allow yourself to want what you want. But also, allow yourself to know it’s coming to you. It’s on it’s way, life wants you to have it, you are figuring it out as you go, but you don’t get to decide the when or where — the timing. Your job is to relax and enjoy the process as much as you can, in order to speed it up. Just relax and find what pleasure, joy and beauty you can.
And when you can’t, know that that’s ok too, and let yourself off the hook. You’ll get it next time. Then be open to whatever unfolds, and play. That’s it. Just keep playing and practicing that art of laughing at yourself and life whatever happens.
Thanks so much for watching and reading. Have a great week. See you next time!