“Courting the Unexpected”

I saw this quote on a blogpost written by Holly Morris http://www.oprah.com/style/What-Japanese-Ama-Women-Can-Teach-Us-About-Aging

When I delved deeper into the expected vs. the unexpected, I realized that there are two things you can expect from life. One, is that you are born into a body.  Two, that body will die. Other than these two things, life is uncertain and so often, unexpected.

The Unexpected: We can fight it or we can right it!

You can choose to “court” the unexpected and develop a respectful loving relationship with it or you can try to “take it to court”, in other words, resist and fight against it. Either way, how you react or respond to the unexpected is your choice.

And you should know, whatever you decide will inform and affect your experience.  Like attracts like, so what you resist persists; where attention goes, energy flows. The unexpected is the new status quo, so, the question to you is: How can you learn to relate to it in a way that serves you rather than has you suffering?

Recently, I received some very unexpected and shocking news. Two friends of mine have been diagnosed with cancer. Immediately, my mind raced to fear, confusion, and helplessness.  Then I jumped to denial and resistance.  I was in disbelief that two people who take such good care of their minds, bodies and spirits, could have succumbed to this disease. It didn’t make sense.

As I sat in disbelief, I was once again reminded, “I don’t know why things happen”. Remarkably, as soon as I stopped trying to make sense of these events and circumstances, I felt slightly more peaceful.  I opened myself up to being curious instead of afraid.  In curiosity, I began to feel more hopeful. I began to consider that, “There has to be another way of looking at this”.

As I used my curiosity and fascination about this unexpected event, I felt more open to thinking optimistically and positively. I could feel myself soften to the parts of me that were still feeling upset. Compassion, quieted my inner voices that blamed life, that kept score, did comparisons, waited for the other shoe to drop, and that felt helpless.

With this curiosity, I could access the expanded part of myself that was blown away by the idea that instead of being afraid and steering clear of interactions with the unknown, I could develop a relationship, a curious, flirtatious, and provocative relationship with the unexpected.

Events, in and of themselves, have no meaning. We are the one’s who interpret what everything means. Once we do that, our experience aligns with that perspective.  So, how do we go with the flow of what occurs and co-create with life in order to feel love, peace, and freedom in the midst of the unexpected?

Here are Ten ways to do that:

  1. Breathe: Bring your mind back from fight or flight into a more restful state. Use your breath to become very present to this moment.
  2. Cultivate compassion for the parts of you that are freaking out. You develop self-compassion by speaking to yourself like you would a dear friend going thru a growth experience. I do this by using a method I call The wHolyShift.
  3. Begin with genuine curiosity about this present circumstance. Adopt the attitude of “Wow this is fascinating,” or “I wonder what’s here.”
  4. Develop a loving friendship with the unknown. It’s here to stay.
  5. Ask yourself, “How can I capitalize on new ways to relate to this unexpected event/circumstance that would ultimately be in service of the highest and best for all?”
  6. Remember a time when, as a kid, you were hopeful about surprises, new territories to explore, people and things to play with. And consider what it will be like to explore this current event/circumstance with your younger self’s “beginner mind”.
  7. Choose what meaning you will give to your current circumstances. Your perspective creates your reality. Would you like to see it as a growth experience?  You get to choose if what you’re experiencing will be your friend or foe.
  8. Develop some grounding rituals to make you feel stable regardless of what’s going on in the world around you. Start with these meditations.
  9. Create community as a support system for going thru changes.
  10. Read good books on the types change and transition that you are going through.

How you court the unexpected will always be up to you. Practice the suggestions above and you’ll become more flexible, agile, adaptable, and creative in your response to life’s twists and turns.

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