I have a question for you.
Do you ever make plans and change them?
A date with a friend to your favorite tea shop with soft-and-worn couch chairs? A trip with your partner that ends up being on the only weekend you both could actually rest at home after a playfully wild summer? Or a retreat you are hosting but not enough people registered?
I’ve done this many times over the last few years. I’ve changed plans as new levels of knowing come into my awareness.
Each time it challenges me.
I get to confront my “don’t rock the boat” habitual past as I speak up, start a conversation, share a question or craving that has arisen inside of me, update someone about my availability, ask for a rain check, and most importantly, use the space to tell someone what is on my heart.
This is my practice of learning to lead with imperfection.
I am sharing this because this past week I decided to cancel two of my three classes this fall.
The season ahead feels different than I imagined. While my days have felt focused and rich, the turn to winter’s slowing has helped me realize I have too many irons in the fire. In times like this, I simplify with intention and connected releasing of what can be let go. This is harder for me than this makes it sound.
If you also struggle with ways to make changes and adapt to plans based on what is most alive in the moment, here are 4 of my favorite tools to play with.
4 Tools for Navigating Change with Ease and Heart
Get creative about how you connect
When my energy feels low but I already have plans with someone and really want to share time together, I love to open up other possibilities for connection. Could we hop on the phone or on Skype together while both in our PJs with cups of tea rather than each driving 4 hours to see each other for the afternoon
Lead with heart, not your hurt
Make clear decisions about the changes you are navigating from your sense of joy and what you need. Express these to those you are changing plans with. On nights when I am tired and need to retreat, I love telling a friend with whom I am asking for a rain check that my bathtub called me and really wanted to spend some time together tonight. Would she mind? Leading with hurt, I find myself projecting my dissatisfaction of my personal choices, low battery or drained energy on the person who I had plans with…leading my energy to leak even further and accumulate in bitterness.
Honor the seasons
Life has seasons. Winter. Spring. Summer. Fall. Our lives also have seasons. Sometimes we make future plans thinking that the season this year is going to be like last year, but once the time comes around, we see that something very different is wanting to emerge. Speaking this truth about what is emerging can be a joy and connector in a relationship rather than the projection of dissatisfaction due to changed plans.
Surrender to something greater
Know that the greater story that is living through us has its own plans. Receiving our lives as they unfold is one of the hardest practices. It means letting go of control and trusting the resilience of our relationships including that within ourselves. In essence, I see this as a tenant of learning to live and lead with imperfection. Be willing to dance to the music that plays when you often don’t know what is on the DJ’s playlist.
So, will you practice this with me?!
And let us welcome the gradual shift towards fall. Slow down. Tuck in. And turning to the work that is most deeply calling from the caverns of our beings.
As Brené Brown reminds us, “The magic is in the mess.” Let’s let others see our mess (and the magic)!
This quote-art was designed by Kris Carr. Celebrate artists and give them credit for their craft and muse.