Once, a few years before my brother committed suicide, I was in a bit of a financial corner and I asked him for some help. I knew he was doing well and it was only a few hundred dollars that I needed to 'borrow'. No biggie. I called him and told him what was going on and that he'd really be helping me out. He agreed of course but not before he gave me a little lecture. A lecture on how he doesn't want this to ever happen again. That what I need to do is 'stick to the plan'. 'See, here's what you gotta do, sis. It's simple, you've got to make a plan, and stick to it. No. Matter. What' I remember those words ringing through me on the other end of the receiver. I was trying to understand. Make a plan. Stick to it. No-matter-what. It's like Woody Allen's character in Antz as he says with clenched fists: 'BE the ball!'
How can you even do that? I asked myself then. And am still asking myself now. Things are constantly changing around and within us. I thought it was our job to change with it, go with the flow you know? Live and let live. 'The plan?' I asked him. 'Yes, the plan, you know... the plan you decide'. In other words: the path you decide to take. 'But isn't that always changing?' clearly our take on things wasn't quite squaring up. Well kids, we all know how well his plan served him. Still, things always work out the way they are meant to. According to plan some might say. I don't know if happy people do what he did tough. Maybe being happy wasn't part of the plan.
I suppose I took your advice Josh. I took it and made it work for me. My plan consists of living life so fully that every minute is a goddamn orgasm and the whole world sparkles with beauty and light and possibility and love with the mysterious rhythmic force forever and ever and ever. With life force. Prana. But then what happens when its not going to plan? I guess that is the question I raise here: What happens within us, our spirit and emotional, universal existence when things don't go according to plan?
I think we need to first look at what is meant by 'the plan'. The Goddamn Plan. The Mother of all things. The plan is of course of our own making. And we can change our minds from minute to minute. Nothing is set in stone. It can be understood as where we see ourselves, in the future. How the steps I make now will take me to my future destination. Perhaps even as far as our final destination. A contribution towards a future achievement. A path. In can also be understood as the way in which this process unfolds. What is otherwise knows as the Entire Catastrophe. Experiencing it all. Any which way you look at it, whatever it is and however it manifests, I am sure you can agree, in the end, and to whatever degree you are comfortable with, it is in fact, almost entirely of our own creation. Our energy and focus. Our light and pain. Our suffering and struggle. Our vision. Our dream. All our own. Acceptance is key.
Now sometimes the plan works and sometimes it doesn't. I think Josh forgot to tell me the most important part of the plan. Maybe he didn't know. Then again, maybe he did. It appears that for a while I have inadvertently been trying to figure it out. Trying to make sense of that quizzical moment I had all those years ago on the other end of the phone. Trying to square it up. And I think it is this: The most important factor when making a plan is to fully understand, fully explore and feel entirely comfortable, from whence your intention springs. At the time of making your plan, where are you locked into at source? Where is that desire coming from? Desperation? Liberation? Entitlement? Connection? Literally, where in your body are you feeling that pull? Or is it more of a push? In other words, what field of energetic play are you succumbing to? I say succumb in its literal sense of 'fail to resist pressure'. This can be very paradoxical in practice as it is only with our external 'I' that we push against, forging this way ahead toward our so called destiny. Destiny is in fact, right here. We believe that creation means persistence in the sense of a constant 'pushing forward' and moving things out of the way. But do we ever stop to think why these so called obstacles are even in our way? Are they trying to show us something? Another way perhaps? Asking us to look up for a minute or two and take a breath. We seem to have had our heads down for sometime now. Practicing this pushing forward. Have a look around and tell me where it is getting us. Maybe it is now time we give more into the pull.
I think it is time for a change. I think we need to dig a little deeper. I think we need to undress. I think we need to all get a little crazy and get naked together. Vulnerable. I think there is nothing to be scared of. I think we are all one and the same. I think we are all living it all out together. My plan effects your plan, and crosses their plan, which makes Our Plan. Our Collective Plan. How about we try that on for size? How do you like them crisp October apples?
As ever, it's your choice. Your preference. Your tuning.
On this holy of holy days, Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement look at what is. Where are you when it all goes wonderfully wrong? Do you settle into stillness or stay in your motion of trajectory? Where in your body are you feeling it? Does that feel good or not? Do you want to feel good? (The answer is yes). Where was your starting point? How did you feel then? Have you carried that energy through to the present? Has this been an exercise in 'pushing forward' into the future? Where were you all along? Are you still there? If not, choose again (magical words from SciFi books like Dan Simmons' Hyperion). There are no right or wrong answers. Only your answers. Be patient with yourself. Remember the bigger picture.
So what is there to do when things don't go according to plan? Rest and take stock baby. All that matters is what you are putting in. Your attraction. Your intention. Nothing has changed in that respect. The subtleties of our lives and our connection to life are infinite. The path doesn't really change it just takes another turn. Don't react to the changes. Feel them inside your soul and continue as you were. Don't think, feel (Yes, Bruce Lee). All is safe. You are moving in the exact direction you are meant to be going. (Courtesy of Paul Williams)
And finally, as serendipity always plays out in her delightful way, here are some encouraging words I came across when writing this article. Once again from the wisdom of José Luis Stevens:
Your inner shaman (call it your inner truth if you prefer) is waiting for you to become sane. In the meantime it doesn't interfere with you. In fact, it is waiting for your readiness to be aware of it. It knows what your life task is and will inexorably lead you to it. The only thing that can deter you is, of course, your own fear.