Expect the unexpected

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Just when you think you are prepared – with all the ducks in a row – life throws you a curveball. We may not realize it (or appreciate it) at the time, but it’s precisely this unpredictability that makes life exciting. Can you image if everything turned out exactly as you planned, every time? You’d never learn anything new or be challenged to grow. Your day would lack novelty, surprises and spice. How boring!

I got a nice reminder of the beauty of the unexpected yesterday – on launch day of my book Lighten Your Load. I had been preparing for the launch for months. In the last week alone, I sent individual email messages to more than 200 people. I was ready.

Until the morning of the launch, that is.

Then I lost it.

I sat down at my computer, ready to dive into my list of critical launch-day to-dos, when suddenly my computer screen went blank. Poof.

I calmly rebooted the computer. Still nothing.

Shit.

The mind started to kick in. “You’re doomed,” my mind said. “You haven’t backed up your files in a week and there’s no way to recreate them. You should have scheduled that email last night.”

I didn’t freak out. In fact, I skipped right over panic and went directly to despair. I started to cry. With tears streaming down my face, I began to feel as if I were being punished for something. Of course, this made no logical sense, but tears have nothing to do with logic. Something in me was being triggered and was coming up to be released. So I just let the tears flow – all the while noticing how the mind tried to suck me into an array of doomsday scenarios.

They say you teach what you’re here to learn, so life was apparently giving me the opportunity to practice the very things I teach in my book… breathing, releasing the worry and “should-have-dones,” and recognizing that none of the mind’s imagined doomsday scenarios has actually happened.

It was time to make a choice. I could fall back into an old way of being, where I would struggle to figure things out myself, use more effort to make things happen and feel like a victim OR I could choose a more empowered way of being by simply asking myself, “Who can I call for help?”

I chose the latter.

I called my good friend Pamela who is pretty tech-savvy, and she called her friend Erik who is even more so. They were both happy to help… and not later in the day, but IMMEDIATELY. Within 90 minutes I had a replacement monitor to borrow and I was ready to go. Whew!

Only you’ll never guess what happened when I finally turned my computer on.

Without my doing anything that morning, the Kindle edition of Lighten Your Load was already at the top of the charts on Amazon. Amazing!

But what’s even more amazing is how many valuable lessons we can find in anything that happens (good or bad) if we are open and aware enough to see them.

Here are just a few of my takeaways from this experience:

1) People want to help you.

2) Our day is largely created by the thoughts, feelings and actions we had BEFORE today. I had done all the work leading up to the book launch and I had put the right marketing team in place. So my doing nothing for a few hours wasn’t going to derail the positive momentum already in place.

3) All challenges are opportunities waiting to be revealed – even if that opportunity is to cry and release some stuck energy or trapped emotions.

4) You are designing your tomorrow by how you think, feel, act, react or respond today. What are YOU designing.

5) …and the final takeaway? Apparently I will always have new material to write about.


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