Dungeon Prompts is another challenge in which I’ve meant to participate for ages and I’m so pleased I saw the prompt at a moment when I’m prepared to respond. Today’s prompt, based on Woody Allen’s quote, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans”:
This week tell us your experience with a plan that you held tightly but was completely annihilated. This can be a great life path that didn’t open up or it can be a day that just didn’t go your way. This can be a lifestyle that you’ve either embraced or struggled with, or it can be a funny incident that came and went but you remember as having tested your patience.
Personally I’ve found it hard to decide whether a plan failed because it wasn’t God’s plan or because something in me blocked its unfolding or it wasn’t the right timing for God’s plan to come together. When I left my job as an attorney with the Illinois Governor’s Office in order to pursue teaching yoga and stress management, I knew that getting out of law was the right move for me and it has felt right ever since despite the ups and downs and precarious finances.
A year later I moved to the San Francisco Bay area, where many friends I’d made on the spiritual path lived and proceeded to try out the stress management. And then one thing after another that seemed to suit me and my “right livelihood” path. Everything failed. My friends out there have said it was mind boggling to watch me starting ventures that everyone was sure couldn’t miss which then fell flat. Like taking expensive courses to become certified as a mediator and then spending far more than I could afford to advertise and getting NOT ONE client.
In hindsight, while I was picking up on bits and pieces of the “higher plan” for my life, I hadn’t really put it together yet–still a work in progress though I’m getting clearer. More important, though, was the day I realized that my severe health problems meant I didn’t have the energy or physical capacity to handle any of these paths if they truly became successful.
It was some years after I gave up on the California dream (too expensive out there to be failing…) when I finally realized it wasn’t only my health that held me back. I’ve been on a journey into ancestral issues and past life residues for five or six years now. Recently a major healing session finished healing that piece. I’ve carried a pile of beliefs handed down by my ancestors and based on past life experience that all militated against ever being successful at a career involving spirit — or even at one I liked… (A series of posts about that journey began here)
Back when I took the leap of quitting my job and career path I heard a call to live a different life. My anxiety to get it going led me to turn small gleanings from spirit into ventures that probably weren’t exactly the plan. But I also failed to look inward, to know myself well enough to be aware of what I could do and couldn’t do. I let my head lead instead of my soul.
I think of “God’s plan” as perhaps more of a partnership than Woody does. When the Universe gives me a shove in a different direction, I’ve usually been following a plan devised from logic and mental process. When I become still, quiet my mind and listen to my inner wisdom about what to do next, I find myself in a flow.
I don’t really believe in a God “out there” who creates a plan for me. I believe that we are all sparks of the divine who can tap into higher consciousness and learn our own divine plan. Can I quiet ego’s voice and tap into that inner map? Have I made sure that I am in right timing for launching the plan? If I get a big nudge away from the path I’ve started down, I generally realize that I’ve made a plan from the mental plane or I’ve failed to pay attention to inner readiness.
As far as plans my mind made up that failed in ways that felt like “somebody up there” stepped in and squashed them — too many to pick just one. One of my big challenges is keeping my mind quiet so that I’m always following a greater wisdom.
For Dungeon Prompt at Seeker’s Dungeon.