It doesn’t take much. I have my plans for the day, and then something unexpected comes up and all my little “plans” go out the window. This used to throw me into a tailspin, depending on how big the change. And nothing hit harder than when it came to my pocketbook.
A client would cancel or need to stop their sessions and my mind would jump to the future with all the speed of a gazelle. How will this affect me? What will my income be this month? Will I still be able to afford my rent? I’d go into a minor panic and feel disconnected from whomever or whatever was before me. I was off somewhere else.
The only thing that ever brought me back was sitting in my meditation chair at night, journal in hand, talking to God. “God, what are we going to do?” I’d asked, as if He needed to be caught up to speed on the situation. I never got an immediate answer because my mind was too twisted with fear. But after several pages of text and tears, my body would start to calm and my mind relax. Once I purged all the uncertainties, I was left with only reality.
I really got there was no problem, not at that moment. Nothing was urgent. Nothing needed to be decided that minute. The only information I had was what was on the table today. That was it. It’s all I had to work with, and all I was meant to work with.
The Higher Self works with the present moment, what A Course in Miracles calls the Holy Instant. But in order to have a holy instant, you have to let your own predictions go and do what is before you.
In 2015, when I came to South Carolina to live in a trailer with my, then, husband and take a position as an elementary school teacher in a school where 65% of the kids received free and reduced lunches, I had no idea where my marriage or career was headed. Emotionally and physically exhausted from both, I watched movies on Friday night with my husband to escape my reality. One night, we watched Cast Away with Tom Hanks. Caught on an island with no control over anything, even his own death (which failed when the rope he’d use to hang himself broke), he retold his tale and said, “I’d just wake up in the morning, breath in and out, and see what the tide brought in.”
I felt he were talking just to me. I listened and that’s how I began to live – putting one foot in front of the other, doing what was before me, breathing in and out, and waiting to see what the tide brought in. It wasn’t easy, but it changed everything.
As I stopped judging the situations before me and started waiting, I began receiving quite a bit – an instant spiritual friend who invited me to her baby shower upon our first meeting, several 12 step groups down the street from our trailer, unexpected words of faith from an old janitor (the only other person in the school at 6pm). Hope, inspiration, and insights seemed to come from every direction and carried me through to the end of that year when I knew it was time to leave both the marriage and the career. Only now, I had an added gift – a relationship with a Higher Power that I could access when I chose to let go and be present with whatever was before me.
God is found in the present. He’s never early or late, but right on time.
The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by future worries, try these simple steps:
- Give the mind a mental rest by getting out in nature for a bit. Allow yourself to sink into your senses for a time. This is one way we learn to suspend the thinking mind. Plus, it’s just kind.
- Look at what’s on your plate for today. Only the decisions or tasks that need to be made today are within your control. Suit up and show up as if you were an employee and these were on your to do list from your boss. Be a follower here, not the leader.
- When your mind slips to the future, remind yourself, “My only job is to do what is in front of me today. The Universe is handling the rest.” Then do what you need to do to keep out of your head – cleaning, knitting, a movie, dumping it out on the page. Do your part and let go of the rest.
- Breath in and out, and wait for what the tide brings in. And it will.
“Certainty is knowing this power exists. Confidence is the expression of your
complete reliance upon it.”
A Course of Love
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