We plan, God laughs, so the saying goes.
Though I have to wonder… Is laughter God’s likely accurate response? I’d say it’s more of an eyeroll and a deep sigh: “Why do they insist on thinking they know better,” God would probably utter.
Because for some of us, planning gives us the courage to take the next step. The bravado to concretize a vision. We delight in making a move, any move, knowing that there’s magic in momentum. Beauty in carving out a map. Not to mention how much our culture is enamored by plans, plans and more plans. So even if we don’t like plans, planning is basically shoved down our throat. God, can’t you see? This love affair with planning, whether we like it or not, is part of our day-to-day reality.
But alas, God, you are right in your response, whether it be utter frustration or comic relief. If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that the best way to go about life is to remember to check in with our inner guidance. Trusting that each of us has a divine compass, or a direct connection to something greater than us, that’s leading us to our highest potential and expansion (if only we’d listen).
I realized how good I was at “planning” early in my 20s. I never had a 5-year plan, but the plans I did have I zeroed in with unfailing focus. I was the Queen of Plans. I’d remain committed to my goals, and therefore the plans I made in order to achieve them, even when my inner compass would quietly recommend I take a right instead of a left.
And then I got pregnant.
Getting pregnant has singlehandedly been the biggest curve ball thrown my way. As my belly grew, my baby’s dad and I rode the waves and just kept showing up to each new thing (of which there are MANY for new parents). Even to this day, we seem to be figuring this whole thing out on the daily.
Motherhood threw all my life plans out the window, and for the first 3 years of my son’s life, I devoted myself to stay-at-home-momhood (for the most part). Along the way, I became a single mom, as if figuring out motherhood wasn’t enough, I now had the added thrill of navigating self-employment and keeping the bills paid.
I had no idea I would end up in Turners Falls. Months before moving here, I had taken the leap into the unknown, with my then 1-and-a-half-year-old in tow, a part-time remote job and virtually zero savings. I took the leap and landed here, unplanned. And for the first time in my life, I feel like I’ve landed in a place where my seeds are taking root.
As the roots spread, and I find my bearings, I feel a sense of groundedness that allows me to be present with my child. Yes, life gets hectic, overwhelming, and exhaustion has its way of sneaking in, and through all that, I feel gratitude for the land we call home. I also feel awe, because I found my way here through absolutely zero planning, but rather, pure intent and faith.
Every time I take a stand for myself and my desires, and take the leap of faith into the unknown, I now also do it with the intention of leading by example. As my child grows more and more into himself, I want him to know that his inner compass is the one to listen to. I want him to see that even though it’s scary to step into the unknown, it always pays off. As long as we’re listening to our heart, we can trust we are being guided in the right direction.