I am a planner. Having a schedule and being prepared gave me a sense of control in my life when I was dealing with the undiagnosed social anxiety disorder. And now, even though I no longer have social anxiety disorder, I do still like to have a plan. As with anything, there are good and bad points about being a planner. First, you can attempt to have more structured days, drive toward goals and feel like you know what’s coming. But, on the downside, with a solid plan, it’s more difficult to pause and listen to our hearts, to take time for self-care and to set realistic expectations of what we should be achieving.
I was moving along in a fast-paced, high-stress career. Blinded by my workaholic tendencies, being short tempered with my son when he wouldn’t go to bed so that I could work yet again. Unable to sleep as thoughts of the work to be done kept running through my mind. It wasn’t until my well-intentioned boss told me to “STOP” that I was jolted out of my rampage. And it wasn’t until I stopped, without plans, that my life became more clear. I was able to really see my son, my husband and the wonderful life that was right there in front of me all along. I was able to see a path forming in front of me, the need to share my social anxiety experiences and messages like these to help others to find their path to healing too.
When we live our lives with tunnel vision, following the plan that we believe is the right one, we are not able to see the opportunities that may be coming our way. We stand still protected by our plan as the fast moving train of life flies by. Life happens quickly and in order to be receptive to great life experiences, we need to remember to go with the flow sometimes. To jump on the train of life, to consider the stops along the way and to accept the detours you may run into. Savor the good and the bad.
If you are, by nature, a planner like me, plan a “no plans” day and you never know what may unfold. Maybe you will lay in the backyard on a blanket just watching the clouds float by (can you tell I’m wishing for Spring in Wisconsin!) or maybe you will cuddle up under a blanket with your child and read him a book.
Having a plan can be good, but I know from personal experience, that it can’t the focal point of our lives. The perceived control isn’t really there and sometimes the only way we will be open to the wonderful ways our lives can unfold is to be still and present. Jump on the train of life, sit back and enjoy the ride. Get off when you feel the time is right. Keep your eyes open. Enjoy the life you are experiencing moment by moment. Trust your journey!