Allison is the co-author of Upside: How to Zig When Life Zags.
If I could share 500 words of wisdom to
summarize what I've learned so far in life, these are the important
things I'd want to pass along to others...
Trust that your path is always perfect... That seems like a
simple statement but as we know, simple is not the same as easy. Being a
control freak is a well-loved tradition in my family - trying to
control events, people and even the future can be exhausting.
For me, learning to let go and trust the process of life has been
nerve-wracking, nail-biting and ultimately, monumentally freeing. During
one prolific struggle, a dear friend looked me in the eye and said,
"You have to trust that your path is always perfect. It's the timing we
wrestle with." Those words became a mantra of peace and surrender to a
life force I feel but cannot direct.
This concept became a foundation
in our book on turning unexpected change into opportunity. How many
times have you reviewed the past, only to see how fluently the pieces
fit together in hind sight? How many times have you mourned a "loss,"
only to discover that a better opportunity emerged? How many times have
you thought "if only" - and were later relieved down the road?
Perhaps the biggest challenge of
living "trust that your path is always perfect" is believing it is
possible. Trust requires that we listen to our inner wisdom; trust takes
faith in the life process; and trusting means we commit to living fully
in the present.
The disciplines of inner wisdom
and faith are easier to understand - it's the "present moment" idea that
trips us up. Personally, I'm a dreamer and it's an integral part my
creative process. Here's the challenge for us dreamers - we become
committed to "what if." We fall in love with the potential and fantasize
about what can be. We are energized by the possibilities and spend our
energy and focus on the future instead of the present.
Being in the present moment is
recognizing "what is" without judgment. It is understanding how fluid
our reality is, how it can change within moments. As my dear friend Dr.
Kimberly Ventus-Darks says, it is "holding on loosely" to what we love
and treasure. It is acknowledging, accepting and experiencing where we
are in this moment, and appreciating the purpose of being where we are.
There is no wasted time in your
life process - every single moment is purposeful, although it may not
feel like it at the time. It's when we look back, recall the experience,
that we often understand the purpose or see the path more clearly.
Accepting our present situation
is fundamental. Appreciating it is divine. Once our present moment is
appreciated, it no longer feels wasted or "lost." That's when the path
is always perfect becomes a reality - when we give thanks and gratitude
for all the moments of our life, not just the happy ones.
And so, the path is truly perfect
for each and every one of us. Your path may zig and zag differently
from mine - that's what makes the journey so intriguing.