When Things Don’t Go As Planned: What to Do When Life Rears You Off Course

After reading an article on Conscious Living TV about spiritual sabbaticals, it was obvious that taking one was long overdue. I was starting to feel overwhelmed and bogged down by what seemed to be a never-ending to-do list.

I was mismanaging my time, over-committing, and lacking on my ability to maintain boundaries. I was familiar with sabbaticals but never heard of a spiritual sabbatical. In the article, the author, Bianca Alexander, writes about the importance of disconnecting from the matrix in order to detox, recharge, and reconnect.

I retreated into my spiritual domain to regain balance, focus, and discipline. I spent time focusing on the things that matter most, like spiritual growth, accomplishing my goals, and spending time with my family. We live in a world where we’re constantly stimulated by technology and media that it’s so easy to become distracted by our daily interactions, not leaving much room for solace and solitude.

During this time, the most important thing I did was disconnect. Emails didn’t get responded to, calls weren’t returned, and text messages were ignored. I refused to allow my health and well-being to be contaminated by anything or anyone that was not feeding my soul. Instead, I spent time meditating, reading, and writing.

I focused my attention on things that were both healing and nourishing, not just for my soul but for my entire being. There was no pressure, no commitment, no clock to run against. I regained control over my life by refusing to allow anyone to intrude on this sacred space. I was doing healing work and I wasn’t going to feel guilty about it.

The idea of taking a sabbatical isn’t a novice idea. In fact, sabbaticals are ancient traditions dating back to biblical times. In the book, Women Who Run With Wolves, Dr. Clarrisa Pinkola Estes, speaks of the importance of this timeless traditions to reconnect with the soul. Through myths and storytelling, Dr. Estes celebrates the transformation of spirit through intentional seeking of the inner self.

When things don’t go as planned or you can’t seem to find the time to get your life on track, the most important thing you can do for yourself is disconnect. You have to be willing to give yourself the same care and attention you give to others. Giving to yourself does not mean that you are selfish or neglecting the responsibilities in your life. Disconnecting provides space for prayer, reflection, and discernment.

We all have expectations for how we’d like our lives to unfold, but the reality is life never goes as planned. No amount of planning will help when things rear off course. There will always be obstacles to face, however, preparation provides guidance for execution and adaption when things don’t go as planned.

Life is not stable and there will always be chaos and turmoil at different points. The challenge is to overcome the feelings of fear, in order to push towards the intended goal.You have to be willing to stand still and reflect on your areas of growth. You cannot live in peace and harmony projecting a reality of perfection and wholeness where there’s a need for transformation and healing.

This requires time in stillness, free of distractions and the daily hustle and bustle of life without the background noise, chatter, and racing thoughts of your mind. You must hold yourself accountable for the areas where there’s a disconnect between who you are and who you want to be.

When things don’t go as planned and they never really do, you must know what to do. This requires quick action, logic, and strategic planning. So what do you do when things don’t go as planned and you don’t know what to do?

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Have  A Plan. Piss poor preparation leads to piss performance. It’s easier to maneuver through pitfalls and setbacks when you have a plan. Like a map, you’ll have something to reference for guidance and direction. Have a plan so you’ll know what to do when the unexpected occurs.

Stay Ready. Gather all the tools you’ll need to execute your plan. If you know there’s a storm coming, you buy groceries, batteries, and water to prepare for the storm. Your life is no different. This includes spiritual tools as well as mental and physical. Things like prayer and meditation should be included in your toolkit. Even if you aren’t yet disciplined in your practice, make an attempt to include these in your plan to access when you are in need of healing, growth, elevation, and creativity.

ICE. Build an “In Case of Emergencies” section into your plan. Things are certain to show up just as you begin to execute on your plan. Write life’s unexpected trials and tribulations into the plan so when unexpected things occur you’ll be better prepared to make quick decisions about what to do.

Execute on Your Plan. You created a plan for guidance, direction, and execution. Don’t sit on it. Take action on the goals and tasks you’ve set for yourself. If you’re stuck in your comfort zone, move beyond it. Execution will move you closer to the desired results within your plan.

Know When to Retreat. Schedule time for rest and relaxation. You’ll need time to heal, reflect, and evaluate your progress. This is your sabbatical. Self-love is the greatest expression of love and time for solace and solitude is required for growth and expansion.

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“Things don’t always go as planned. A dent in our plans seems inevitable at some point. Just remember the comeback is more important than the setback.”


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Unfortunately, life does not continue to follow the map that we’ve created for ourselves. You will reach a point where things will rear off course that will rear you off course. We experience some loss, change, or pain in some way and the life we’d envisioned for ourselves crumbles.

In these moments, when things don’t go as planned go back to your plan, gather your tools, make wise choices, execute with precision, and retreat when necessary. When all else fails, do nothing until you know what to do.

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Have you experienced unexpected changes in your life? What do you do when things don’t go as planned? How do you adapt to the changes that occur in life? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below. 





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