Welcoming the unexpected
Life is full of the unexpected from the smallest gesture to the largest events on a global scale. A smile from a stranger during our morning commute to a substantial anonymous donation that helps a community in need. Often though we miss the importance of these unexpected events and the ability they have to shift and elevate our perspective.
In the course of our lives we’re gathering experience that enables us to construct filters through which we evaluate everything that comes our way, whether expected or not. The unexpected can often be unwelcome either because it is difficult, or uncomfortable or it doesn’t fit with anything in our back catalogue – our mental model.
And yet, if we could just suspend those filters, park our experience and open, see and listen with our hearts what depths could we connect with? What higher insight could we access?
A few weeks ago I was fortunate to spend a week on retreat – to unplug from my world and truly connect with higher self. Of course, this was work too, just of a different order to the day to day and yet so important to it.
As I began the journey, with 13 others, I carried an expectation – a mental construct – of how it would be from a previous experience. What I encountered was entirely different, unexpected, challenging, beautiful and powerful all at once, taking me from an intellectual understanding of our interconnectedness and unity as human beings to a profound knowing of our one-ness with all.
We don’t need, and rarely have, the luxury of a week’s retreat to wake up to the way our busy minds and our learned experience blinker us to a deeper wisdom. Instead we can invest each day in our meditative practice. In opening ourselves to the flow of life as it is rather than how our mental models frame it. Embracing its unexpectedness and the vista and connection that opens up.