One of my favorite sayings comes from an old Yiddish proverb. It is a profoundly simple thought yet one I need to hear over and over. My Type A, overplanners annonymous type personality always seems to forget that the Universe has it’s own plans. And truth be told, the Universe has a little better idea of how it’s supposed to go than I do. Yet, I still plan and plan.
דער מענטש טראַכט און גאָט לאַכט
Der mentsh trakht un Got lakht.
Man plans and God laughs.
I first heard this saying when I was visiting friends in Israel. My heart had ached to visit Israel for as long as I can remember. When I was in Europe in 2014, I had the opportunity to (much more affordably) hop over to Israel for 8 days. I was determined to do and see it all, I mean it’s a small country, right?
Well I must’ve caught something nasty on the plane because I spent 4 of those 8 days in bed sicker than a dog. I mean, my friends were ready to take me to the emergency room. I was so devastated. All of the places I wanted to go, there was no way I was going to make it all happen. I’ll never forget coming into the kitchen and sitting down with my friend, Daniela. We were discussing what I would still try to fit in, now that I was well enough to be out of bed for more than a few minutes. She chuckled at me and said, “Man makes plans and God laughs.” I will never forget that moment.
It could easily be my tagline, it is that appropriate for the way I live my life.
As I was getting ready to begin my adventures with Traveler (my new RV), this theme came up again. My initial plans for hitting the road revolved around getting to Orlando, FL by July 1st for a convention. I mapped out my route, made my reservations for stops along the way, and figured into my calendar when I would work and drive. I took Traveler to the Ford shop to get serviced and to fix the check engine light. Long story short, what I thought would be a couple of hours ended up with them keeping the RV for 10 days. Well those were 10 valuable days as I was planning on leaving town on the 8th day. My 3 week trip across the country, already faster-paced than ideal, just got shortened by 3 precious days.
At this point, I’m still not sure why the Universe felt the need to delay me. And that’s alright. Maybe I don’t need to know. All I need to know is that my plans are subordinate to what the Universe has in store for me. Trusting that idea eliminates so much worry and frustration. Easier said than done, but I’m working on it.
Life is like this all the time, in big ways and in small ways. We think we know how something is supposed to go and we make plans around those ideas. Yet the Universe always has a way of redirecting us when we go astray. It doesn’t usually make sense at the time, but often hindsight helps us to see the wisdom in the Universe’s diversion. I can see how this has played out in my own life over and over again.
This happens a lot when it comes to our health. We make plans for how we are going to lose 10 pounds, or fight seasonal allergies, or finally cure those miserable headaches. It seems like a foolproof plan. But alas, it doesn’t work or we get redirected midway through the process. Trust me, I’ve been there too many times to count.
I think the key here is learning how to listen to the Universe and to our intuition. The Universe is always talking to us, we are just usually far too busy with our own plans and thoughts to listen to what it is saying. Finding moments of stillness and quiet throughout the day are key to being able to hear what the Universe has to say. I like to use daily meditation and walks outside (without my phone) to tune into the world around me.
There are so many ways to incorporate more space for open communication with the Universe: meditation, nature walks, prayer, yoga, journaling, running, swimming, or anything where you stop talking and just be with the thoughts going through your mind. The more you practice these moments of quiet, the more you will hear the messages that the Universe is sending you. Being able to hear these messages will help you better incorporate the master plan into your plans 😉
When you can trust the Universe completely, you can relax into the life you are meant to be living.
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Disclaimer: The information in this post is not intended as medical advice, or to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. Marcelle encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research, and in partnership with your doctor, licensed dietitian, or nutritionist. The information provided in this post and the entire contents of www.marcellephene.com are based upon the opinions of Marcelle Phene and are for general educational purposes, and have not been reviewed nor approved by the FDA. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.