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Remember This When Life Plays Rough

Life is always unfolding for you, not at you
Life is always unfolding for you, not at you

Coming in hot today with a little tough love, inspired by something that again happened this week, which I think you may find helpful and insightful.

As many of you may know, I can wring a teachable moment out of almost anything, be it of trivial or epic proportions, and this incident is no different so let's get stuck in.

Picture it... I was working from my home office on a gloriously warm and sunny day, which meant the patio doors leading out to the garden were open. I could hear the sweet melody of the birds singing, the intermittent peeling of church bells... punctuated by the occasional roar from a hedge trimmer, but I tried to block that out. There is a full length Venetian blind covering the doors, in a somewhat futile attempt to limit and deter all winged creatures, however, Mother Nature doesn't appear to have received the memo because a black beetle had the temerity to crawl under the blind, before marching defiantly towards me, again. How rude!

Now, I say again because this exact scenario played out last week, where I picked up Beetle 1, opened the window behind my desk and gently placed it on the outer window sill; with my sincerest best wishes for a full and fruitful life. Hmmm. Mother Nature declined this request and quickly, because the moment the beetle was placed outside, a garden spider ran out from under the window sill and appeared to bite the beetle. Beetle 1 certainly seemed to be in distress and started to look increasingly like an arachnid-friendly Meal Deal. Initially, I was horrified and guilt stricken, before quickly reframing it and reminding myself how this was nothing more than Mother Nature's circle of life, and that spiders - however much I don't appreciate them - need to eat too. Nevertheless, this particular outcome was unintended on my part.

So, fast forward to the moment when Beetle 2 begins to boldly trespass upon my work space, possibly looking for Beetle 1, but who can really say? I had two choices: either leave the little critter alone in the hope he eventually sees himself out, or eject him from the property for fear of an infestation, and the worldwide acclaim that is bound to ensue as an inevitable pop band forms under my desk [The Beetles? Oh, never mind, I'm laughing enough for the both of us]. I chose the latter option and ejected Beetle 2, but was mindful of what had happened before. Now that I knew better - that a spider was likely waiting to pounce - I could do better, and so chose to take an alternative course of action. This time I quickly emptied a pen pot, scooped up Beetle 2, hung my arm out of the window as far as I could and dropped him onto the lush soft soil within a flowerpot below. Still an ordeal for Beetle 2 - of that I have no doubt - but my actions provided a much softer landing, whilst offering a greater chance of survival.

Which is all fascinating to be sure, but how is this a teachable moment for us humans - because yes, I smiled and accepted the stoic philosophy lesson too?

Let's begin with the premise that everyone is fighting at least one battle we know nothing about; which is why the most humanly decent thing you can ever do is to be kind to everyone you meet. Now, if your life is currently fab and groovy good for you, but life is cyclical and it's unlikely to stay that way forever. So, as and when it next feels like life is playing too rough with you, remember the initially agonising good fortune of Beetle 2.

Imagine what happened from Beetle 2's perspective. Whilst minding his own business, attempting to live his best life, a more intelligent life force [at least I'd like to think so] picks him up and renders him seemingly powerless in the moment. This is undoubtedly uncomfortable and terrifying in equal measure. Beetle 2 had no idea where he was going to end up, or even if he was going to survive, before landing - somewhat unceremoniously - on a soft, nutrient rich, and otherwise luscious environment he could choose to live in, if he wanted to. He would not have chosen to put himself through this or any other ordeal, but now he had been delivered to somewhere arguably better than before, we could see how everything had unfolded exactly as it should in perfect time in his favour. We could perhaps appreciate what a huge and magnificent favour the ordeal had gifted Beetle 2, because would he have ended up where he needed to be otherwise? Sure, there was nothing stopping him climbing into the flowerpot of his own accord, but please let's accept the broader point right now, we can play Plot Hole Watch later.

Beetle 2's experience that day is exactly the reason I remind myself, my kids, friends, family, and clients that life is always unfolding for you not at you. All you have to do is hold on, wait, trust, and look forward in excited anticipation to where you're ultimately going to land, or how well future events will work out for your greatest and highest good - but let's not forget that success often comes disguised in overalls, requiring hard work first. The thing is, our pain and anxieties are often caused by our lack of trust in the natural processes, and by our thinking mind and ego's insistence of being the sole solver and soother of all tribulations. This is what is responsible for all subsequent resistance, like overthinking, overworking, and worry, which is what jangles your inner peace and equilibrium. So what to do?

Well, begin by doing your best in every situation because it puts you in the best possible position in the next situation, and then let it go whilst endeavouring to trust the process. You must learn to allow life to unfold exactly as it should in perfect time, because if you continue to (unconsciously) believe your ego's insistence that your thinking must cure all, then you are creating resistance and delaying your progress and advancement. Imagine a racing yacht, designed to slice through the ocean as efficiently as possible, to win races against equally sleek and speedy competitors. Now let me ask you, with a ferocious will to win, would you allow barnacles to grow on the hull? Of course not. Why not? Because they would cause drag. They would effectively impede efficiency and slow the boat down, reducing the chances of race winning success; your desired outcome would be significantly obstructed. Well, that's essentially what you're doing by believing your thoughts are real and the answer to everything, when they are most certainly not.

Let me put it this way: if your thinking has caused your low mood or depleted state, why would more thinking be the solution? If you keep doing what you've always done, you are going to keep getting what you've always gotten. Let me tell you Josh's story.


Josh was born and raised on the coast, but developed a crippling fear of water from a young age. When his friends grew up and went sailing in their small dinghies and whatnot, Josh would opt out, however much fun was promised. Naturally, Josh had never learnt to swim because his phobia (a learned fear) dictated his thoughts and limiting beliefs. And then one day, following a beer or two, Josh summoned the courage to climb aboard his friend's dinghy. The weather was beautiful and the water calm, so Josh felt confident enough to give this a try.

Within minutes of sailing away from the marina, the weather changed quickly, the water became choppy, Josh became agitated and fell overboard. Josh was now living his worst nightmare. Unable to swim and his phobia taking full control, Josh thrashed so wildly that his friends were unable to grab hold of him to pull him out of the water. Josh drowned because of his limiting beliefs, and a shamelessly convenient absence of a life jacket to make my point, because this story is complete fiction. There was no Josh, but had fictious Josh not thrashed he could have been saved. Can you see how 'Josh's' thoughts got the better of him, how he was the author of his own misery? Does this resonate with you on some level? For sure it comes to us all at some point or another in our lives, but what to do? The short answer is: don't thrash, float. In the context of my fake story, Josh was comprised of up to 60% water, and so quelling his raging water phobia and accepting the nature of his physiology and basic human composition, could feasibly have supported his survival in merely choppy water.

This is an example of what I mean when I say that it is only ever your thinking mind and unchecked human ego that causes many of your problems, and if you'd like to understand more about this please contact me and we can arrange a time to chat. In the meantime, please remember that not everything needs your attention or intervention. Look back on your life to note when, and how often, serendipity walked into your life and changed things for your greatest and highest good, because you don't need to just take my word for it, your own past is prologue.

Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end. Just hold on, do your best at all times, trust the process and wait, because whilst life may be playing rough with you right now, it is ultimately helping you become who you are eventually destined to be. Adopt the mindset that life is strengthening you during these outrageous fortunes, whilst providing you with the exact experiences you need to develop the essential skills you will later come to rely upon: someday this pain will be useful to you.

For now though I hope this finds whoever needs it today, and please feel free to share with anyone who it may help or encourage, but in the meantime, don't thrash, float!

Until the next time, take self-care,

Karan x



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