“Each individual is master of his or her destiny: it is up to each person to create the causes of happiness.” The 14th Dalai Lama
I feel so lucky! The woman who started doing some work for me just before I left on a 9-day trip (and who I was really depending on to enter lots of new folks into my mailing list TODAY before I send this) just quit without notice.
What LUCK! (And I don’t mean that sarcastically). And then my colleague wrote a blog about LUCK that made me realize that the practices I teach have made the feeling of being lucky a dependable occurrence in each day.
In the old days, I would have felt like such a victim that she quit without notice and cited something I did as her reason. Before, this occurence would have blown my whole day out of the water.
- I would have gotten a fearful kick in the stomach when I read her text, then vacillated between blaming myself and blaming her.
- I would have felt clueless about what to do, but felt a strong need to ‘Do something!’ (usually trying to win the person back without knowing if I even wanted them).
- I would have spent time composing emails to her and her supervisor, then regretting whatever I sent.
- I would have obsessed about how the data would get entered.
I would have called a couple people and talked to everyone I met about it.
So how is it that a former fear-driven over-reacting adrenalin junkie can rely on whatever “goes wrong” in relationships and life as my own personal luck?
Happy Symmetry = No ‘BAD’ Luck
Over time and a lot of inner work, things like this became ‘less bad.’ I had evolved to the point where I would not stay in the victim place indefinitely; within a reasonable amount of time I would start to look for proof that this ‘bad’ thing turned out to be a ‘good’ thing after all. I was even going to write a book about all those ‘bad’ things that turned good. Another of my great titles, it was to be called “Everyday Serendipities.”
But now, with so much real practice living from this new paradigm I call ‘The Reliable Symmetry of Happiness,’ I don’t need to find that proof to be OK with what happens. The “even-better!” outcome often does come (I inquired around and found the perfect data entry person for half the price and no drama). But even when there is no proof of something better, I tend to rest easy nowadays in the ‘happy symmetry’ held in this and every event.
It is the ultimate free-fall into faith, not born of mind-made dogma about destiny or a plan, but born of seeing through the thinking that would tell me “something bad is happening.” Today, the tiniest flutter of a memory of that old ‘kicked in the stomach feeling’ was immediately replaced by a deep kind of knowing that this is the absolute best thing—the only thing–that could have happened for this moment, whether my sharp but still very limited intellect can find proof or not.
Because I didn’t need to find evidence that this will ultimately be a good thing, my day hardly skipped a beat. I was able to check in with myself about any hidden motives in my not returning my new assistant’s call after my phone died. Then I quickly wrote and sent an email that felt both loving and honest without so much as a hint of my old second-guessing.
Unhooking the Adrenalin
At no point was there a “fight or flight” adrenalin rush that would have cut me off at the knees in the old days (and I mean that literally, since my main chronic condition was severe adrenal fatigue from all the intense reactions I was having to people and ‘problems’).
It seems we had not really accounted for how much our emotions are related to what we are believing, and how much they cumulatively lessen once we know how to dissolve the ‘hook’ to intense reactions by questioning the thoughts driving the bus. It’s ‘the missing PEACE’ we were never taught (the subtitle of my forthcoming book). Once we know that, each old trigger and ‘unlucky’ happening simply appears as an adventure; holding big gifts of awakening and re-connection.
I really cannot describe how different my response to this employee and to this situation was today than it would have been in ‘the old days,’ before I got hold of this “happy symmetry.” Without affirming over my fears or simply replacing one belief with another, I have come to find for myself how all things—especially the ‘bad’ things that happen in my relationship to the people and situations that arise in my life–are, without exception, “happening FOR me, not TO me,” as Byron Katie (just someone who also found out for herself) often says.
Cementing the Luck—And Susan Peirce Thompson’s LUCKY Post
Coming to rely on this uncanny symmetry is what cements my ability to experience ALL of life as lucky; in fact, it is a no-brainer (literally) to see even the most painful, hopeless patterns in our relationships as serendipitous.
Just so show what it looks like…. Last night, I couldn’t get to sleep due to jet lag (How Lucky! I got to work on my website!) Then my morning client had cancelled due to a sick child. (How lucky! I thought. This will give me more time with the new employee!) Then the new employee not only cancelled, but quit! (How lucky! I thought, as I admitted to myself the things I saw in her that were a good mirror into the ways I do what she was doing, and because I now I have time to do what feels more important than entering names—write an article–How lucky!)
But darn, I didn’t know how to approach the article. I started to feel unlucky and beat myself up. (HOW LUCKY!—I got the chance to notice what I’m doing to myself in my head and support the part of my that was a victim of that inner cruelty). Then I opened email to an amazing blog post by Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D., professor at RIT and CEO of Bright Line Eating Solutions LLC. (How Lucky! Her post perfectly frames what I wanted to write about!)
A LUCKY Way of Life
Among other things, Susan wrote about a research study that found four attributes that relate to a perception of being lucky (as opposed to unlucky). I realized in reading it (and summarized below) how living from this symmetry paradigm radically supports and truly enhances each one. The paradigm shift I am talking about is COMPLETELY ACCESSIBLE, and takes place when you know how to harness what upsets, scares, hurts, or saddens you ‘for good.’ She writes (and my notes are inserted in italics):
“…what he [Dr. Richard Wiseman] found was that lucky people differ from unlucky people in four distinct ways:
- They are more relaxed and open, and frequently introduce variety into their lives, which means that they are more likely to create and notice chance opportunities.
[Once you know what to do with anything that triggers you to return you to even greater peace and freedom, there is little fear of new situations and ‘bad’ outcomes. Finding this Symmetry Paradigm for yourself—not just believing me–greatly expedites your ability to live in this open, flexible way on a regular basis, opening you to the amazing gifts that were always there.]
- They listen to their intuition. They even take steps to increase their intuitive connection, through practices such as meditation.
[The practice of dropping into what your painful emotions and unwanted knee-jerk reactions are telling you begins to travel with you through life; so that even the most triggering of situations—often with those closest to us or where the stakes are high—do not bring about the same kind of terror or “clueless how to handle it” feeling that they used to. All of life becomes a meditation, enjoying the moments that feel in alignment and welcoming the exciting gifts held in those that don’t.]
- They create good fortune by expecting a bright future. These optimistic expectations lead to perseverance and positive human interactions, which often become self-fulfilling prophecies.
[Living from this place where there is far less separation from the people and events in our lives, from a place where we recognize that all “bad outcomes” are simply a comparison between what is happening and what our programmed minds believe SHOULD BE happening, means there is nothing but a bright future. There is curiosity and even excitement in the idea of something that could still upset us, as it holds the possibility of undoing more of the programmed beliefs that rob us of our happiness.]
- They reframe misfortune, and turn bad luck into good. They see the lesson in challenging circumstances, and can always imagine something worse that could have happened.
[When we truly see that the behaviors in others that appear to persecute us are just mirrors for what we had known realized we were doing to others or to ourselves–in our own minds—we become both humble and grateful for whatever triggers us. Without affirming over our fears and sadness, we learn to honor them as the symmetry held within them brings us a wonderful noticing of what is GOOD about what is happening (and what could have been much worse.]
School of Luck
Her wonderful blog post, “Luck School,” is about what makes people lucky or unlucky—and how we can actually teach ourselves to feel lucky. (I will attach the link to this wonderful piece at the bottom of this post.)
When I read it, I was struck again by the dependable kind of luck that I count on in my life. Yet another lucky moment, as her understanding of this concept further reinforced what great ‘luck’ it was that Susan and I found each other—without completely realizing at first what huge gifts we each have to offer to our respective tribes.
Her post reveals the sophistication with which she understands on a deep level (and even backs up with the fascinating research study summarized above) the kind of ‘reliable’ luck enjoyed by my clients and myself–and others who live from this symmetry paradigm.
And yet, in the same way that I learn much from her, there is a reason Susan and other coaches, spiritual teachers, and those who have ‘done their inner work’ on a deep level are excited to get hold of what I share.
How LUCKY to be each other’s best fans! Susan shared it in her own words to me last February after I sent her a summary of the free RADICAL RELATIONSHIP RELIEF webinar (that I’m offering and she is hosting as a bonus to her boot camp members and others who want to sign on). Here was her response to what I wrote:
“What a great read. I’m in. I’ve drunk the Reliable Symmetry of Happiness Kool aid. I want to immerse myself in it, become a skilled practitioner of it in my own mind and life, and pass it on to everyone I reach through Bright Line Eating to address the monkey mind that erupts when the crutch of food is no longer a go-to option.”
So how is it that we can SO rely on what goes ‘wrong’ in our relationships and life to become our luckiest moments?
The fact is we really can feel blessed no matter what—to a far greater level than we have been. That’s what the webinar in late April is about: to show how easily we can create a lot less fear and pain in your relationship to yourselves, others, and life itself. This webinar tells about ‘LUCK SCHOOL’ on steroids. To get access to this FREE Radical Relationship Relief webinar series,
CLICK HERE for access to Shawn’s RADCIAL RELATIONSHIP RELIEF FREE WEBINAR!
And to read Susan’s own fascinating story of luck, and the details of the research she shared on her blog, CLICK HERE to read “Luck School”.