A plan to visit a friend in Vermont for the 4th of July weekend fell through and my daughter and I were faced with recreating plans. My daughter of 12 years wanted to go to real fireworks and I wanted to go to the ocean, not having been for months to my favorite of all the earth’s elements. We had tickets to whale watching based in Provincetown and a couple of days free from any obligation of merit. A quick call to find out if the dog sitter was available-yes!-and we had a spontaneous recipe for a 4th of July holiday celebration!
We made preparations and went to bed early figuring that taking off by 6 am would ensure a place to park in Provincetown. Of course, plans do not make reality and I awoke at 3 am, not able to relax enough to get back to sleep and by 5 am, I was convinced that the plan that the gods seemed to have blessed the day before would now evaporate due to my sleep-deprivation. Not wanting to disappoint my daughter nor wanting to forfeit my opportunity to play, I got up tired and went into the motions of getting ready for our day of adventures.
We took off for our 2 1/2 road trip and 1 hour into the trip, I realized I had left the whale watching tickets back in the wallet I chose not to take….sigh. I would simply have to buy duplicate tickets…”this is not an auspicious beginning’…. began the whispering within ……”you are too tired, you have made a mistake to think you can pull off the plans for the day” continued the whispering….and my personal favorite…..”maybe this is a sign you ought not to doing this”….
We all have a version of this voice within us, the voice initiated when a parent or an important grownup told us not to trust life (so much) for staying safe, for being loved, to be good or nice. A voice born from loved ones in childhood and continuing way past it’s time into our adulthood. It is the voice that at one time meant well, but now-when listened to without updating-keeps us more afraid of ourselves, others, and life than it’s original intention. A voice when listened to limits what we can experience, learn, and become from our life and living.
I have learned to listen to this voice within as I listen to those in my life who love me, want me to be safe, or want to pass on their hard-earned wisdom from life….with love, although not always with agreement. As an adult, I examine and renovate my beliefs so that the basis of my decisions is current with what I call my “signature values”-a value consciously chosen by myself as fundamental to living my life. As I was driving to the Cape, hearing my critical voice within tell me how tired I was and how I had already begun the day badly, I instead choose to listen to the voice of my signature value of faith in “leaning into life”….to trust that the day was conspiring for my success, as much as my mind might be telling me otherwise.
So while I could hear the whispers of the past whisper their form of care and messages of safety, I listened instead to my voice within for the actions I would commit to…. “people are good, the whale watching folks will work with you on this ticket matter”……”you can rest on the boat and simply take breaks during the day”….”trust your life wants you to play today”.
So what was the day like on 3 hours of sleep, steamy heat and humidity, with crowds galore? Awesome and blessed….all day parking for a$10, great seats for the 4th of July parade (an education of all kinds for my daughter), a wonderful sushi lunch on a cushioned bench right under the blasting AC….ahhh….with a waiter who delighted my daughter with his attention and way, whale watching ship owner who not only gave us free replacement tickets but placed us on the boat scheduled to be in the harbor for the fireworks, whale families galore seen right next to the boat on the tour, a stunning sunset that the Cape is known for, amazing fireworks viewed from the boat, and a policeman who gave us cuts into the traffic heading back to Boston that most likely saved us an hour or so!!
Not only was a wonderful time had by all, another notch in the belt was made for choosing to lean into the trust that life conspires on my behalf. We are here on Earth not out of punishment, nor rejection by the divine, nor out of a sadistic choice to watch us fail, although at times we do make less than exalted choices. We are here through the sacred gift of a human lifetime, for sharing the radiance of our souls, real-izing the illumination of our infinite wisdoms, and for inspiring those we journey our human destination with….all made more possible through leaning into the trust and faith of our sacred partner….our life.