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Practicing What You Preach: Surrendering to the Universe

Jennifer Mulholland
June 30, 2022
Two hours before we were to head to the airport for a redeye to Philadelphia for Riley's lacrosse tournament on the east coast, my phone rang.
"Mom, we have a big problem," he said. "My brace broke."
"What? No way. What happened?" I replied.
"I was split-dodging a defender and when I planted my foot and shifted the other way. I heard a loud snap. Mom, the metal literally snapped in half,"  Riley explained.
My heart sank. Another hurdle for us to overcome. All the plans and coordination to make this weekend possible for him shifted in an instance. He had put in the training, went to practice, and was lucky enough to get invited to play in this tournament on a high-performing club team in front of college coaches.
After I spoke with my husband, Kristian, we knew we'd need to see the brace to explore our options. There was a possibility that we could rig it to work, although the clock was ticking. When I returned home, I found Kristian talking to one of his best friends, an expert ski boot fitter. They were brainstorming possible fixes, but that path seemed unlikely to work, as finding expert welders who had the equipment and the skill would be tough this late at night.
When Riley returned home, we knew what we had to do: cancel everything.
I went into high gear and got on the phone to try to cancel our flights, our car and our hotel. It took a lot longer to cancel everything than it took to book. I found myself needing to take several deep breaths to muster the patience needed.
Later that night, I asked Riley how he was doing. "I'm fine mom. It must be meant to be."
Those words landed in my heart like a dropped mic, resonating with a powerful thump of truth. Despite this being my life-long belief, practice, and mantra, I needed to hear it more than anyone else. "Surrender, let the Universe guide you" is what I heard the voice inside my heart whisper. These are the words I write about, speak about, and truly believe. But, in that moment, I had forgotten. Intellectually, I was holding on, gripping, and trying to strategize my way through the solution. Spiritually, I knew I needed to let go.
So, that is what we did. And, no surprise, it all worked out for the greater good. I was able to be present for my daughter's lacrosse games at her tournament scheduled for the same time. Not only could I watch, but I could help coach – something I wholeheartedly love to do. In spite of the plans changing, we were all able to be present where we needed to be.
At Plenty, we live by a principle called "Follow Flow". It shows up when we speak about the river, one of our favorite metaphors. When we allow the current to take us where it wants to go and notice the signs of flow and momentum, we can enjoy the ride with ease and grace. When we push against it, we exhaust ourselves and can easily lose our balance. To follow flow, like rafting or stand-up paddling down a river, all we have to do is make small, micro-adjustments to stay afloat. We get into trouble when we effort too much or over course correct.
We use this metaphor to guide us in business and in life. Like the sudden shift in plans, we find flow and go with it, trusting that it all always works out.
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