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Do You Enjoy Being “In The Dark”? July 3, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Magick & Mystery, Mindfulness.

I prefer to remain “in the dark” most of the time, following the impulses of Spirit and intuition on a day-to-day basis rather than referring to a “road map.” 

When we have our eyes focused “on the prize” (i.e., our intended destination), it’s easy to get side-tracked and forget to keep our eyes, ears, and heart open wide enough to enjoy the journey.

For example, if I knew that I was “supposed” to write a book this year, I might start writing the “wrong” book in an effort to make the “prediction” come true.

While spinning my wheels writing the “wrong book,” I might miss out on an opportunity that would have been more advantageous.

Instead of knowing what I “should” be doing by looking at a “map” . . . I keep asking myself, “What do you WANT to do right now?”

Spirit communicates with me easily enough (if I remain mindful) . . . directing my attention where it needs to be when it needs to be there.

And often I’m both surprised and delighted at what appears on the horizon, when I least expect it.

Synchronicity and mystery add some fascinating twists and turns to life. 

Buckle your seatbelts.  Sit back.  Enjoy the ride.   

No rules.  Just write!

What about you? 

If you could have the rest of your life mapped out for you, would you take the map?  Or would you rather remain “in the dark” as the path unfolds before you?


1. Tilly Bud - July 3, 2011

Since we got married, we always had a five year plan; then the Hub got sick. Plans are useless, except as a tentative goal.

But I don’t much like being in the dark, either. For instance, it would help me enormously to know that I would at last get a job this year.

nrhatch - July 3, 2011

There are times when I would like a “quick peek” through the curtain . . . to see what’s coming my way. Uncertainty is hard.

It helps me if I picture the “best that could happen” . . . instead of the worst. Good luck. 🙂

nrhatch - July 3, 2011

When we focus on the best possible scenario . . . we have more energy to make our dreams come true:


Plus . . . we’re happier while we wait:


2. kateshrewsday - July 3, 2011

For me there is only one way: and it’s listening and remaining mindful to the spirit. I love this post to bits, Nancy 🙂

nrhatch - July 4, 2011

Thanks, Kate!

I love questions that do not call for one-size-fits-all answers. 😀

3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - July 3, 2011

You just made me feel better about feeling clueless. Seriously, I like this approach. Having goals is good, but you have to embrace the unknown too.

nrhatch - July 4, 2011

Yay! Here’s to following clues and embracing uncertainty . . . as the path unfolds before us.

4. Shannon - July 3, 2011

I feel this is a wonderful method to navigate life! Zen Habits recently wrote an article about No Goals and it really sparked a desire to listen to my intuition, do what I WANT to do, and follow my passions in a natural, organic way 🙂

nrhatch - July 4, 2011

That’s my preference as well. We are a goal oriented society . . . always striving for SUCCESS. And we’ve defined “success” as having a bigger piece of the pie.

My goal is to BE HAPPY.

And I’ve lived long enough to know that I cannot say NOW what will make me HAPPY 5 or 10 years down the road.

But, if I’m mindful, I can figure out what will make me happy today.

5. Carl D'Agostino - July 3, 2011

I’m the flip side on this one. How would we accomplish goals and tasks without following the map and staying on course? We get direction from the Spirit as well, however, but we cannot be dilly-dallying with the Spirit playing horseshoes in the back yard. On the other hand this process should not squelch spontaneity or having other maps. I am very could at contradicting myself, aren’t I?

nrhatch - July 4, 2011

Do what you LOVE . . . the money will follow. 😀

6. Maggie - July 3, 2011

At this point in my life, I honestly feel like I need a map. If I’m in the dark, I feel like I’m constantly stumbling and tripping over furniture. Uncertainty is very difficult for me.

nrhatch - July 4, 2011

But EVERYTHING is uncertain. You could get hit by a bus next week, or next year.

So many people sacrifice happiness NOW for the “promise” of happiness tomorrow . . . and the tomorrow they envisioned NEVER arrives. So sad.

7. nancycurteman - July 3, 2011

I’m a situational planner. Some things I let drift. Others I need to plan in order to have the outcome I want without a panic attack.

nrhatch - July 4, 2011

Balance in all things.

We just had a houseful of guests. I planned meals in advance to make sure that feeding 3x as many people as normal would go as smoothly as possible.

Also, I made a list of possible activities that people would enjoy ~ games, movies, swimming, beach, fireworks, biking, etc.

And then I just went with the F~L~O~W. Aah . . .

8. adeeyoyo - July 3, 2011

We can only plan up to a point, viz. scenario 1 then…, scenario 2 then… etc. Of course sometimes the apple cart is overturned and all the apples fall out…! I have learned to take what comes in my stride and make the best of it.

nrhatch - July 4, 2011

I agree, Denise.

I plan out today.
And sketch out tomorrow.
And try not to worry about next year at all . . .

Who know if I’ll be here to enjoy it.
Be Here Now.

9. jannatwrites - July 3, 2011

I like to have a general idea of where I’m going, but not call it a goal, because (as you said) I would then put my concentration into reaching that goal.

I had a job several years ago where my boss asked my to write up my five year plan. Oh boy…can’t really say, “I don’t know where I’ll be five years from now – it depends on what comes up. Who knows, I could quit two months from now.”

I put a bunch of stuff on paper to satisfy the request, but didn’t take it to heart. (I quit two weeks before my 5th anniversary.)

nrhatch - July 4, 2011

That sounds JUST like me, Janna.

When interviewing for jobs, I’ve often been asked, “What do you see yourself doing 5 years from now.”

Seriously? Who knows!

“All I can say is that I’ll try to do my best for as long as I’m here.”

10. walterwsmith3rd - July 4, 2011

I find that trusting in the mystery of life is more rewarding than any well sought out plan. There is beauty in the moment and I am forever trying to find my way there. I can’t do astrology or cards or anything that “complicates” my decision making. A decision is only needed in the present moment. Buddhishm teaches the importance of staying in the moment, and see things as they really are…not being lost in the past or future.

nrhatch - July 4, 2011

I’m with you, Walter. It is so easy to become attached to the past, or lost in dreams for the future.

The only place we can LIVE is right here, right now . . . in the present moment.

I like looking at the cards AFTER I’ve played my hand. 😀

11. Cindy - July 4, 2011

I find I need a certain amount of planning or I tend to come adrift.

nrhatch - July 4, 2011

Short term planning is key for me . . . what do I want to do TODAY.

Long term planning is no longer an issue. I have NO IDEA where and who I will be 5 years from now . . . or what I will want to be doing. Detours abound in life due to illness, accident, family issues, economic changes, etc.

My last “long range plan” was going to law school and busting my ass to learn how to litigate to the best of my ability. I planned to be an attorney for 40 years. After 13 years, I had enough.

Since then, I’ve focused on short term goals (a day, week, or month at a time) rather than worrying about “down the road.”

And I am FAR HAPPIER than when I practiced law and had by “life plan” mapped out in advance.

12. Jeanne - July 4, 2011

If you have no plan then you can’t be disappointed when those plans don’t work out and sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised by unplanned things that unfold before you by not being so overplanned to accept new opportunities and people in your day, week or year.

nrhatch - July 5, 2011

I agree. Flexibility is key.

If the goal of the trip is just to get from “here” to “there” ~ we hop on the Interstate and try to complete the “journey” as quickly as possible.

If our goal is ALWAYS to enjoy the journey from “here” to “there” . . . we keep our eyes, ears, and hearts open to the possibilities around us.

13. eof737 - July 6, 2011

Even with the help of the best psychics or predictors around, there are parts of our lives that will always be in the dark… remember our friends with the 5-10-15 year plans who got derailed by…. life?
When I think of my eyes on the prize, I think of having a focus/purpose and that could be anything from that book to just having joy and peace…. and it is not rigid, it is flexible; open to change. (that’s how I ended up in the USA). 🙂
I have a focus and the dark and the light add something to it for me… 🙂

nrhatch - July 6, 2011

One New Year’s, a friend (whose 5-10-15 year plans got washed away by life) asked me what my goals for the year were.

I smiled and said, “To embrace uncertainty.”

She said, “No, really . . . what are your goals? What do you want to DO this year?”

I laughed, “I want to stay in the moment as the path unfolds before me.”

She didn’t get it. Now, she does. Her plans for a life long career in banking have fallen by the wayside. Her plans for a perfect marriage and two perfect kids . . . also gone.

The more rigid we are, the more likely we are to break when flexibility is required.

14. eof737 - July 6, 2011

Now that I read my comment, I realize that I need to clarify that I was NOT focused on coming to America. It fit into the bigger picture of my vision for learning and travel. 🙂

nrhatch - July 6, 2011

I know what you mean. You didn’t say, “I am going to live in America” ~ making America the destination.

Instead, you said, “I am going to learn and travel and grow and enjoy the journey” . . . and America became one of the stopping points on your path.

15. CMSmith - July 9, 2011

My sister shares this perspective. I believe we should be in touch with our spirit, but I also believe we were given a mind and intellect to set goals, plan and follow through.

Like everything else. We need balance in our lives.

nrhatch - July 9, 2011

I agree that balance is key.

I don’t want to run around like a chicken without a head . . . but creating 5, 10 and 20 year plans may be just as pointless.

How do I know what I want to be doing 20 years from now?

I like to have a general idea of what I want to do in mind . . . and then go with the flow. That way I enjoy the journey of getting from HERE to THERE . . . instead of just slogging along to a destination that might not even be worth the trek.

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