The Rebel’s Way: Committing to an Unplanned Life

Sometimes we need to stop analyzing the past,
stop planning the future,
stop figuring out precisely how we feel,
stop deciding exactly what we want,
and just see what happens.
~Carrie Bradshaw

This is going to be the hardest detox ever. Just last night, I created a miniature planning, for in my phone, and an extensive one, in my Passion Planner. 
Only to throw them out, when I realized what I was doing.

Relapsing to planning.

After basically wasting an entire holiday week on the consequences of getting my thumb stuck in the balcony door. Three medical visits, two sleepless nights, and a lot of pondering over: WHY LORD WHY?
When I already knew the answer.

The only other time God put me in ER was when I had also figured out my life; Scheduled my workweek around achieving my long term goals, my short term goals, my fitness goals. And leaving blank time windows for social events. EVERYTHING.
ER for you.

So of course I knew the balcony door accident on the first night of my holiday was no “accident”. It was a wake-up call that I was living entirely against my nature.

The first time I realized I was walking on thin ice, was in the weeks prior, when I was studying a personal development system called The Four Tendencies. To my surprise, it classified me as a Rebel:
Someone who resists both outer and inner expectations alike.
And it dawned on me that my fancy planning, my accountability instruments, everything that I thought it was helping me, was the fastest way to unhappiness a Rebel could wish for.

Now I LOVE to plan. “Playing with my notebooks” as I like to call it. But what I failed to see was that the fun was in the making. And that in my case, it was undesirable and also unrealistic to then follow through on it. I was way better off getting up every morning and do whatever the fuck I wanted to do. Instead of sticking to a plan of first doing yoga, then have breakfast, then shower, then work. And to not do social events on week days, because I wanted to have the weekends off.
And so on.

I didn’t actually stick to the plan (although not without feeling guilty), but I do remember that the only part I did master was saying no to social events…  And regretting it to up to fourteen days later, knowing:
“This is not the way Life is meant to be lived.”

Well, turns out, for other people it is…
They thrive on knowing their priorities, being able to stick to their goals, and have far less need for spontaneity.  And although the other Four Tendency types have their own internal mechanisms to help them stick to their plans, there is ONE type who has virtually no way of getting himself or herself to do anything they don’t want to.

And that’s the Rebel.

It explains why I get pleasure from planning (the activity itself is the reward) but then fail at executing it. I don’t have mechanisms of accountability that work.
And there is more.

Whenever I felt well… “accomplished” in life, would not exactly be the right word, but whenever I finished something I dreaded doing, it was NEVER finished or done at the time, or by the system I had put in place.
It was always done after first trying to plan it, failing, planning, failing, planning, failing, planning AND THEN?
I did it.

My thesis from Uni got done after writing at my parents house, for weeks. Yet I know that it wasn’t “a magic formula” that I could have tried earlier.

All my ten books were published in the slow summer weeks of 2017. After spending eight years (!!) working every trick in the book to make myself publish them.
And again: there was no magic recipe. It was just… time.

And now, we’re in the last days of April 2018, and I already decided this week that I m no longer going to plan, schedule and spend 15 hours a week on PR and other extras for my yoga business.
And that I am going to invest those hours in promoting my writing.

Until today, when I got up and realized this was the first day of my UNPLANNED life. So whatever I wanted to do with those freed up hours? Was unplanned as well!

All my major achievements had come from me doing whatever I wanted.
And all disappointments had come from me wanting to make myself do stuff.

Sometimes it was understandable that I tried to make myself do things; When you want your diploma, or you want to publish the books you wrote.
Of course it is completely valid to try and give it your best shot. Work against your nature. Even if it does cost you eight years before you finally, for unknown reasons, are able to muscle through it and do what you were set out to do.
It seems to be necessary evil.

But planning the daily stuff you want to do for your business, your art, or your fitness? That’s unnecessary evil that completely knocks the fun out of life.
And in my case also sets me up for failure, which is in itself a good enough reason to never do it again. I need to stop making the fish climb the tree and tell it off for not being able to do so.

And something else to consider, something which I have experienced so much the last few years that it brings tears to my eyes:
Planning speeds up time.

It takes you out of the moment, and into your internal rat race with everything you need to do. And if you have to pull your head out of your daily to-dos to savor life, be conscious of what is going on around you, what your body or your soul needs, what other people need; You re not going to do it.
At least I wasn’t.
It took so much concentration to shift gears, mix up tasks, that once I had that focus on all the shit I needed to do, I simply could not afford to drop the ball, and LIVE my life. I just kept speeding.

They say planning takes the guess work out of your day, but now I realize I have no desire at all to live a life without guess work. The guess work in the sense of moving from intuition and instincts – or how other people formulate it starting the day with; What do I want to do?
That instinct was how all my books were written.
They were written by LS Harteveld and her guess work.

It’s how my books got published too.
It’s what brought me all my lovers, my friendships, and what marked all the great and memorable days of my life.
Guess work. Intuition. Doing whatever the f I wanted to do.

And all the other days of my life were lost in the void of trying to make myself do things I didn’t want to do.
That were not my first instinct.
That have already shortened my life.
Damaged my productivity.
and probably also my financial success, by trying and planning, and making myself do stuff that was not my free choice.
That was not aligned.

Maybe that is what this post, or my life’s choice, is really about; Alignment.
It’s not a sexy or catchy word, but I would say I m moving from planning life, back to being in alignment with life.
I don’t want to speed up one single day of my life, by unnecessary planning.

Even if my aligned life doesn’t bring me success, in the monetary sense, it will still be highly successful.
Because it gave me back my Life.

An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living


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