I love to be ready for things. Love it. I love planning. I love making lists. I love researching – OH do I love researching.
I love learning everything I can possibly learn about something, examining it from every angle, anticipating every possible hurdle, and planning solutions to said obstacles before I take any real action. Planning, writing out goals, dreaming about what’s next in my life… those are the things that really whet my appetite.
If anyone understands the importance of planning, it’s yours truly. “Fail to plan and plan to fail” is one of my favorite cliche’ phrases. But this obsession with planning, list making, researching, and nurturing the perfect situation before I take action, has also tripped me up. My planning obsession has resulted in a lot of paralysis by analysis.
Now – if you know me in real life, this may come as a surprise. To the outside, I think I often come across as a *very* free spirit. The type of person who makes a decision and then pulls the trigger – not someone who sits and mulls over mundane details.
But truthfully, I am both of these – a free spirit and an annoying analytic.
And it’s driving me nuts.
I want to be more free-spirited Jess and less analytical Jess. Free-spirited me is WAY MORE FUN. So what is it that separates these two sides? How is it that for some things (particularly, the BIG life decisions with huge consequences), I can be so carefree, confident… marching forward with no looking back? What’s the difference between the annoying bean counter side and the wild gypsy side, and how can I tap into my spirited side more… even, always?
A couple days ago, I was sitting on my couch with a notebook making (you guessed it) another list. Scattered about my house, I probably have ten notebooks brimming with written streams of consciousness, scribbled notes from random books I’ve read, dreams, goals…. and LISTS. Anyways, I grabbed a yellow spiral notebook from the bottom of a pile of mail I’d not gotten around to throwing out and began flipping through in search of a blank page.
It appeared the last time I wrote in this particular notebook was around the summer of 2017. I flipped through the pages, musing over my random written utterances when I came across this:
It was written on a page by itself. A single statement, posed as a question: “find out how to know propane is low??”
I wrote this when I was in Colorado, in my RV for the first time, realizing there were many things I had not planned for. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I spent the first year or so learning all the things I’d not researched. So much of what I learned was experiential. I could have read all the how-to manuals I wanted about towing a trailer and backing it up, but the only way I was really going to learn to tow was by doing it. It hadn’t even dawned on me that I would need to know how to gauge when my propane tanks were low... until the first time I ran out.
Alone on the road in that little RV, I was operating on instinct. I was not bogged down by details. I wasn’t planning for challenges. I was confident that a solution to any problem I faced would just show up. And the wild thing is… it always did.
And in that space of carefree confidence, I had a blast.
I never cease to be amazed by the perfect timing of messages delivered by the universe. The question I’d been pondering about how I could tap into my free-spirited side so I could savor the adventure to life more — the answer was right there: “find out how to know propane is low??”
The times when I am most care-free and wild-eyed – those are the times when I am also most connected to the Universe (God, Source, Allah – whatever label you fancy). What I perceive as two different sides of myself (free-spirited vs. annoying analytic) are really just me in two different states: connected vs. disconnected.
When I am connected, I make decisions based on intuition – I operate from my heart and my gut rather than my brain. I am not concerned with what-ifs. I don’t feel the need to plan for every possible disaster that could strike – and frankly, in doing so, I don’t attract disasters. I walk with an air of confidence because I know I am supported, that my needs are always met, and that everything just sort of… works out for me.
And it does.
When I am connected, I trust my instinct – I can make quick decisions and take massive action because I am not operating from the limited cognitive capacity of my prefrontal cortex. Rather, I’m tapped into the unbounded knowledge of the universe and am okay when I don’t understand its nudges and impulses – I act on them anyways.
I’ve never felt regret from instinctive actions I’ve taken while tapped into this energy. The most savory moments of my life have been when I’ve let myself operate blindly, trusting my inner guidance. When I am in this state of connectedness, I don’t have to overthink anything. I’m still thoughtful, I still make plans – but I don’t get wrapped up in the details. I jot my ideas down and then get busy taking action because I believe those ideas came from somewhere outside of myself – from a place where all the details are being worked out and orchestrated in a way I could never comprehend, much less, accomplish.
When I’m connected, it’s easy to jump before I’m “ready” because I always feel ready.