“Man Plans, God Laughs” – Old Yiddish Proverb

We all do our best to take steps towards creating the life that we want. But at the end of the day, unexpected life events can pop up and completely shift our attention. I like to refer to this as a “Curve ball from the Universe.” In my opinion, this sort of thing happens because life is not meant to be perfect. Our job is to be flexible and make the best of our circumstances so that we can move forward. I recently received a curve ball of my own and wanted to share it with you.

I just completed teaching a live video class called Mindful Manifesting. The program focuses on the idea of making positive plans for improving our lives. For five weeks, participants would interact with me to talk about and practice effective manifesting techniques. I would answer questions via live video or written submissions. One week, someone submitted a comment during the live class.

“Dougall, I can see that you’re nervous. Is everything okay?”

I read the question out loud to the class, absorbing their observation in real time with everyone listening. My first reaction was slightly defensive.

“Me? Not at all! Nope, not nervous here.”

After class David and I have a little ritual where we discuss the lesson and exchange notes on how it could have gone more smoothly or be improved.

I brought up the participant’s question and told him that I was surprised by how much it affected me.

As an intuitive teacher, the specific topic is not the most important thing to me. For me, my ultimate goal is to help people connect to their own intuition. I’ve always felt that if someone has a psychic impression about you, it is important to acknowledge it. If you deny it, you are also causing them to question their own intuition. We have to own our vulnerability in order to strengthen that intuitive voice.

And in this case, my participant was absolutely right. I was feeling nervous because I had been dealing with something in private, and they picked up on it.

When it comes to working with my clients, I typically try to be as transparent about my life as possible. I find that giving a window into my process and how I manage my energy to be a helpful tool in teaching. However this one was big, and it wasn’t entirely my information to share.

In late November my mother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. With social media, it sometimes feels like every aspect of our lives must be documented. We share images from vacations, posts of lovely meals, and joyful gatherings of friends and family. But when bad news comes into the picture, it provides a different opportunity to observe our life, behavior, and priorities from a different perspective.

I work in the world of self-help and inspiration. My intention is to be joyful when I teach and provide as uplifting of an outlook as I can. My truth is that the last two months have been really difficult. Dealing with a loved one’s illness is even harder when you don’t live near them. I couldn’t figure out how to share difficult news like this and spin it to be inspiring or positive. But I have also been finding that it doesn’t feel as authentic to just pretend like nothing is happening.

On the last night of my online class, right at the end I decided to confirm the accuracy of the participant’s intuitive hit about me. I apologized to the class for not owning it right in that moment. She was right. I explained my mom’s diagnosis and that my family was busy making health choices, trying to figure out how to move forward. On the bright side, we were coming together as a family and connecting more than usual.

This was also a great lesson for me. In life we all have hopes, dreams and desires, but the truth is that a variety of curve balls may come our way. Right now, for me it is my mom’s cancer. I am fully aware that many, many people deal with health issues in their lives and their family’s lives. I have the deepest respect for anyone who has gone through this.

As spiritual beings we don’t always have to project pure joy. We are allowed to strive for positivity, be proactive and still say “yes, lately I’ve been dealing with a lot and it sucks.”

To all of you lovely souls who take the time to read my blog posts I thank you for letting me teach and be open about a personal matter. For those of you dealing with curve balls from the Universe, I see you and I support you. The Universe always provides us opportunities to connect with joy, and in support of each other if we choose.

This is a curve ball for my family, but it has brought us closer together than ever. We have family members who have beaten cancer before, and that is our plan.

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