When Life Takes Unexpected Detours

“A truly happy per­son is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.” ~ Anonymous

I’ve just returned from an amazing trip back in Oklahoma, spending time with my friends and family, and reconnecting to my roots.

Of course, as is often the case with travel and intense family time, my ego ran into several challenges to shake my foundation, giving my intuition an opportunity to step in and steer the ship.

The first lesson came before I even arrived, as mechanical issues with my connecting flight from LAX set into motion a missed flight and surprise overnight in Denver.

My first reaction? I’m not proud to admit that it was “righteous” anger. “I mean, really, how dare they ruin my trip???”

Fortunately the work I do to catch my ego in its tracks paid off, and I was able to quickly re-route the track it was heading down; striking a balance between action and surrender, I was able to receive the gift the Universe was sending me.

Here’s how I struck that balance and how you can stay grounded when life takes unexpected detours.

1. I brought awareness to my energy.

Everything is energy, and everything flows more smoothly when I’m intimately aware of the state of the energy that is working through and around me.

When I found out the flight had been cancelled, my energy got muddled. Only moments before, I had been sitting at an airport cafe, enjoying a cup of herbal tea and cookie, while telling stories and laughing with my man.

How often do catch ourselves wondering why we feel off, not realizing until after the fact that some event has thrown our energy way off balance?

To reduce the “shock to your system,” I recommend pausing throughout your day to get real and get clear about how your energy is flowing, so that when an event or circumstance does upset it, you can take steps more quickly to get realigned.

2. I owned my choices.

Awareness leads to choice – was I going to stay stuck, wasting my own precious energy or choose to ground myself in what is?

Fortunately for me (and those around me), I chose to ground myself by slowing down and refusing to give into the panic.

It’s cliche because it works…take that one deep breath, even if (and especially if) you “don’t have the time.”

3. I made space to appreciate the magic.

Not only did I ground myself, but I also chose to consciously experience the magic in that moment.

You see, right there in the terminal, among the chaos of travelers, a tiny bird had flown in from outside and was flitting from table to water fountain to the top of signs and back again.

For me, the vision of birds opens up feelings of freedom and a release of worry, and this sweet little Spirit was no exception.


Click to tweet!Click to tweet>> The Universe is always sending us gifts; it is up to us to open our eyes to see and hearts to receive. <<Click to tweet

4. I infused action with kindness.

While waiting in line to speak with a customer service agent, the murmurs and grumbling were hard to ignore. But instead of judging their choices, I took it all in with compassion.

Yes, frustration can feel all too real…I run into it all the time. So I respected their feelings while staying mindful to not absorb their energy.

Maintaining our own energy in a loving space becomes quite a bit more challenging when it feels like everyone else is on a completely different page.

Try this: the next time you are feeling “energetically sensitive,” zip up your energy by pulling up an imaginary zipper from in front of your feet to above your head. It might sound silly but it sends a quick and direct message to your subconscious to keep your energy in and others out.

When I stepped up to the counter, I started with gratitude and thanked the agent in advance for her help. I kept the conversation pleasant, but I didn’t settle until I felt we had found a good solution.

Are you currently dealing with a problem in your life where this might apply? Can you envision how much more empowered and connected you’ll feel when you focus on what’s in your control – your own energy – and affect change from a space of kindness instead of anger or force?

5. I let go and enjoyed the ride.

At the end of the day, my travel plans changed, but I didn’t meditate in a corner wishing for a new flight to appear.

I took action…but then I let go.

And I’m so glad I did.

As it turned out, my man just happens to have a good friend who lives in Denver, and who just happened to be available that evening. We were whisked off to a great evening laughing, playing Nintendo, and catching up before we got a great night of sleep and lovely brunch before resuming our trip.

As always, the Universe had something even better in store for me; perhaps you’ll find that it does for you too.

I’d love to hear from you: How can you apply the lessons I learned to a circumstance in your life, where unexpected detours seem to be leading you off track?