We Get What We Need… Not What We Want

Last November, I was in Costa Rica in a Fellowship program to work on my business, detox my body with raw foods, and engage in an all-around kick-ass month of wellness and creation. Yoga, meditation, writing, raw food and desserts, social media and sales strategy, foodie photos, beach time and jungle adventures took up the daily agenda. Surrounded by a small family of inspiring coaches and yogis, this was the ideal environment in which to thrive and set the foundation for my coaching biz.

This is what I wanted… what I had wanted all year. A place free from distractions, a place where I had no choice but to build, create and thrive. A place where my body and soul felt wild and free… the 900th place I had traveled to this year.

(Slight exaggeration. But 2015 had been a whirlwind of travel, from Thailand to Bali, Singapore, Malaysia, back to Thailand then Seattle, Arizona, Vancouver, Portland, and now Costa Rica. Wanderlust is real my friends…. As is an extreme Vata nature, if you know anything about Ayurveda.)

I digress. So I had flung myself around the globe all year, to land in Costa Rica for a month of grounding and creating. The plan from there was to spin home for a few weeks of holiday with the fam, then back over to Bali for more fun projects. This is what I wanted… but as I soon learned, life often gives us what we need in life – not what we want.

The universe clearly had other plans.

3 weeks into my Fellowship, the crew and I were splashing around in the surf when suddenly, I turn around and here comes this big wave. I didn’t know it at the time, but it had a very important message for me as it roared towards me. “I’m not what you want Kristen…. But I’m what you need!”

Getting knocked nearly to oblivion by that massive wave of Pacific Ocean was definitely the last thing I wanted. Not only did it completely rip my bikini top off, but it somehow managed to fracture my tibia (that oh-so important bone under the knee), completely changing the course of my next few months.

Several days of hoping it was just a sprain or strain didn’t change the nagging intuition I felt that this was actually something significant. So a visit to the local hospital later, I was whisked off to San Jose for surgery…. 7 screws, 1 plate, a bone graft, an angel in the form of a guy named Jonesie and $11,000 later, I emerged on the other side of fantastic Costa Rican medical care with a solid task ahead of me.

Heal. Which means….

Get grounded.

The message from the universe could suddenly not be more clear to me.

Said in a very firm, loving, compassionate and no-bullshit voice…

Kristen… you live on your wings. You’re happiest when flitting around like a butterfly, never staying grounded for too long.  

So it’s time to hold the $*%* still for a minute.

Get grounded… and get grateful.

You say you want to create… so what’s it going to take?

You want to coach people on how to overcome obstacles?

Here’s some prime training material.

You wanna master that handstand? That Utthita Hasta Padhangustasana?

How about you learn to master walking?

And before moving on from that….  

How about never taking that for granted again?

You want to live nomadically, in tune with your wild and free spirit?

How about first feeling endless gratitude that this is even possible for you?

And how about pausing to just reflect on and revere the past 5 years of your life, which have been packed with more colorful, wild adventures than you can even recollect right now?

How about before moving on, to flit to the next shiny thing…. we stop and get present together?

How about learning to dwell in the spaces between thoughts.

To overcome the discomfort of being grounded in the place where it all began.

To find peace in the stillness, peace in the journey back home, peace in the wildness of the so-called ordinary.

How about focusing your attention on something so common, yet so precious. The freedom you’ve never recognized, and the gratitude for it that will change your life.

Who might you become if you just stop, for a moment?

Stop to just be. To heal. To honor and go within

What might you create, if you just hold still?

What might arise?

What might be shed? 

How, after you heal, may you venture forward differently?

I fully believe that when we’re really ready to grow, the universe will give us exactly what we need.

I am so grateful for this diversion from my intended path. It feels raw, real and humbling.

When we get what we need, it will often not feel like what we want. It will often feel unfair… like a setback or obstacle.

So instead of asking, “Why is this happening TO me?”

…What if you could ask:

“How is this happening FOR me?”

Because I promise you… it is. And if you take the opportunity to grow from what it is that you need, there is magic on the other side.