Aligned with the flow

When the universe sends you exactly what you need, why would you say no?

Anne Lamott puts life on the page in a way that resonates with people and makes them feel that their own messy life is really not so messy. In her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, she writes about an experience that reminded her to align herself with the gifts of the universe—in writing and in life.

She received a call from New York. A producer wanted her to fly in, do a talk show and then return home again. Of course, she wanted to do it, but the complications involved made the enterprise seem impossible. She had to consider arrangements for her son, the flight times didn’t mesh with her schedule, and she had to return in time to lead a workshop in two days. Gifted with the ability to conjure the worst case scenario, she imagined plane crashes and madmen with Uzis. She fretted.

That day, she had a meeting at her church. Throughout the meeting, she lost concentration on the discussions as she filtered through every possible disaster. On her way out the door at the end of the meeting, she paused when she saw a little prayer book on a shelf. She picked it up, stuck it in her purse and headed out for dinner. She wrote:

“All the way to the hamburger joint, I worried that I would be involved in a car accident and the book would be found on me. My survivors would know I had finally snapped, that I had become one of those fundamentalists who think the world is going to end tomorrow right after lunch. I made it to the restaurant, though, and when I sat down, I took out the little book. I opened it before I got it out of my purse so the cover wouldn’t show, as if it were the rankest sort of pornography, like Big Beautiful Butts of something.”

When she started to read she knew why she had picked up the book. This beautiful quote reminded her to relax and allow the flow:

‘The Gulf Stream will flow through a straw provided the straw is aligned to the Gulf Stream, and not at cross purposes with it.”

Anne Lamott read a quote that reminded her to stop working at cross purposes with the universe, and she in turn reminded me to align with the flow. I hope this post will pass the favour on to you. 

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About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on July 27, 2010, in good faith, spirit, story, writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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