Unconscious Guidance

The other day I was walking somewhere and got sidetracked. Has that ever happened to you? You will have this clear goal in mind, this clear outcome that you’ve decided is what you want to do. You set out to achieve this goal, sure that you will achieve it. But then something happens, and either because you didn’t allow yourself to see all the possibilities, or maybe your original goal was well formed enough, you just kind of end up in another place.

One way to get around this is to be aware of what your underlying intentions are. It helps to be able to dig deeper to find the real reason behind your goals. When you search beneath what is pretending to be the important part, you’ll be surprised to discover that many of your goals fall under the same basic categories. Safety, comfort, recognition, personal growth.

As I got off the streetcar (yes they have street cars where I live) I saw my goal in sight. The coffee shop where I had intended to relax and spend an hour or so writing in my journal. As it happened, the weather was particularly nice, and there were a fair number of people out and about. There is a street going just past that I’ve always kind of wondered about. There was a steady stream of people walking up this street, that looked as if they were going to some kind of event. You can sort of tell when people are going to find something special here. Because of the way they are dressed, many of them carrying water bottles, cameras, other things that make it appear as if they are on a mini-trek that might take a few hours.

But something funny happened. Usually when I’ve made a choice, (other than to wander around without a clear choice) and I see a distraction, I have at least a few moments of indecision. Should I go this way? What about my other plans? Which is better? Hmm. But not this time. My coffee shop plans instantly disappeared as I followed the crowd up the street. When I emerged back about two hours later, much richer for the experience, I never even gave my abandoned coffee shop plans a second thought.

If you are thinking this is completely platitudinous and futile, maybe you’re right. The thing that struck me was the speed at which I’d abandoned my coffee shop plans for an unknown trek up the street, merely using the crowd as my guidance. Which leads me to suspect that something told me that the underlying reason I wanted to hang out at the coffee shop would better be served by following the crowd up the street. On  an unconscious level, the change in plans didn’t even warrant a the token elevation into consciousness. My desire just shifted, without any conscious thought.

Maybe because I’ve been doing a lot of meditating lately, I was able to not need to question the greater wisdom of my unconscious. I just went with it, and had a much richer experience because of it. Of course I wasn’t doing brain surgery, or walking across a tightrope over the grand canyon, I was just wiling away a Sunday afternoon. But in that moment I experienced an unconscious guidance that I don’t usually experience.

Thank you unconscious, whatever you are. That was fun.