Wake Up Call! – Responding to Surprises


A surprise that upends my plans reveals what grounds my life and choices.

I recently flew to a speaking engagement and emailed the organizer to say I was in town and inquired if there were in any further details I needed for the event. The response was a curt email telling me the event had been cancelled! I was annoyed and disappointed.

I could have chosen to allow my annoyance to fester but instead wondered what was presenting itself to me through this surprise.

A dear friend was available for dinner that evening and our catch-up time was a feast. I left that city with the annoying surprise making was for a surprise of delight.

The experience has resulted in my reflecting on how different my response was from what it might have been at one point in my life. I was reminded of the gift of choosing not to give power to the annoying upending surprises and instead be mindfully awake to the gift revealed in the circumstance.


Respond to upending surprises:

  • Acknowledge and express your reactions

  • Be awake to the veiled gift in the surprise

  • Choose to embrace the gift

Notice how your compass shifts when you diminish the power of the annoying surprise and become present to the gift.

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©2013 Robert V. Taylor

Written by Robert Taylor