This or Something Better

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As I am writing this, I am on tour with my new band Josephine the Volcano. Last night we had a night off and spent it in deep conversation. Especially exciting because we didn’t all know each other equally well when we embarked on this journey.  

We have all been bringing songs to the project for sharing and developing together. Olivia came with this awesome arrangement of the classic “Sail Away Ladies” but gave the disclaimer: “This or something better” explaining that she would love suggestions to improve this arrangement of the song. This has become somewhat of a mantra for us, musically. But yesterday we talked about this mantra as a life tool. 

“This or something better”. This is a saying I’ve used a lot. It comes from wanting a balance between planning and taking control of your goals and your future and simultaneously being absolutely ok with however things turn out. The balance between wanting something SO BAD but still being absolutely ok with not getting it. These seem like two opposites to most people. 

But I can explain how it is not. My theory is that the “easiest” road (read: simplest, most direct route, path of least resistance) to creating a life of your dreams or a life of your own design is having the strongest desire for the thing you are wanting (aka "most want”) and the least attachment to actually getting it (aka “least attachment”). So the perfect balance is the most want with the least attachment.  

But if I really want something, how can I be unattached to whether or not I get it?  

Enter, the HOW. The “how” is the key to balancing these two apparent opposites out. Let’s say you know you really want to travel and see a job offer where you get to do just that. Like the perfect job offer. You go to the interview (with 100 other candidates) and start stressing out that you may not get the job! Fretting and stressing you are attached to the outcome of this interview. “I need to get this job, because it’s the perfect way for me to go traveling for a living,” you think to yourself and fret and stress some more. This is the attachment that is so incredibly detrimental to your desire. And most likely, you won’t get the job! Why? Because you are starting to get attached to the HOW.  

Think about it… Is this job opportunity truly the only way you can go traveling? Or could there possibly be other ways? Your attachment should be to the actual traveling part of the desire, not to this particular way of getting there. 

This view on life can be put on almost every aspect. Do you want a loving relationship? Or do you want that particular person to love you back? Do you want more flexibility in your life? Or do you want to make a living as a writer because that it the only way you can think of to make that happen? 

This is where the “or something better” comes in. We can come up with all these amazing ways for our desires to come into our lives, but is it really important how we get there? Isn't it more important to get really clear on what we want and be open to receiving it in any shape or form it may arrive?

I'm not against making plans or setting goals or identifying an opportunity and going for it, wholeheartedly. On the contrary, I'm a go-getter. But I am also open to the fact that my imagination only stretches so far and that at some point I run out of ideas. Or my desire seems so unattainable, simply because I simply can't see how it could possibly make that happen.

Enter faith. Or trust. Trust that even if I don't know the "how", the path will show itself to me in due course. Trust that just because I can't see the way just yet, it doesn't mean I won't achieve my desires. Trust that the universe can come up with even more ingenious ways to fulfill the perfect life for me.