Sometimes finding joy is as easy as changing your perspective.

The afternoon before I was scheduled for open heart surgery, my doctor decided that I hadn’t sufficiently shaken off the effects of a recent respiratory virus, and informed me they wanted to reschedule.

My initial reaction was one of disappointment. I’d packed my bag, shaved my beard as requested, and signed an advance directive. Fortunately, my disappointment only lasted about a minute.

My spirit guides weighed in immediately; they didn’t seem bothered by the delay at all. In fact, not only did they support rescheduling surgery, but admitted to having been instrumental in making sure it didn’t happen on that date.

“This a cause for joy,” they insisted, assuring me there would be a better time in the very near future. Surgery is now scheduled for next month, and as long as I can avoid catching a seasonal cold or flu, all should be well.

Finding joy is likely the last thing on your mind when plans fall apart.

When plans change, disappointment is a kind of default mode we go to. It’s a soul thing. We all have past lives where the consequences of unwanted change were dire.

When we encounter change in this life, especially at the last moment, the soul will look back to the past for a frame of reference. If your soul finds hardship and misery were the result of life going awry, it will urge your conscious self to dig its heels in and stick to the plan. If you can’t, you’ll feel your soul’s emotions bubbling up.

There’s a particular past-life fear that will often surface at these times. It’s called a fear of loss of control, and is the result of losing control of your mind or body in a past life.

Maybe you bled out on a battlefield 200 years ago, or your cognitive ability suffered from the effects of dementia or Alzheimer’s. The way that shows up for you in this lifetime is as a need to feel in control.

If anyone has ever labelled you a control freak, chances are good you’ve got a past-life fear of loss of control. Click To Tweet

I once told a date, “Grab your coat! I’ve cancelled our plans for dinner and got us tickets for Eric Clapton instead.” And she burst into tears. She couldn’t handle such a sudden transition.

In her current life, control had been her soul’s way of avoiding the stress that comes up when plans are suddenly changed. She’d got everything in order in her mind—until I came along and upset her equilibrium.

Her fear had been created in 1854 during the Crimean War when she died from the effects of gangrene, feeling totally unable to control her fate. In the end, we went to see Clapton, and she had a great time. Had I known then what I know now, it might have been an easier process getting to that point.

Life doesn’t always work out as you planned it.

No matter the kind of curveball life throws at you, finding joy in change is always possible. The key is recognizing that you have the free will it takes to roll with the punches.

You may not be able to control change itself, but you can always control how you deal with it.

Sometimes, the change that comes your way is unwelcome. If you get fired a week before Christmas, then you can be forgiven for not immediately finding joy in your circumstances. And if past-life fears are triggered, it’s easy to slip into a place of powerlessness.

Though the changes you encounter may be unpleasant, you’re never totally a victim of circumstance.

When facing the unexpected, you have a choice in how to move forward. If you feel your past-life fear bubbling up, take a moment to recognize it for what it is, and ask yourself if things really are as bad as your worst fears make you think?

Look back on your life at the times one door has closed, only for another one to open up soon after. Could this be another of those occasions? Then ask yourself what options you have. Make a list. Five is a good number to begin with.

What can you do right away to recalibrate or alter your path?

While everyone has a life plan, they’re not carved in stone. Your life plan acts as a map or guide to help you follow the path your soul created for you before you were born. But it allows for free will. You always have the power to amend or alter it.

Whatever the circumstances, there’s no growth in falling into a place of defeat or glum resignation. Finding joy becomes easy when you work to make that perspective your default mode.

Empowerment begins with a shift in attitude and a new course of action. My new course involves lots of oil painting, and plenty of quality time spent enjoying the company of family and friends.

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