When my world turned upside down at the end of 2014, a charming little book, Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver found it’s way to me. It’s theme: trusting in divine wisdom to guide you to your greatest good…and being “wildly open to receiving it.” This past weekend I was reminded of the power of getting out of the driver’s seat in order to let the magic happen. When you are the boss of everything, there’s no space for the unexpected. And, sometimes, it’s that which YOU may not have planned, that unfolds in surprisingly perfect ways.


My father is a Marine. His theme: Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. I also attended Catholic School (til 10th grade). I have put in extensive years of plotting, organizing, and constructing my life…because it was ingrained in me and because it’s rewarded in our society.


Like most parents these days, I am especially good at planning my children’s lives: which classes to take to “stay on track”, which sports to play, which camps to attend, where to get volunteer hours, where to have a birthday party, which SAT-prep course, which college to visit. If you live in Fairfield County, I’m sure you know the drill, you become your child’s manager.


I have 2 daughters at Florida State (Go Noles!) and one daughter at Cal Poly (SLO campus). They are FAR away! (I should also mention that one daughter has year-round classes for her major…ie NO BREAKS!)


Lately, in my conversations with them, I found myself honed in on when they were coming home. Almost the first thing out of my mouth was, “When am I going to see you?”. I was pressuring and we all knew it. The result: I could feel the joy drain right out over the phone


Last month, I had a mini-revelation, those miraculous moments when you catch yourself BEFORE you have said the wrong thing. I decided to lay off on pressuring my daughters to come home, and give them each a call to talk about whatever they wanted to talk about…I mean, really and truly listen to them…to sit back and enjoy the conversation, wherever it led. The result: it left me feeling filled with joy.


It also left one of my daughters with an idea. She called my husband and asked him to help her plan a surprise trip home for Mother’s Day. They pulled it off. She walked into the house through the pantry and a million things went through my head. “There’s a burglar in our house. I don’t understand how she is here. We have plans for Cinco de Mayo. This is unbelievable. I am so lucky to see her! Come here & let me hug you so I know this is real!” It was a complete and utter success. In fact, the whole weekend felt stolen and special and we hung around as a pack, soaking each other in. I couldn’t have planned it any better myself.


So was the moment my intuition whispered “step back” and the decision my daughter made to surprise me a coincidence? Nope.



Tosha Silver’s poem says it best:

Silent Seat

When you finally take

Your calm and silent seat

On the throne

Of your own heart


Everything begins

To fall into

Its proper place








It seems counterintuitive, but getting what you want may mean getting out of your own way. Be outrageously open to possibility. In life or on a bike.


Let the good times roll.


The Bike Lady