In today’s solo episode I share an anecdote from a recent trip I took with my husband to Sedona for his 50th birthday. Nothing went according to plan, absolutely nothing, but it was a wonderful opportunity for me to practice surrendering and practicing the art of the pivot.

When you make plans, life laughs right? Life will almost never go according to plan, and in those moments we absolutely have a choice whether we are going to let that ruin our moods, ruin our day, ruin our experience, or worse. When we choose to surrender and pivot instead we are choosing to be willing to go in a different direction. In that choice we open ourselves up to solutions and possibly even better outcomes.

Relinquishing control and staying open to other possibilities has been such a key in my overall happiness. I truly believe mastering the art of the pivot is really an essential life skill. When I surrender to the present and I surrender to how things want to unfold (despite what I want), my joy and my happiness can start to flow again. Through this I am no longer a victim of my circumstance, but rather I am in alignment with the Universe.

So join me in this episode where I share with you how you too can practice surrendering and become a master at pivoting.


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What happened when I surrendered

How to spot opportunities to pivot

What surrender does not mean

Why you need to give up control


Goal Achievers

Inner Circle

Best Planner Ever

Best Journal Ever

The Joy Guide


Hello, hello, welcome to the Happy Productive Podcast. I’m Jennifer Dawn, a business coach and founder of the Best Planner Ever. If you’re ready to start winning big in business and life, guess what? You’re in the right place. The Happy Productive Podcast is your go-to resource for learning how to bring awareness, determination, some mental toughness, some clarity, and focus into your daily productivity; so you can knock your goals out of the park, and start setting yourself apart from the pack and succeeding on a whole new level. 

On today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about surrender. And I have to tell you guys; I’ve been doing a lot of guest interviews; I haven’t done a solo podcast in a little while. And it’s fun to be sitting here with my little microphone, looking out the window, just having a conversation with you guys. And I just want to say thank you; I so appreciate you listening to the podcast, all the emails, and the encouragement that you send me; I really really appreciate it. And it really is just about paying it forward and putting as much good out into this world as we possibly can. But, thank you for listening. And thank you for sharing.

Now today, I want to talk a little bit about surrender. And I’m also going to talk about Mastering the Art of the pivot. Here’s what I mean by that. My husband and I just returned from a trip to Sedona, Arizona. Now we live in upstate New York. My husband is a native New Yorker; that’s kind of how we ended up here. But I am originally from Arizona. So I love the desert and the heat and the sunshine and everything about it. I just love it. And whenever we visit Arizona, for me, it always feels like I’m going home. 

Well, my husband had celebrated his 50th birthday last week, which was a big milestone for him. I don’t know how many of you have hit this milestone. But one of the things I’m seeing, I’m still a year and a half off from my 50. And one of the things I’m seeing is that this milestone, it’s really lighting a fire under his ass because he’s like, man, I’m 50 now, and you know, it’s kind of like you’re on the flip side. It’s time to just like, no more excuses. Let’s get some stuff done. Let’s really go after my dreams. 

So I absolutely love seeing that. When I asked my husband, where do you want to go for your birthday? He wanted to go to Sedona. He knows how much I love Arizona, and I said you could go anywhere you want. But he wanted to go to Sedona, and I think part of it was because he said I need to get my wife to Arizona, which is probably true. So I’m very grateful for that. We took a trip to Sedona, and we got there, and one of the things that we planned to do was a hot air balloon ride; we wanted to find something very unique and different to celebrate his 50th. And so we booked the hot air balloon ride, and when the day showed up, there were high winds on Wednesday, which was his birthday. And they had to cancel it. 

Now, these people are booked out for weeks and months at a time. And so we didn’t think we were going to get another opportunity. But as luck would have it, they called, and they said, hey, you know, we have two spots on the Thursday time slot? Do you want them? We were like, yes. So we’re like, Whoa, you know, everything’s working out, we’re in the flow, the universe is supporting us, la la la. And so Thursday comes; we get up at 4:15 am, the van picks us up at five, picks up some other people, we drive out into the middle of the desert. And I’ve never done this before.

So it’s definitely a learning experience. But we get out there. And there are actually six balloons that are going up that morning. And so there’s a bunch of people, the crews, the pilots, so there’s a lot of people standing out in the middle of the desert. What they do is they actually inflate a very small balloon-like a regular, birthday-type balloon that you see at a birthday party. They inflate this with helium, and they let it go, very technical. And they look up in the sky, and they watch to see where this balloon goes. And the balloon goes straight up. 

And then, after a while, when it gets up pretty high, it just kind of starts moving. I really just didn’t even feel any wind at all. But they just watched this balloon. And so we stand out there for about half an hour. And they’re saying it’s 50/50.And then after about half an hour, they’re like, sorry, it’s not safe because I guess that the wind current has to not change so that the big balloon can actually be inflated or it becomes dangerous because it has to clear the height of the balloon at least before the air current starts to move. Because in a hot air balloon, they have absolutely no control, no directional control. 

It is all at the mercy of Mother Nature so they can control going up. They can control going down. Everything else is Mother Nature. And so they did, they called it after we were all out there, which kind of sucked, but I get it, you know, for everybody’s safety. And then they also said, you know, based on the wind direction we could end up you know, out in the middle of nowhere with no roads so they wouldn’t be able to get to us, so they had to cancel, which was kind of a bummer after our day two of hoping that this was going to happen for his birthday. 

You know, when things like this that you’re really looking forward to, you’re really excited about happening, where they just like get canceled, and it’s so far out of your control, something like that is a great opportunity to say, Oh, the whole day is ruined, his whole birthday is ruined, oh, we’re going to be grumpy, we’re going to be stressed out about this, right. 

And you guys know what I’m talking about where in just day-to-day life, things happen that we’re not expecting that we don’t want to have happened. We have our hopes up. And they get bashed; that’s kind of a bummer. And right there at that moment is where the opportunity is to pivot, right, we have to do two things: surrender, let go. And we have to pivot and be willing to go in a different direction. Otherwise, it really does have the potential to ruin our day, maybe even our week, maybe a month. And depending on what you’re holding on to, it could be years or even a lifetime that you’re holding on to this stuff. 

So I like to say that Mastering the Art of the pivot is actually a really essential life skill. I don’t know what it was about this trip to Sedona. But it was like every day, something happened that required us to pivot, and by the end of the trip, by the end of the trip, we flew back home, we fly into Newark, New Jersey airport, which if you’ve ever flown into there, you know what a nightmare it is, even just getting out of there. And like, you know, there were problems when we went to get our parked car, and the ticket wouldn’t let us out of the gate. We had to talk to the office. That’s never happened. 

We parked at this place many, many times before. But for whatever reason, this time, the ticket wouldn’t work to get us out of the gate. When we arrived at the airport there were no spots. And so they had to like valet park the car, which gave my husband, you know, total stress because he didn’t want to give some stranger our keys, but he had to do it, he had to pivot because we had to catch a flight. I had to go and I had to just get to the office, and I had to work out the parking so that we could get out of the parking lot. 

And then if you’ve ever driven home, maybe you have or haven’t but just driving from Newark to upstate New York where we live, like getting out of that whole area is just congestion and freeways. And we almost always get lost. And this time, the GPS took us again a whole different way we’ve never been. And one of the exits that we had to take was to get on was I-80. And this is a major exit off the interstate, and it was closed, never seen anything like it. So it was closed, we had to reroute. And, of course, the GPS is taking you all over the place. And it can be just this really stressful situation. 

But after a whole week of this, we’re calling this trip like our week of practicing to pivot. Because every single day was just something new that got thrown at us that was like, nope, you’re not going in this direction; you’re going in this direction. By the end, I couldn’t help but laugh because it was just like, Wow, what a great week as far as practicing surrender and practicing pivoting. But this is what I mean by pulling the good from any situation so that when life throws you a curveball. You know that it’s going to, right? It is not realistic to think that we’re going to go through our day and nothing bad or wrong or different is going to happen to us it’s going to happen, you’re going to be like trying to hire a new person for your business, and all the candidates will suck. 

Or you’re going to hire somebody new, and they won’t work out. Or you know, any number of things can go wrong through the day, you know, you get on the scale in the bathroom, and you think it’s going to go down, and it goes up. You have a bad hair day, you know, your children, your family, your whoever, they’re going to do things. The dog will pee in the house; like whatever it is, things are going to happen. But that’s where you have a choice. That’s where your power is. Are you going to make the choice to let that small thing that truly in the big picture does not matter? It’s a small momentary thing. And a week from now, even a day from now, a year from now, it will not matter at all. 

But are you going to let that small thing ruin your day? Are you going to let it jack up your stress level? Are you going to let it put you in a bad emotional place? Are you then going to turn around and take it out on other people? Or are you going to learn the pivot? Are you going to learn to surrender? Now, surrender you guys? For many people, it doesn’t mean what you think. Surrender does not mean give up. It doesn’t mean we don’t have goals. It doesn’t mean we don’t take action. It just means that we let go, and we get in the flow, and we start working with the universe. 

An example of this as well. We were trying to figure out something else to do when the hot air balloon ride didn’t work. And so we were going to go out on a four-wheeler in the desert instead, and because it was last minute, we were having some trouble booking. And I got a little bit like, ah, because I really wanted it to work. And I was just going to cancel and say forget it because it was just so much effort. And before I sent the text message just to tell the place to forget it, husband, he’s like, give it a minute, Jennifer. He was so right, because sometimes guys, the universe will also talk to us through other people, but we need to be tuned in and listening. 

He was right. And I said, you know what, you’re right, let’s finish breakfast, and then we’ll figure it out. And within just a couple of minutes, everything shifted, they sent us a text, we were on, we got the four-wheeler, we got it for even less money than we thought we were going to get it for we went out we had a wonderful time. And all because instead of just canceling at the last minute, giving up, and trying to control the whole thing, we just let it go for a few minutes, and I ate my breakfast, and I took a breath. I listened right when the universe said, Hey, just give it a minute. And just let me work it out for you. It did, and it was wonderful. 

And even with the hot air balloon ride, you know, guys, I don’t need to be stranded in the desert; I don’t need to die in a hot air balloon. So for whatever reason, it didn’t work. It’s okay. It didn’t work. And we’ll do it some other time. But it’s not something that I’m going to let it like ruin our trip, ruin our day, and ruin my husband’s birthday. And we ended up having just a glorious, wonderful peaceful day, what a gift. We didn’t have anything to do, how much of a gift is that I don’t know about you guys. But we work a lot. And we have busy days. And we do a lot of things. Having a day handed to us where we didn’t have anywhere or anything to do, have any commitments in itself, was such a gift. And we had just a beautiful relaxing day, doing a whole lot of nothing. We hiked, we did a little shopping, and we eat great food. 

So that was our day, the more that I learn and practice the art of surrendering, right surrender is that letting go piece of taking a big deep breath, letting it go, allowing the universe to kind of work it out for us, the more I practice surrender. Then with that pivot, being willing to go in a different direction doesn’t mean that we give up on our goals or having fun, or whatever it is that we want to do. But it just means being willing to choose another path, go in a different direction, achieve the goal a different way. 

That’s all that it is. And the more I learned, I have to tell you; I think it is one of the most important keys to happiness, you cannot always be trying to like, control everything. Because what happens when you’re trying to control everything as you think of that word control, like in your body, it makes me feel stressed out really tight, and really just like, right, but when you just let go, it’s like all that stress just dissipates. I find that when I’m just like, okay, just let go of, however, it’s going to be and just surrender to the moment. Surrender to the present, surrender to letting this unfold however you want it to be; it’s like my joy; my happiness can start to flow again. We have a chokehold on the universe, trying to control everything, how it’s going to work out, our joy and our happiness cannot flow until we actually first let go. 

So this is my challenge; if you’re listening to this podcast, ask yourself, okay, well, how good am I at the surrender and pivot, right? Life’s going to throw you curveballs no matter what. Do you let it ruin your day? Or do you look at it as an opportunity to practice your pivoting skills, your surrender skills, your it’s okay, I’m going to change direction skills because that’s really what it is. Imagine if the universe was just saying, hey, why don’t you just learn this lesson, and you learn it, your life is going to be so much happier and so much better because you’ll be so good at not letting that little stuff bug you. Alright, you guys, that’s my challenge.

Pay attention to how well you pivot, how well you surrender, and when junk pops up in your day, and it will just recognize it for the opportunity that it is. Let go, get back in the flow, do a little pivot, and you never know where you might end up. It might even be better than the direction you were actually heading. Okay, if you enjoyed this podcast, please share it. Pay the goodness forward. It can help so many people in ways that you probably can’t even imagine whoever might need this message today. If you need help with any of the concepts that I talked about, please come check us out. 

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