How the unconscious helps us manage the unexpected

Photo by Elizabeth Diane

How the unconscious helps us manage unexpected events, both major and minor.

It pays to be aware of this natural progression:

  • Intuition takes over when the unexpected happens. Our spontaneous response is based on years of survival and it kicks in, automatically.
  • Survival means automatically taking hold of gut reactions, trimming your thoughts, words and behavior until they rise to the priority system that serves you well.
  • In three seconds, you have taken a position toward the unexpected. Now it lies within your scope of control, within your system of self-management.

Now the unconscious strategy begins:

  • On the far side of the situation, your mind’s eye sees where you need to be to recover from the impact – whether it was subtle or dramatic. You head for that place of self-worth with inner determination. You navigate through and around obstacles in the situation until you reach your dominant position. It’s a matter of retaining self-respect and individuality.
  • Now life returns to “normal” where you have mental clarity again. The emotional upheaval goes away and the unexpected is put in line where you can manage yourself with confidence, even if it seems you have no external control.
  • Empowerment: Riding the wave and successfully recovering from the unexpected is a sign of great strength and resilience. This is a new level of personal accomplishment, even if you’re the only one who knows it. There is a limit, however, but it is the limitation of being human.

What’s next? Not just the perpetual struggle that life is; now you begin to see the higher purpose through the eyes of your heart.

  • Immediately following a rise to a new height of personal strength, that very strength seems ineffective. During that time, life shows up as your friend. It’s not all about what you work at; life hands you what you need to fulfill your purpose. Life happens in connection with others and uses your work to serve others.
  • Pressure builds. We can’t stay in our private “sweet spot” of personal productivity, and yet we don’t yet know what’s coming up. We feel in-between, like nothing is happening, but we’re growing and strengthening in a different way.
  • Finally, something breaks and the whole course of events shows up in something that is external and apparent to others. It is the physical manifestation of all the work that went on beneath your skin.


  • The unexpected that occurred in the beginning brought about a pretty big change! Once it is finished in the physical manifestation, others perceive you in a slightly different way, unconsciously. You, however, know and feel the change, inside and out. You see what they see, also for the first time, and unconsciously realize what this change means to your life.
  • Realization is cemented in the fact that life, as it was before the unexpected, is melting away into memory. Something is coming together in its place, and you have the chance to feel the growth, the transformation.
  • Finally, the new stage of your life is in place and you cannot change what it has become. Even if you try to live as you did before the unexpected happened; even if, outwardly, things seem to be as they were before, you are different as a result of this unconscious process.

In this repetitive, natural cycle of time and life, your deepest heart and unconscious mind is renewed. We move constantly forward, and that process moves life constantly, incrementally, in a positive direction.


Follow Elizabeth’s progress toward publishing a new book in 2018: A Writer’s Journal.