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Ask Astrid Fridays ~ The Rabbit’s Corner: Surprises That Change Your Life in Wondrous Ways


You’ve all experienced the element of surprise – the moments that take you off-guard or provide quite the shock to your life. These jolts can take the form of unwelcome and shattering surprises, sweet and exciting ones, and a whole gamut in between. In any of these cases, surprises herald shifts in your feelings and experiences that act like defining moments in your life that provide opportunity and greater possibility.

Today’s message from Astrid is about learning to find greater peace with surprise and to know that while sometimes these surprises feel painful or challenging, they can also be eye-opening, nurturing, and reflections of you being ready for so much more.

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Being that tomorrow marks the official day four years ago that I adopted Cosmo, our special needs bunny extraordinaire, Astrid is inviting him into today’s message because she knows that like her appearance in my life, he was a huge surprise to me, too. One that brought along more than I knew anything about at the time, but became the defining moment of life shifts, heart healing, and greater essence embodiment for me.

Surprises can jolt you into greater recognition of who you are.

And while some surprises you may want to fight, challenge, or feel defeated and crushed by, each provides you the opportunity to drop into more presence of the moment and see where you’ve been invited to rise to the occasion of you.

Something simple like a surprise gift, a smile, a “thank you,” or an “I love you” might drop you into the opportunity to receive, feel how special you are, flip a switch on your current emotional state, or to open and give more freely.

Something much larger like a surprise injury, illness, a move, a break-up, loss of a job, stress, or having to say “goodbye” to someone or something might drop you into slowing down, nurturing yourself more, making adjustments that are more enriching for you, realizing how much there is to be grateful for, creating more balance, aligning you with better opportunities and fulfillment, is speaking to your having more strength and resiliency than you think, and is inviting you to step out in bigger ways, as you have more now to support and inspire others with while you expand and evolve through the experience.

Yes, surprises can be jolting in what you define as good and not-so-good ways, but ultimately the Universe or All That Is doesn’t judge them as either. They are simply the next part of the web you are stretching out to weave.

There was once a time that the continual, not-so-fun surprises used to hit my life and I’d wonder what the heck I was doing so wrong to have them take place. Even injuries used to initially be a downer and questioning of my efforts gone in vain.

But I learned quickly this was no way to approach things if I actually wanted the peace and joy I desired. It would only put me in a downward spiral, creating greater difficulty and effort to rise out of.

And along came Cosmo.

He had every bit of his bunny joy cut away when an injury at his foster home left him unable to walk. He became a “down” bunny, unable to run, binky, jump, fully clean himself, or even get to his cecotropes on his own. He endured daily pain from his spinal injury and growing arthritis.

And yet his demeanor remained unconditionally loving, compassionate, and joyful. Everything was sweetness to him and he never hesitated to show you his love.

Although I’d learned that these “surprises” in life were not my fault or something to punish myself about, or to get angry and defeated by, it wasn’t until Cosmo came along that I truly learned how to embody these ideas, as his example and presence in my life revealed his consistent and constant embodiment of rising to the occasion.

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“He knew the way to your heart,” Astrid says. “Only he could make the lasting impression that would linger with you forever and make the next needed shifts. And so your worlds collided because you both were ready. Even though you’d never cared for a special needs child, he knew your heart would find the way because of the love you both shared. Although all of us – the rabbits in your life – have been children to you, he was truly your baby, sharing a bond of mother and child in every sense of that relationship. And yet, he was also your teacher to help you into the next chapter.”

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“He was definitely a huge surprise to me on so many levels. The circumstances bringing us together were highly unusual and came out of no where. Not to mention, at a time when so much was changing and unknown – when I didn’t even think I’d be around much longer. I didn’t even know the full circumstances of what his condition was and what would be involved to care for him. He just pushed open the door I left a crack open to in my heart and everything flooded in. I was constantly surprised how much deeper my heart grew, how bonded we became so fast, and how much joy every aspect of caring for his special needs brought to me. While I cared for him, I know I was caring for myself. He was the little broken parts of the inner child me and all of the pains I’d carried over the years and lives, now come to be seen as whole and perfect, as I saw him whole and perfect. We didn’t have anything to heal. We needed only to love. Love erased any wrongs and was the valuable residue that would always remain long after,” I answer. “Life suddenly became sweeter and consistently seen only through love.”

“Surprises come in many forms and bring along with them a string of gifts and potentials when you move with them rather than against them,” Astrid adds. “Just like your most recent injury.”

“Yes, I’ve not once been upset over my knee and it’s interesting how immediately through that moving with it, as you said, I noticed my body surrendering into what it wanted with ease. Resting, slowing down, refocusing, making changes – it all just flowed and seems seamless,” I answer. “And interestingly, my leg has been undergoing rapid healing. I was completely embracing of it potentially taking months, but things have been shifting so fast.”

“You didn’t fight the surprise, nor judge it. When you live life with greater presence and experience it as a whole – not one aspect being better or worse, but simply pieces of purpose and promise – things move quickly. You become conscious of the gifts sooner and even humor finds a sweet spot within the experience. Some thing may be harder to grasp in such a way, but each smaller surprise, and some of the larger ones you’ve already moved through, will help act as reminders. You don’t always get to see what might have been, had these surprises not happened. Sometimes they are detours to something you might deem far worse. Sometimes they are detours to something incredible you can’t imagine yet. Sometimes they’re simply growing pains. And still, perhaps they needn’t be any of these. Could not surprises be revealing an opportunity to experience something simply different or new? Could not surprises swing you back and forth through contrasting experiences to help you to release the idea of an ideal. That maybe, just maybe, surprises are calculated perfection within all that is naturally in harmony,” Astrid concludes.

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