Reining in resistant thinking
My tank was brimming so was there really any need for all that rain last week? Going a little stir-crazy indoors, I took advantage of a break in the clouds to hit the railway trail with the pooch. Enough blue for a sailor-suit we strolled our usual route, aiming for the far end of the next stretch. The farther we got from the car though, the more threatening the sky became. Despite the warnings I was determined.
But as we reached our goal, the turning point, the heavens opened.
This wasn't a sprinkling, a shower, even a downpour. This was a deluge. The leafy canopy no protection from the pelting torrent, we had the whole way to walk back. Cold raindrops stung, plastering hair, drenching clothes as we trudged through ankle-deep riverlets. The dog did not look impressed.
I have this notion that there is a life-lesson to be found in every situation if we look for it. And a sopping wet walk is a great opportunity to start looking. What was it I should take away from this excessively damp experience?
That I shouldn't have been hard-headed to keep going despite the warnings?
Nope, because sometimes you have to be. There may be times one must ignore conventional wisdom or warnings from others who aren't prepared themselves to take those risks, in order to reach our goals.
Is it that I should have truncated the goal to ensure remaining unscathed?
No again, because playing small and lowering our sights serves nobody. “Aim for the moon” the old adage goes. Aiming only for comfort rarely leads to growth. These thoughts churned noisily through my head, anecdotes, comparisons, as we squelched and slipped our way back towards the dry car. Then the lesson hit like a lightning bolt: “Julia, just shut up and experience the rain.”
We're fairly waterproof, right? It's not like I was dissolving. Yes it felt a little foreign and uncomfortable but being rained on was no more ‘a bad thing' than I chose to make it. It wasn't punishment, it just was. On the bright side: when was the last time I felt cold this summer? How joyful the simplicity of a warm shower becomes.
I laughed out loud. What use was resisting? There comes a point where you can't get any wetter. I opened my arms to the pouring sky like a redemption movie-scene and even slowed my hurry. The world looks different from the wet side of the windowpane. Nature was in full action and I was part of it. I knew the rain wouldn't last forever so I let myself experience it while it did.
We get to choose the meaning we give to any situation. What difference would it make to lean into an experience with curiosity rather than judge or over-think it? Can we learn to accept “what is”, and flow with it rather than resist?
The unexpected can be a great source of inspiration when we allow it. And I find it's always good to have a loyal friend along when we have to face the stormy weather.
•Julia Pitt is a trained Success Coach and certified NLP practitioner on the team at Benedict Associates. For further information contact Julia on (441) 705-7488, www.juliapittcoaching.com.