So, as I think about what to write for this second blog entry, nothing profound comes to mind. Instead, I’m thinking about a funny thing that happened yesterday, golfing in the rain, when my friend teed off and her club slid out of her wet hands and flew spiraling about 30 feet in the air. No casualties, and while it was not the best shot, the ball did travel roughly in the right direction. Can I spin this into some reflections on life?
We’re not a serious golfing bunch, those who consider rain a challenge to overcome, so didn’t really have a good reason not to come in out of the rain. But, you know, once you’ve already gotten wet, it’s really not so bad. In fact, when things don’t go as planned, it can sometimes create an opportunity for something you hadn’t expected.
In this busy life, we can tend to get organized to take on the day, as if it will all go as planned. As a result, when something gets in the way, we can get frustrated. Best example, traffic, which blessedly I can generally avoid, but which many deal with daily. Does it always flow as smoothly as you need it to, to get where you’re going? Do you generally arrive at your destination relaxed and refreshed? or, frazzled (love that word!) and irritated? I’m pretty sure most of you can think of an example of something that didn’t go as planned in the last few days. How did you deal with that? Did it change the rest of your day for better or worse? Did you learn something new or bemoan something that continues to plague you?
I have a couple of thoughts about dealing with the unplanned. First, when you imagine your day, can you make room for the unexpected, the possibility of the unknown? No, I don’t mean meticulously plan for all eventualities, as that could be a day’s work in itself! I mean, assume that you have the resources (mental, emotional, practical) to shift gears and handle most of what could happen. Be aware that the unexpected could be a bonus, maybe as simple as a good belly laugh when a golf club flies out of your hands, or an opportunity to experience something new. If it’s not a bonus, hmmm, maybe a chance to flex your creative mind to work through a challenge. Back to imagining your day, can you look at it as an estimate, or a rough guideline, or even a wish list? Can you allow that by the end of the day, some things might not have been done, but some others may have happened that brought a smile to your face?
Second, the best thing I know of for handling challenges or the unexpected, is breathing. Yes, breathing. Practice it now – sit back, let your hands and shoulders drop, and inhale deeply. As you breathe in, notice the air coming into your chest, then notice again as you breathe out. If you can, make more room for your lungs to expand by letting your abdominal muscles relax, so as your lungs fill the diaphragm presses down and your belly pushes out. Imagine you’re filling a balloon with air as you inhale. Just keep breathing, and observe the passage of air in and then out of your body. If you get distracted by thoughts, just let them be and return to observing your breath.
Taking a few minutes to just breathe and letting your mind be still, can allow you to pause and refresh, which allows your creative mind to better proceed with handling the challenges of the day. Try it, when you’re finding yourself a little frazzled, or just any time at all. Can’t hurt, you gotta breathe anyway, right?
Having relaxed a little myself just now, I’ll finish up this blog for today. Do you have a topic you’d like me to address, or a story to share? Please send me your comments or questions. See you later!