“Learning to adapt to the current circumstances is a key to being happy. Right now, it’s like this.”
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Kelly Sikkema
Following the devastation caused by hurricane Ian in the southeast, the area where I live in Pennsylvania experienced a few days of constant rain. I was surprised that some people complained about our soggy situation.
They apparently internalized the rain and cloudiness, instead of adapting to things as they were. That’s why we have umbrellas and rain coats.
Learning to accept things as they are and working to change things where we can is a road to self-determination.
What do you need to accept that you cannot change?
How can you take things as they are and make the most of even the stormy days ahead?
“If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it.”
—Toni Morrison, late American novelist
Image from Unsplash by Farshad Rezvanian
The word surrender usually has a negative connotation.
It often points to weakness and being beaten by someone or something much stronger than us.
Much of the time, many of us find ourselves fighting for a just cause — or against some other adversary — when our visions and values are in opposition.
Even the wind, on occasion, has us leaning in against its force, to head in a direction we wish to go.
There are far more things in life that we do not control that the things we do.
Riding the winds of change like a hot air balloon — or adapting ourselves to the wind as in sailing — can still take us to beautiful places with peace, freedom, and delight.
Where are you currently fighting the winds of change?
How would surrendering to these currents and letting them take you lead you to some wonderful places you never considered?
“Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction.”
Image from Unsplash by Eunice Stahl
Few of us are sailing the high seas or doing much boating these days. All of us, however, have seen dramatic climate changes in the weather, and in society. To what degree are you being buffeted or pushed around by the winds of change?
Alternatively, how are you learning to adjust your personal and professional sails and rudders to navigate toward safer harbors and a better world?
How is a meteorologist different from a sailor? Which of these professions reports and forecasts the changes occurring — and which uses that information to direct and adjust their efforts towards desired destinations?
How can and will you take more mindful moments during these dynamically changing times to clarify and pursue your path?
“Eons of natural selection coded you to act first and think later. You must adapt to a new world that demands the opposite.”
—Jennifer Garvey Berger & Keith Johnson, Simple Habits for Complex Times
Image from Amazon.com
To what degree are emotions running high in your personal and professional communities? Where are you and others on edge, frustrated, angry and upset?
What behaviors are being demonstrated toward a better, calmer and more workable future? Where are you seeing your fellow men and women at their worst?
Our ancestors were coded to survive and live another day. Emotions clearly played a critical role, and pondering one’s situation could actually be deadly unless acted upon immediately.
Today, we like to see ourselves as thoughtful, reflective, and far more perceptive beings, whose reasoning minds can clearly override those animal instincts.
Where is it necessary to tap or slam on the brakes in your world? How and in what ways can you more fully awaken to think far more clearly before acting?
“Look and you will find it – what is unsought will go undetected.”
—Sophocles, ancient Greek tragedian
COVID-19 moved our cheese. What was familiar and predictable months ago was suddenly no longer so, and we’ve all felt the loss.
Although these various forms of loss cause much pain, we can all take a lesson from the mouse in the classic business book, Who Moved My Cheese? Going through its maze one day, taking its traditional route, the mouse did not find the cheese he expected. Noticing this, the little guy fairly quickly changed his route to seek his reward elsewhere.
What are some of the new ways that you and others in your communities have adapted, adjusted, and expanded your cheese-finding efforts? What new opportunities and possibilities have you discovered and realized?
Feel free to reply to this post with some approaches that are working for you.
“Human nature is like water. It takes the shape of its container.”
—Wallace Stevens, 20th Century American Poet
Image from Unsplash by Delbert Pagayona
When I was a boy, one of my hobbies was maintaining a tropical fish tank with many varieties of brightly colored and various shaped species. In the early years, before they knew my level of commitment, my parents purchased a small set that included a ten-gallon tank.
As my interest grew, I graduated to more elaborate set-ups, which always involved a larger tank.
One thing I particularly enjoyed was that almost all fish species grew a bit larger in their expanded environments.
Examine some of the professional and personal containers in which you swim each day. How large is the container that supports your growth? Who are the individuals that influence your nature? What attitudes and behaviors do they exhibit?
“Things do not necessarily happen for the best, but I can choose to make the best of things that happen.”
—Tal Ben-Shahar, Israeli-American Author/Lecturer
Image from Unsplash by Alan Meceanu
Take a few minutes to reflect on your day if it is evening, or on yesterday’s events if you are reading this in the morning. To what degree did everything go as planned, and work out exactly as you hoped?
If things did not work out for the best for whatever reason, what consequences did you experience?
How did you react or respond, and what emotions or feelings came up?
Consider the metaphor of a sailboat. How might you adjust your sails and rudders of mindfulness and adaptability to the sometime stormy seas of life?
Feel free to reply to this post to share the approaches you take on a daily basis to make the best of things that happen.