We’re experiencing a week of March weather, the real kind this time (as opposed to last week when it hit the mid-80s and folks flocked to Hampton Beach to cool off). It’s cold and the budding trees are feeling the shock of hard frost again. This year March has it backwards, perversely deciding to come in like a lamb and go out like a lion.
As I work in my home office, I can feel the house brace itself against the force of the wind, the creaking windows sounding like chattering teeth. The trees surrounding the house sway and bend dramatically, and I’m hoping the limbs won’t snap and once more litter the yard with broken branches. But none of them do; they whip around at the wind’s direction but then pop right back up again. It’s one of Nature’s games, this pressure countered by resiliency.
The Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines resilience as:
- able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.
- able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.
This got me thinking about us humans. Much has been researched, written and taught about resiliency – Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence, The Three Principles, and Bounce Theory to name three examples. It’s all good stuff, but can sometimes overwhelm someone like me, who likes things simple.
Back to the trees. As I watch them sway, bend and snap back to their natural positions, I think about my experience with pressure and my need for simplicity, and realize that there are three easy tips that work for me when I’m faced with life’s headwinds:
- Go with the flow. Don’t fight it. You will always experience both windy days and calm days. Deepen your awareness about that, find space and time to breathe and rest in that assurance. It’s often tiring and counterproductive to work against some (most!) pressures.
- Bend with it. Like the trees outside my window, bend with it and notice what that’s like. You may discover new ways to look at the situation if you ride the wind. It may take you to a place of fresh, creative thinking that you never imagined.
- Find and accept shelter. Seek out a trusted companion who can provide you with care and support as you work through the pressure. I noticed that the trees that are protected by a circle of other trees are also protected from the force of the wind. Find your inner circle of support.
We have a saying here in New England: If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes. I find the same is often true of the “weather” I’m feeling inside—the pressure changes, even—sometimes—the storms. I follow my three tips and wait for things to change. And they always do.
What do you rely on when the pressure changes for you?