Waterfalls and running streams are among my favorite things in nature. I especially love the sight and the sound of the water rushing over rocks. One thing about water is that it finds a way to flow.
Put a rock or a wall or anything in its path and water will simply change its flow.
Over time it can wear down the toughest & hardest mounds of earth or rock. Water has so much to teach us about flow and finding a way around the blockages in our path.
When we meet a challenge, we often see it as a hindrance, something that stops us. We get that “oh no, not again” feeling. If we’re tuned-in to our power source, that’s a momentary experience. It’s a trigger reminding us there’s an issue that needs our attention. We choose to see the big rock in our path as an opportunity to solve a problem. Perhaps, at some level, we remember that we are about 70% water. So, we get ourselves in order and move into the business of flowing over and around that big rock.
My Mama, many of my mentors and my spiritual teachers taught me a problem-solving strategy par excellence. Cognitive behavioral therapists call it cognitive restructuring. Simply put, it’s reorganizing your mind or changing your story about your situation. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Get your mind right”. It’s one of the easiest things you can do right away when you face a challenge.
So rather than “awfulizing”, considering how the situation will help us move forward or offer us something positive is definitely in order.
My Mama calls these experiences blessings in disguise.
Recently at a weekend retreat, one of the women at my lunch table recounted a story she’d read about a farmer whose only horse ran away. Everyone was sad for the farmer and concerned he would have difficulty getting his work done and taking care of his family. However, the horse returned with a stallion and the town residents were excited for the farmer because he now had two horses. That is, until the stallion threw the farmer’s son and the son broke both his legs. This saddened everyone. But shortly after the accident, other young men in town were sent off the war. The son’s injuries allowed him to stay home which put his family at ease.
A few of us at the table had read some version of this story in one book or another. It reminds us that every experience is full of possibilities. Sometimes we choose to focus on the worst possible scenario or what went wrong. That’s just one possible story. Our challenges also present us with an opportunity to explore a range of outcomes that bring some good into our lives. We can simply order up a different story.
The next time you meet an obstacle in your life stream, consider the fact that it offers you infinite possibilities for good. Listen for the beautiful sound of the water rushing over the rocks. It’s a chance to build and flex your optimism muscle. Tell yourself the story that opens your heart and increases the good in your life everyday.
"Be like water. Flow over, under and around those big rocks commonly referred to as challenges".
© Sandra Y. Lewis