I pass a brook on my walk in the morning, and that brook has faced some environmental challenges in the past year. Heavy rainstorms that raised the water level, lots of snow banks along its edge that took months to melt away, fallen branches and other debris from the storms, a safety rail destroyed by plows that also exposed the crumbling cement edge, and spots of ice on its surface from days of bitter cold. I walk past this brook because I love the sound, the constant rhythmic ripple of the water pushing its way to where it has to go.
What amazes me about this brook is that the water never stops running. There’s no hesitation, and the ripple can become a low roar when the water needs to work harder. The water always finds another way – over, around, under and through. Nothing prevents its continual flow. Quitting is not allowed.
And it’s constantly changing and reinventing itself. Sometimes the water moves in circles, around a large rock, and other times it’s making a detour around a newly formed peninsula, or rushing over a fallen branch. If necessary, it starts a new stream off of the original waterway. It’s never the same for long, and yet it still gets the job done despite its constant transitions.
Think about this. What if each time we faced an obstacle or a challenge, we just kept moving, changing direction, until we found the answer. But as humans our choices or lack of them are based on our emotions, mainly fear. Fear intrigues me; it’s the flip side of many emotions and reactions, and is usually intertwined with past experiences or the unknown of the future. Yet it’s so difficult to live in the present, but it’s the place we should feel most comfortable, capable, and centered.
Imagine being faced with a daunting challenge and dealing with it without fussing, without freezing; without procrastination or psychotherapy; without feeling paralyzed and vulnerable. Just deal with the facts – break it down like a math equation, look at the possibilities to solve the problem, and pick one. Over, around, under and through. Find another way.