Going with the flow of life for many of us does not come naturally, it’s something we have to practice. Our tendency, more likely, is to fight against what’s happening. I’m seeing this currently play out with many people in town who are dismayed at our recent arctic blast from the north which plummeted our mountain town into an early winter spell.
In talking with my husband Mike about the common, yet fairly ridiculous, notion of complaining about the weather he made a comment that I hadn’t thought of before, which helped to shed light on this rather challenging issue for me (I really don’t enjoy hearing person after person continually gripe about the weather). He said that people tend to complain about the weather because they’re uncomfortable and people aren’t used to being uncomfortable. This was a great insight for me. Many of us can spend our whole lives trying to avoid, cover up, forget, ignore, or otherwise distract ourselves when feelings of discomfort arise. So of course it makes sense that to be inconvenienced by the icy roads, low temperatures, and blasting winds is not a welcomed state of being! I used to think that an insight had to be some new, fancy, grand idea but, more often, insights are more unassuming and involve simply helping to develop a deeper understanding of something or someone.
Many of us have very small comfort zones and do not like to challenge ourselves to expand them. When our comfort zone is small, which is symbolized by an intolerance of other people (ourselves included), places, and things, we have the tendency to shut down quickly and to become overwhelmed, stressed out, and full of anxiety. Stretching our comfort zones will enable us to cultivate the art of going with the flow of life. The bigger our comfort zone is the happier we tend to be!
Opportunities abound for enabling us to practice the expansion of our comfort zones. So rather than looking at the weather as a rival to be fought perhaps we can see it as a chance to embrace, adapt, and go with the snow (ya know…the flow!).