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Click on the video and watch the Gentoo Penguin before reading this post. Watch at least the last 3 ½ minutes. Something amazing and very surprising happens.
This video completely enthralled me. I found myself clapping, laughing, and feeling admiration for the little Penguin. It didn’t give in or give up. It continued to outmaneuver the Orcas and remained out of their reach. The instinct to survive was strong. I saw deeper lessons to be learned from this brave little bird of the Antarctic.
What can we learn from this amazing bird? Fear, tenacity, surrender, and trust come immediately to mind. I see the Orcas as a metaphor for our fear-based thoughts. They can be relentless and swim circles in our mind, bully us, and constantly nip at our heals, they prevent us from moving beyond our comfort zone, from pursuing our dreams, from expanding our horizons, from believing in ourselves long enough to try new things. Insert of your own list here.
We believe what the negative fear based thoughts say and may become so focused and preoccupied on eluding them that our perceptions shrink, and so does our world.
Do you feel as if you are not making progress in your life and it frequently seems when you take two steps forward, you take one step back?….
It is helpful to reframe these thoughts when they invade our mind before they cause not only our thoughts but also our mood to spiral downward. Instead, we can choose to view the step back as a welcomed break, similar to the natural rhythmic pause between our in-breath and out-breath.
With this shift in thought, the step back becomes a natural pause offering respite from a multitude of change, from feeling overwhelmed, or the stressor(s) you are currently facing. Perhaps the step back is enabling one to gain momentum for the next steps forward to accomplish them with greater ease.
Just as there is a natural flow and rhythm to our breath, life’s breath has a rhythm of its own.
Have you ever wondered why is it so easy for you to have a specific thought, smell a particular scent, or hear a specific sound and immediately become sad, angry, or fearful? Have you ever noticed a predictable pattern to your thoughts, how they lead to feeling specific emotions? Have you ever become aware of a negative thought cycle, where you feel you just cannot get off the negative thought train, one leads to another, and another, and another?
Here in California on the Monterey Peninsula, we are currently experiencing one of the most destructive fires to property in the region’s history. The Soberanes fire has burned fifty seven homes in the Big Sur and surrounding areas and it is still burning. Hundreds of residents have been displaced due to mandatory evacuations, and many will not have homes to return to.
My family was not immune to this fire. A couple family members were evacuated and were unable to return to their home until a week later. Thankfully, they did not lose their home. Our community has rallied to help with housing for people and pets—both large and small animal, shelters have opened, and donations of water, clothing, pet supplies, and food have begun to pour in.
While working with clients this theme is often discussed. I have had numerous conversations with a wide spectrum of ages about this belief; with those entering their adult lives, to the elderly who have less years ahead of them then they have behind. A few conversations this week inspired this posting.
I believe (U.S.) culture has been programmed with a narrow criteria that determines what a successful life entails. The predominant statement I often hear is, “I am not where I ‘should’ be in my life.” There is a belief that where they are is not adequate and they “should be” further along in their career, should have a family, should be in a relationship, marriage, have more money in the bank etc. Click Here to Keep on reading!