There are lessons everywhere we look.
Provided we look.
One such lesson came from each of my children in two different forms.
The first time I recall receiving this lesson was when my youngest described a dream she had had the night before:
"I was having a perfectly wonderful time but things kept going 'wrong.' Every time I moved in one direction, some disaster would occur that began to lead me toward another disaster and suddenly my dream was turning into a nightmare."
"What did you do?" I asked.
"Well, I just steered the dream back into the direction I wanted to go. It's easy when you know how you want to feel. And I wanted to feel happy, not scared."
The second time came in the form of a conversation with my eldest who had been taking a cartoon class after school. As part of the class, the students engaged in an exercise that developed both skill and imagination:
"We were put into pairs and given one piece of paper. The first person was required to draw a character that found themselves in a dire situation...say, they were about to fall into a pit of fire. The paper was then passed to the partner whose challenge it was to 'draw' the character out of that situation while also creating a new disaster. The paper was passed back and forth between partners creating and undoing disaster after disaster until the page was full."
Well, of course,
each of these examples of essentially the same lesson got me to thinking about
life and dreams and plans and goals
and how easy it is to get
sidelined, distracted, derailed and defeated
when things don't go our way.
It reminds me of the old Yiddish proverb,
"We plan, God laughs."
That's how it seems sometimes, non?
We make our plans, set our goals, dream our dreams, moving ever forward...and then BOOM...something unexpected happens and everything we've worked toward comes undone.
Oh, and then the thoughts come rushing in...eager to be heard.
Those relentless ruthless doom and gloom thoughts that get us stuck in a feeling of despair and failure.
And in our dismay, we seem to forget the bounty of innate gifts bestowed upon us at birth: curiousity...creativity...resiliency...resourcefulness...imagination...and free will.
These were the cornerstones of our childhood. We relied upon them to learn about the world.
There was no shame in failure.
There was no time for it.
There was no purpose in it.
When presented with a challenge...
When presented with an unexpected event...
When presented with something new...
we naturally, instinctively
Our imagination and free will and resiliency were too busy playing chase to concern themselves with thoughts of failure.
And bolstered by our innate abilities,
inch by inch
step by step
mile by mile
we effortlessly achieved the real goal...
living life in a fascinated state of well-being.
It is still within us.
It may lie dormant...but it is ever ready to be wakened.