Bracing for Impact: Are We Soft or Do We Shatter?

Bracing for Impact: Are We Soft or Do We Shatter?

This week I was inspired once again by the wisdom of Mark Nepo, one of my favorite quiet time authors. Facing so many new situations this week, I found comfort in his words;

Often that which is hit survives by staying soft, by allowing what hits it to temporarily shape it the way stones shape mud.

What a great image! Staying soft to survive.

So often when adversity pelts down on us, we harden, bracing for impact. We may react with anger, or fear, or icy silence, or even with great drama and simply decide to give up and take our ball and bat and go home.

We stop playing the game, shattering as the force hits us.

What a brilliant alternative response Nepo offers: to stay soft and absorb, for the moment, whatever hits us.

I needed that bit of encouragement this week. Three times my experiences were far different than my expectations.

Granted, I had a lot of “firsts.”

My first series of transition meetings for Madison new day and residential programs.
My first Pathfinders for Autism Zoo Run without my “walking” partner.
My first Baltimore Book Festival—ever!

It seems like anytime I do something for the first time I am tense, even brittle. Yet, no matter how much I plan or try to anticipate, reality is never what I envision. This time, I took Nepo’s advice and tried to stay soft to absorb the experience.

And it worked!

When I let go of my rigid expectations, I was able to move through the experience and let it leave its imprint on me. I met new caregivers in Madison’s programs, celebrated with family and new friends at the PF Zoo Run, and delighted in meeting fellow authors and future readers at the Maryland Writers Association tent.

The truth is, every time we do something for the first time, it is impossible to predict what is actually going to happen. We can try to anticipate, but the reality is there are often too many uncontrollable variables.

Even so, Nepo helped me realize, every time the unexpected pelts down on us we have a choice.

We can be soft or we can shatter.

How about you? Can you recall an experience where you chose to be soft rather than be shattered? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Neehah! Note the new name!)

P.S. There’s still time to contribute to Madison’s Banner for our upcoming Pathfinders for Autism Golf Tournament, rescheduled for October 2. Many thanks to those who have already contributed!

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P.S.S. Rethinking Possible was selected as Editor’s Pick for Story Circle Book Reviews. Happy dance! Check it out here!

P.S.S.S. Thanks for your continued reviews and support! For all options to order Rethinking Possible, click here.

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