Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Bumps" in the road - How are you navigating them?

What are your "Bumps"?

I often find myself reflecting on the little troubles that creep into my life. 

Each day there are little things that distract, impact and leave an imprint on me.  I have started to look deeper into these moments and named them BUMPS. 

Sometimes these "Bumps" take me off my path or even worse completely shut me down and put me into a place where I can't see the "road" ahead. 

The great thing about paying attention to these "Bumps" and recognizing them, is that as soon as I hit one, my ability to navigate it and realign myself to my path is dramatically enhanced.  You know the feeling... - you have a "Bump" and it takes forever to come to the realization that "If only I had dealt with it sooner" or "Why didn't someone tell me I was heading this way" or "I should have listened to my gut".  We have all said these things because at one point or another we come to those personal epiphanies - those moments of insight where each of us align ourselves to what we truly know is RIGHT. 

Not right for anyone else, not right for the job we are in, not right for the situation but right, truly RIGHT, for where we need to take our individual lives.

It is amazing to me everytime that I get off my path I know the exact moment where or when I left it.  The signs were all there and sometimes the signs are so plentiful it amazes me that I had the ability to even stray from the path.  When I reflect on these moments I am astounded that it took me so long to listen to myself.

So what are your "Bumps"?  How do you stray off your path?  How long does it take you to realign?  Do you stray and then adopt a new path?  How are you setting yourself up to take stock and focus on what's right for you? 

One thing that I have found successful is starting to chart my "Bumps".  Each person does this differently - for some it may mean graphs, journals, lists, Iphone notes, etc etc.  I like to take a moment - A moment that is specifically MINE. 

When I say specifically MINE this means that I create it.  I seek out a place, a space or an adventure where I can just be with ME.  This can be in an elevator where I just close my eyes and feel the movement, in the home where I pick up my guitar attached to my headphones and play a quick blues riff or simply sitting on a rock and experiencing the life around me and tapping into something other than me.

I had one of these experiences the other day where I felt a "Bump" - I needed to take a moment. 

Here I was in one of the most beautiful spots that I have ever seen in Canada and I was so engrossed in the moments of chaos that I was straying off my path.  I thankfully recognized this and sought out to TAKE a moment for me.  When I first arrived in this location I saw an amazing old wooden canoe - I knew deep inside that there was something special about it.  It was one of those "feelings" a person gets.  That inner voice telling you to pay attention.  Over the next few days the "Chaos" and "Noise" grew very loud and I started hitting the bumps, so late one night when everyone had wrapped for the day and I was left on an island guess what appeared in front of me - The old wooden Canoe.

I sat staring at it, as if it was willing me to make a decision.  It hit me that I had some time on the island before the last boat of the night would come back to pick us up so I went for it - I got up and walked over to the canoe only to realize that the canoe was without a paddle.  No problem, I found a nice straight wind fallen branch and a thin log from the camp woodpile and started crafting a paddle.  I have to say that even as I was drilling holes in the log with my Leatherman Tool I wondered if I would finish the paddle before the boat arrived but it didn't matter... I was TAKING the time I needed.  I had left the chaos and returned to MY PATH. 

I finished crafting my makeshift paddle and slipped off into the quiet still waters of the lake.  I was able to spend an amazing 10minutes in that old wooden canoe with the loons singing and the still water breaking up by the ripples of my paddle as the boat slid effortlessly between the islands.  When the production boat rounded the corner to come back to pick us up I pulled back up to shore I was at complete peace.  Firmly back on my path.

I am getting better at recognizing my "Bumps" but there are going to be new ones and bigger ones I am sure.  The trick is knowing when to take that moment for yourself to acknowledge the "Bump", learn from it and then realize how to get back on your path.

Play with the concept - chart your "Bumps" and try some different strategies till you find a few that work for you. 

I love this quote and it feels fitting for the post - 

"Build today, then strong and sure, With a firm and ample base; And ascending and secure. Shall tomorrow find its place." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

As always - feel free to reach out to me with a thought, Idea or question about anything I write about.


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