A couple of winters ago, Theresa and I spent a weekend in a primitive cabin in the middle of nowhere Virginia. It was a little log cabin in a gully by a creek, mostly used by hunters, lit by candles, with a camping stove and propane heater. It was exactly the kind of disconnect we were looking for.
On Saturday afternoon, we took off hiking through the woods with clementines in our pockets and the feel of springy earth under our feet. However deep into the woods, we found a stout log fallen over the creek and we shimmied out onto it, letting our feet dangle over the shallow water while we took our time eating each citrus segment.
After 10, 15, maybe 20 minutes of sitting and chatting and snacking, one of us looked up. I think it was Theresa. Cradled just above us in a web of impossibly wispy branches, was another stout fallen log.
However delicate the branches that held it actually were, however imposing the hunk of downed wood above us actually was, however long it had actually been hanging there, we both had the distinct impression of suddenly being in serious, imminent danger.
So often, awareness of a potential threat can send us straight into the barbed embrace of the Gremlins of It’s All Going to Hell or the Gremlins of A Fiery, Horrible Death is Right Around the Corner. Usually, though, the actual threat is far more benign than the gremlins would have us believe. And yet, knowing of the existence of possible threats allows us, if we’re calm and conscientious, to mobilize to the best of our abilities.
Of course, this isn’t really about downed trees at all.
Really, this is about noticing fear as it arises – the massive stuff like public health outbreaks and mass shootings, the big personal stuff like relationship discord and financial health, and the comparatively little stuff like, well, I can’t think of anything that actually feels little once real fear is introduced – ducking the gremlins’ outstretched arms, and making a conscious choice about how to proceed.
There was no Indiana Jones and the massive marble moment as we worked our way out of the danger zone of the hovering lumber. We just scooched back off the log and kept on trekking.
Same can go for you and whatever suddenly-visible dangers you might be facing.
Gaining a broader perspective from a place of safety and support is the name of the coaching game. If you’re curious about how you might come to work from more options and greater clarity, I’m here. If you’re still pondering or want more to ponder on, The Bigger Badder Crew gets these posts by email each Monday along with bonus resources and opportunities to gather as the community they are. Join us.