Sunday, April 8, 2018

Overcoming Obstacles

This photo is of early slippery elm seeds. It's another sign that spring is on its way, taking her own sweet time.  Often things happen in their own sweet time and in their own sweet way and we perceive those delays as obstacles.  We wonder if the fact that things aren't going easily is a sign from the universe.  But what does that sign mean?

Maybe it means, 'Be patient.'   Or, 'Try another tack.'  Or, 'This isn't right for you.  Let it go'.   Maybe it doesn't mean anything except they've closed a lane ahead and traffic is slow, 'It's not about you.'

At any rate, obstacles happen all the time.  When I hit an obstacle to my plans, I use this mantra. 

Stay Calm.  Stay Positive.  Think Creatively.

Staying calm allows me to see past the immediate frustration and get a look at the bigger picture, which often isn't about me.  Staying positive helps me not feed ugly drama and keeps me in a place where I'm most likely to notice new strategies and opportunities.  Thinking creatively helps me remember to look for new ways of doing things, new perspectives, new input. 

I cannot tell you the number of 'impossible' situations we've been able to solve or work around by using these ideas.  And in case you're wondering, it took a long time and a lot of practice for me to remember to use this strategy first instead of falling into frustration, rage and despair.   I wish I could tell you some inspirational story about how I made this switch, but the truth is I learned it as a homeschooling parent of a dyslexic.   So many things that had worked with my older daughter just didn't work with my younger.   I didn't want my youngest to associate frustration, rage and despair with her situation, so I came up with the new mantra, wrote it down and whenever we hit a roadblock, I repeated it.  Over and over, until I believed it.  And miracles happened, again and again.  And then it was easy for me to hold onto those ideas and repeat them for her as we got to the really hard stuff in high school and college.   I'm telling you, this stuff really works.


  1. Wow, that takes a lot of strength and persistence, Robin. Your art has the same kind of beauty and calmness. You are so right, our challenges make us stronger if we are willing to do the work it takes to get through the tough times.

  2. Good mantra! I didn’t know you homeschooled! I homeschooled my youngest all the way through Highschool. Good memories!


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