When was the last time something unexpected occurred and stopped you in your tracks? For me, it was Wednesday.
I was driving home from an outstate meeting. The day was sunny; the sky cobalt blue and beautiful. As the country road curved, it also began an uphill climb. Because of the bend in the road, one can’t see the top of the hill until the last minute. I sailed around the broad bend (like I have for the 28 years I have driven this road) and was met with vehicle tail lights of those waiting for a combine (harvester) to start the crawl up the hill having just exited the newly harvested field. I quickly slowed to a stop and took a deep breath.
My mind had been on a focused and well-worn track: thinking about the earlier meeting and planning for what I was going to do next in my work day. Everything changed when I saw the tail lights and combine. As I matched the procession’s speed, my thinking shifted. My focus changed from the past meeting and planning for the future, to that of the presence moment. I breathed in and noticed a flock of geese in the southern sky, the flat fields exposed by the harvesting, the smoking chimney of a nearby farmhouse. The combine had acted as a “disrupter.” It disrupted my mental pattern and shook things up.
While we often do not want disrupters in life, we need them. Life is full of daily patterns of which we are mostly unconscious. We sail down the road of life traveling in our deeply-worn patterned ruts, stuck in old, painful thoughts and reactivity. Disrupters throw in a dose of the unexpected and often allow us to opportunity to open up to an entirely new experience, if we allow it. Disrupters can reveal eye-opening questions that stir us from life’s slumber. Sometimes they are a delightful ‘Aha!’ and other times they are deep and vulnerable. Disrupters can challenge or surprise us, AND always shake us up.
A disruption is an invitation to attune to this present moment.
This week, when you notice the unexpected in your life, take a moment to consider what pattern is being disrupted. Welcome it as an invitation to move forward into something brave, bold and new. Allow it to stop you, and offer you an opportunity to move into a new sense of being.
Be Brave. Be Bold. Enjoy the ride.