Being Grateful for Your Flat Tire

Road Trip! Hours of endless road, snacks, singing along with the radio (perfectly on key, of course), and reconnecting with family & friends. Is there anything better?

Then, we hit the inevitable stretch of road that can only be described as the middle of nowhere with sparse vegetation, winding hills, and cracks and crevices carved throughout the road. Our imagination wanders, conjuring up a vision of what travel through that same rugged territory would have been like 100 years ago. The mountain washes that we barely notice now were giant obstacles for those that traveled before us. It was dangerous to navigate and added days to the trip as they maneuvered their way forward.

Travel that we easily accomplish now in a day required weeks or months along with the requisite supplies that included a lot more than Red Vines and Dr Pepper. Horses, mules or oxen were also part of the equation which added the additional layer of challenge that we no longer face. When your horse “broke down” there was no AAA to call for rescue from a cell phone while you waited in the air-conditioned car.

I was reminded of the gratitude I feel for modern inventions as we easily cruise through those long, desolate stretches by an interview with Eckhart Tolle by Oprah on the hidden source of all stress. Tolle says that all stress comes from resisting the present moment and wanting the moment to be different from what it really is. A negative situation like getting a flat tire, is only negative because we resist what “IS”. Tolle believes that all stress is resisting the present moment.

We train our coaches to manage stress in themselves and in their students, as they will inevitably be working with stressed-out students. I have rarely met a student who is calm at the end of the term! What greater gift can we give students than helping them let go of stress by acknowledging what “IS” and working together to creating their plan for success from that point forward?