Our lives are filled with challenges. We meet some of them with fairly easily. Others send us right to the edge of what we believe we can handle. We get surprised, confused, stopped in our tracks. Yet, we have to make a move, whether we feel prepared or not.
Pema Chödrön, a Buddhist nun, talks about this second kind of challenge as getting right to the our “edge.” The opportunity is to open to the challenge, rather than resist it. She shares an analogy in her book The Wisdom of No Escape of how ravens play in the wind. She writes—
The wilder the weather is, the more the ravens love it. They have the time of theirs lives in the winter, when the wind gets much stronger and there’s lots of ice and snow. They challenge the wind. they get up on the tops of trees and they hold on with their claws and then they grab on with their beaks as well. At some point they just let go into the wind and let it blow them away. Then they play on it, they float on it. After a while, they’ll go back to the tree and start over. It’s a game. Once, I saw saw them in an incredible hurricane-velocity wind, grabbing each other’s feet and dropping and then letting go and flying out. It was a circus act.
Notice the next time you get right up to your edge. Take a moment, sitting in the trees. Hold on with your claws. Then, when the time is right, play like a raven in the wind. Lighten up, trust yourself, find the other ravens. Enjoy the circus and find the other ravens for your act.