Spring for some of us means wind! Here in the Coachella Valley, we live in areas with a lot of wind a lot of the time!
How do you stay safe during the winds of change?
Look at the palm trees
Here in the Coachella Valley the wind funnels in through the San Gorgonio Pass. Which is a relatively narrow gap between the Little San Bernardino mountains to our north and the Santa Rosa mountains to the south.
Depending where you are located, you might be sheltered by the foothills. Or you might be blasted more often than not! That’s us – we’re not sheltered in a cove. Days of gusts reaching 30-50 mph aren’t all that uncommon.
Unsecured lawn furniture might blow over, but our palm trees do not. They bend and sway in the wind, and old fronds may break off, but the palms remain standing.
The palm trees have deep, wide root systems. Not just one taproot, which might be easy enough to be unstable in high winds. Instead they have many roots which can reach up to 5 feet long.
How deeply are you rooted?
If you have enough family and friends to lean on, your root structure is deep enough for you to withstand changes. Introverts typically need fewer friends than extroverts, but people need close ones for support. Some people turn their friends into family, and that’s cool too.
If you don’t think you have people to lean on in your life, cultivate some deeper roots. Maybe you’ve got friends or family where you just need to better develop the relationship with them. Or you might need to bring some new people into your life. Maybe start with those who share your hobbies.
How flexible are you?
Palm trees are wet on the inside and fairly elastic, so they sway in the wind instead of breaking. If you’ve ever been to the top of a skyscraper, you’ll notice that the platform moves a bit in the wind.
This is by design. If it’s too rigid, it’s more likely to be damaged. Houses built to resist earthquakes also share this principle, where the foundation is able to move slightly with the quake movement.
We talked last week about how to hydrate more, so you too can be wet on the inside! Increasing your physical flexibility is a good thing to work on. Moving around while you’re at work, stretching, even dividing your time between sitting and standing will help you physically.
But mental flexibility is even more important! If you’re very resistant to change, then it’s more likely to cause you some damage. If you’re more able to go with the flow, then you’ll bend instead of break. Does everything have to be your way or the highway? That’s a rigid stance which may topple you when the time comes. Recognize that other people have good ideas too.
Can you accept the things you can’t change?
The top of the palm tree, known as the canopy, lets the wind through. Palm fronds don’t try to block the wind or catch it; they allow the wind to move on through. Other trees with bigger canopies can catch the wind like sails, making them more likely to topple.
Let the wind move through your canopy without attempting to catch it, or block it. Can you let it move on through? You may have the courage to change the things you can. Maybe you need to work on knowing the difference!
You have control over your own actions, but not over the results. Once you begin to weed out the things you have control over vs. the things you don’t, you’ll be able to focus on the things that you can change. Be more like the palm trees, letting winds blow through your fronds, instead of blocking them or trying to control them.
Are you like a palm tree that can withstand heavy winds without damage? Let us know your best flexibility tips in the comments!