By Andi Pyatt
“The Well” is a recurring column to remind us of the power we possess in mind, body and spirit.
A few days ago, around 9 o’clock at night, I heard my son running down the steps of our home. Just as I was parting my lips to redirect him, the cadence of his stride abruptly changed and I heard a loud crash. I rolled my eyes and called out his name. There was no response, just a guilty silence. I pulled away from the dining room table and walked to the stairs. My heart dropped. My beautiful rare Silver Satin Pothos Plant had missing leaves and the soil contents of its pot were scattered all over the steps.
Side note: I am an avid plant lover. This plant was a recent acquisition to the Pyatt Perennial Plant Pack and it is a stunning specimen.
Earlier that day I was caring for it with such admiration and now it was spewed over the hard wood and my joy turned to frustration, anger, and sadness. Over the past nine years, I have asked my son to walk in the house no less than two thousand six hundred and fifty-two times. I have redirected him in numerous ways. I offered walking demonstrations, asked politely, demanded not so politely, given the “mama eye”, yet he still feels inclined to run through this house at all times of the day and night. This night the consequence of his not listening hurt my feelings and my plant. The most frustrating aspect of this situation is that it could have been avoided. It didn’t need to happen…or did it.
Challenge is the precursor of change. They allow us to address thoughts and feelings that we often avoid because they feel uncomfortable and require work that we are not always in the mode to receive. However, it is through this time that we find our growth and creativity. Take a moment to ask yourself this one question:
What past situations initially appeared negative, yet turned out to provide a great benefit to you or someone else?
The ability to self-regulate and shift your awareness of a less than ideal situation is another important component of healthy emotional intelligence. I talked about self-awareness in the previous contribution to The Well. In my days as a clinical counselor, I remember supporting clients with “finding the good” in situations. This doesn’t mean ignoring issues related to appropriate boundaries. Rather it a mindset to support moving forward to that place of healing and love.
Challenges come to help us determine what we desire. In fact, the greater the challenge the greater the benefit. Just like any physical and mental task, finding the positive aspects of negative situations takes practice. The next time you are faced with a challenge take a moment to express gratitude for the moment. This will immediately prepare your mind to identify and receive the good in the situation.
In my circumstance, I express gratitude for my healthy energetic son. I am thankful that he wasn’t hurt after crashing into the planter. I am also grateful that the entire plant was not destroyed. After, taking a few deep breaths, I sat with my son and we discussed our feeling about the situation. He expressed his thoughts and I expressed mine. This situation became a lesson for all of us.
While I had to throw away a few leaves from the plant, one leaf had a node. For those still learning about plants, the node is the place on the plant stem that roots. With excitement I placed that leaf in a glass of water. In a few weeks that leaf will grow a root which can be placed it in soil to grow another plant. Instead of one Silver Satin beauty, I will now have two! Prior to this event I was so in awe of my plant that I never would have cut the plant to create another. However, this situation forced the propagation of the new plant. Chaos begets growth and creativity, if we allow. The next time you feel overwhelmed by a negative situation remember these words, “what’s the best that could happen”?
Andi Pyatt is an educator, entrepreneur, wellness professional, and author (Julia Belle) of the new children’s book, Sunflower’s Breath. She holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology/Neuroscience from Williams College and a graduate degree in Health Science from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The opinions on this page are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the AFRO.
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