The other day I was sitting in the front passenger seat of our car waiting to run some errands when an unassuming Texas-sized grasshopper landed on the front windshield all the way on the right side right in front of my view.
I was surprised by his appearance and said hello to him. I checked out his features, the stripes on his skinny, folded legs, his short green antennae, and the way his feet stuck solidly to the car's surface.
This was not exactly a grass-oriented place to be for such a creature.
Soon, we began to pull out of the driveway. I did wonder, even aloud, if he would promptly fall off and disappear from the car as we headed down the street. I kept watching him to see what he would do.
Well, he hung on for dear life! With the wind blowing his short antennae (yes, I laughed at such a sight), his feet still pretty firmly planted on the car's windshield, he remained, slightly askew as we headed to a 50 mph street ahead. For sure, I thought, he'll be gone.
He STILL HUNG ON even on that road for about a minute! I was really surprised he hung in there for so long. I was impressed with his tenacity and strength under such wind conditions.
Then He Was Gone. Just like that.
Then I missed him. I was thinking, what a fascinating creature to have run into on an ordinary weekend day. But he turned it extraordinary as I thought of his endurance while being out of his element.
I did wonder, why did he hang on so long? Was he fascinated by his surroundings? Confused? Curious?
I have no idea. But it got me to thinking (you know how that is, right?) what it might be like for us humans to be out of our element, out of our comfort zone.
When we meet with the unexpected, how do we respond? In fear? Curiosity? With adventure?
I'm all for spontaneity. Sometimes activities I do either by myself or with family that I've never done before or encountered recently can be fun and adventurous since I never know what great thing I'll run into.
But what about something that may feel a little uncomfortable? Use your imagination with this one.
Perhaps you're afraid of heights and you end up on an elevator with glass doors. (The grasshopper was way high up off of his grassy homeland.)
Or you're feeling a bit shaky in your shoes as you head to the podium to give your first speech. (I think the grasshopper wasn't used to that slippery slick situation on the surface of a car's exterior, but he hung on anyway.)
Or maybe you've decided to hold a workshop or share a long-held dream you think is crazy but super exciting with a close friend and you don't know quite what to expect. But you get a fabulous response from participants and your friend simply loves your idea and thinks it really suits you since they know you so well.
We get opportunities to step out of our element by trying something new or by simply meeting up with something unexpected.
When that happens to you, do you choose to hang on and see what great thing might happen, or do you want to simply slip away unnoticed?
Being outside our element can present challenges, no doubt. And it's often disconcerting if we feel unprepared to meet with anything that is unfamiliar to us.
But it can also be a way to stretch ourselves in ways we need in order to grow into all we are meant to be so we can make our effective and beneficial mark in the world.
Our usual element is the starting place, the foundation, the home base where we spend most of our time which is really just preparation for those outside-our-element moments when we are needed or wanted in a new place and time to share what we are good at and thus fulfilling our purpose in the process.
When was the last time you were out of your element?
You can prepare yourself as you look outside of home base and make plans for your future.
Then when you do take that initial step forward, outside your current life experience, you can move forward with confidence, a sense of adventure, and flexibility for making mistakes and loving the process anyway, despite them.
Your life can be full of creative, spontaneous adventure when you make room for those possibilities in your day-to-day living.
And take it from the grasshopper: You never know when you'll get the opportunity to fulfill that long held dream. (And feel the wind in your antennae.)
© 2013 by Dawn Herring
Dawn engages in many roles: As Writer/Blogger and Artist/Creative and Founder of Refresh with Dawn Herring: Where Art and JOY Align, She enjoys sharing from her vast experience as award-winning, life-long artist and leader in the field of written journaling, offering encouragement and proven tips to other journal keepers. Dawn's focus is on written journal keeping, artistic expression and finding your Creative Voice, and positive change that leads personal empowerment, encouraging you to leave your authentic and positive mark in the world. Dawn is a Commercial artist, hand letterer/illustrator and writer/blogger and enjoys sharing insights, humor, and encouragement as she shares from her life experiences as a woman, wife, mother of two grown daughters and as a Grandparent to a special needs grandson. She enjoys keeping a journal and reading spiritual texts to help keep the light on. May JOY Align with Your Creative Heart.